Our last day on safari. It had gone so fast. Today we went for an all day drive and we saw so much. At first we were going to the Mara River but decided to check where the lions had been last night. What surprised and amazed me was 12!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! lions feasting on a water buffalo, faces covered in blood, ripping meat off! The power of them showed in their kill, but many were injured from the fight the buffalo put up. Most of the lionesses had cuts all over. One had a hole through her lip and another had a massive painful and tender looking torn open hind leg. At that time Walter was told of 2 cheetahs close by and we decided to see them. They are delicate creatures with speed and cunning! When we came back to the kill site we saw the head lion so stuffed lying under a tree, with an “I am Boss” look to him with his giant mane. We watched the carcass getting licked to the bone. Slowly the lions left, stumbling so full, as the jackals and vultures circled, waiting. Finally, when the pride had left an older male came and took over the kill. After watching for a few hours we made the trip to the Mara River. At the top of a hill, it opened to a stunning landscape of plains and the river behind. It was breathtaking. In the plains under a tree we stopped for lunch. At the river we saw hippos swimming, disguised like rocks, a turtle quietly moving through the grass, and a crocodile! Laying there on the bank, silent but deadly! Before leaving the park, we stopped by the kill site again to find a mother and her cub laying there. The cub was adorable, playing with its mom while she licked him clean. Also, we saw the lion king return and race in and drive the others off, roaring and standing over the carcass. SO COOL! Leaving we found the 2 cheetahs again, poised and ready to chase an impala. But alas, the tourists scared the prey, and the cats may have had to go hungry because of humans. – Alexandra
The same pride of lions we saw yesterday eating a water buffalo, just as we predicted!…I think one of the jackals was impatient, because he stole a chunk of meat from the only lion that was left. The lion tried to catch it, but she was too stuffed with food and slow. Man was that ever amazing or what?! – Isaac
WARNING**** Graphic Nat Geo Wild photos ahead
The vultures and the jackals waiting for their opportunity……
OK any squeamish vegetarian types might want to not look anymore….
We found this guy under the tree. The females do the hunting and then the big male comes and chases them away from the kill until he’s done eating. Only then do they get to partake.
This male may have eaten upwards of 40kg of meat
He would open his eyes and look at us for a brief moment but we could never catch it
Our guide Walter told us it would have been a big fight to take down a water buffalo, and many of the females showed it in their wounds
This girl seemed especially sore from the way she was walking and breathing
Yes we were that close. Thank goodness they were full!
This one was panting with exhaustion while she was eating and had to keep stopping and taking breaks. She had the large wound on her back left leg
The jackal makes his move
We watched this old guy sit on the hill in the distance, and when all the pride had left he finally came to the kill. We watched him for a while. He didn’t eat, just sat over it. He looked old. You could see his ribs and vertebrae, and his eyes looked like they had cataracts (do cats get cataracts?). We were not sure whether he was an outcast from the same pride or from a different pride.
All the lions went down to the tree by the river to sleep off their water buffalo hangovers.
Rain over the Serengeti (the Serengeti is the Tanzanian side, the Masai Mara is the Kenyan side of the same region)
The Tawny Eagle
At the viewpoint with the Mara River behind us
This is the famous Mara River, where millions of wildebeest cross every summer, and where the crocodiles lie waiting for them. Can you see the hippo?
Does this help?
You’ll have to take our word for it, but the thing that looks like a piece of driftwood in the middle of the far bank is a croc
The Mara is teeming with wildlife, everywhere you turn. Here there are zebras, topi, impala and warthogs.
When we went back to the kill site, the old guy we’d left a couple hours before was eating. Right behind this action Walter drew our attention to something we hadn’t even noticed…
By our count this little one was the 17th lion we’d seen today
The king eventually decided he was ready for more and came trotting back across the plains, chasing the old male and everyone else away. See video footage below.