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First African Safari: It was about time!


Atdahl

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Atdahl

@monalisa, great additions!   I didn't manage any good Social Weaver shots so I am glad you included them in their great battle against the mirror.  That lion stare is great too...just like a guy to be checking out the backside right?

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I have been a member of SafariTalk for over 6 years, but have never been to Africa.  I figured I was in danger of getting booted out of this community if I didn't get to Africa soon.     So,

Despite all of our travels, one thing has been sorely missing; Africa.   In part, this is because figuring out where to go in Africa was overwhelming due to the huge number of possible count

Kenya Day 2 (Part 2) - Porini Amboseli   The camp itself was very nice.  The Selenkay Conservancy is filled with large bushes but the camp was built among some cool looking trees.  Before ou

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Atdahl

Kenya Day 6 (Part 2) - Porini Mara

 

The afternoon game drive started at 4PM and at 4:13PM we were watching this apparently tuckered out hyrax:

Lounging Rock Hyrax

 

 

We also got a great look at some warthogs and this is when I learned the they have to kneel to eat.  Who knew?!  That was just one more little behavior that made the warthog an unexpected delightful surprise on this trip.

Warthog Checking Us Out

 

Grazing Warthog

 

 

We also found a little wildebeest having a snack:

Breakfast Time

 

Cute!

Mother and Baby Wildebeest

 

We got our first really good look at vultures.  Vultures have a bad rap but these weren't that bad looking.

 

African White-backed Vulture and Rupell's Griffon Vulture:

Vultures

 

Then we had our most cooperative Dik Dik so far.  By "cooperative" I mean that it only bolted away after 5 seconds instead of 2:

Dik Dik

 

Andrea was really happy with her photos and said "Want me to send you my Dik Dik pic?"  To which I responded that probably wasn't a good idea since those things tend to wind up on the Internet.  Then Tim says "The thing that was nice about the Dik Dik pic is that it was fully erect".

 

Yup, that's the kind of banter that went on daily.  Good times!

 

Looks like the baby wildebeest wasn't the only baby getting a snack. My nipple hurts just looking at this picture...

Vervet Monkey with nursing baby

 

Hmmm...I get the feeling we are being watched again:

Giraffe

 

 

Dueling Thomson's Gazelle:

Dueling Thomson's Gazelle

 

The Duel

 

The hit...

 

"Hey, what are you looking at?"

Break time to stare at the humans

 

The afternoon drive ended the way it started...with Rock Hyrax:

Rock Hyrax with Baby

 

The afternoon drive was a bit calm compared to the morning but we still had an after dinner night drive planned that ended up blowing us away.

 

The night drive started at 9PM and a short time later we spotted one of the 10+ Scrub Hares we would see during the drive (Yes, Karen saw "most" of them):

Scrub Hare

 

We also got a chance to add Waterbuck to our life list:

Waterbuck

 

We also encountered a common night creature and one that quickly became another favorite.  The Spring Hare otherwise known as the African Kangaroo.  We loved watching these guys hop around. 

 

We ended up seeing at least 6 on this drive:

Spring Hare (African Kangaroo)

 

The highlight of the evening started innocently enough.  Tim pointed out that a bunch of wildebeest were running off to our right.  George thought that the headlights must have startled them but he took a look anyway and said excitedly "Hyena!"..."And, they are hunting!".

 

Well, Tipa didn't need any prodding because he gunned the engine and took off after the Hyenas.

 

Somehow, he was able to stay behind the main chase but it was really hard to follow with the naked eye.  I just remember that we were going incredibly fast trying to keep up with the 4 or 5 things running ahead of us.  I do remember Andrea yelling "Get it! Get it! Get it!" figuring that some moral support might help the hyenas.

 

At one point, they did manage to get too far ahead of us to see.  But, then suddenly the baby wildebeest being chased must have doubled back because they all reappeared in our headlights.  That maneuver would cost the Wildebeest everything:

Successful Hyena Hunt

 

Hyena Kill

 

The hyenas wasted no time disposing of the wildebeest right in front of us.

 

Hyena

 

Hyena needs a bath

 

It was at this moment that I learned a few things.

 

I learned that while hyena pups are certainly cute, the adults are skilled hunters and vicious eaters.

 

I learned that while I didn't mind watching the ensuing feast, I didn't feel the need to take many photos.  It just wasn't a memory I needed to look again.

 

I learned that Karen didn't mind listening to the feast but she didn't feel the need to look over much at all.

 

I learned that Tim and Andrea (being the experienced Africa travelers they are) knew this was a once in a lifetime encounter and they watched every bit of it.  Tim even shot some video.

 

As the feast continued, out of the darkness we could hear constant high pitched yelping/barking/whining getting closer and closer.

 

It was a juvenile hyena and it was VERY vocal.  It ran right up to the carcass and grabbed it without any hesitation.  I thought for sure the adults would do something, but they didn't.  They let the juvenile run off with it and it didn't stop whining the whole time.

 

Escaping with the Spoils

 

That pretty much put an end to the encounter so it gave us a chance to talk about what we saw.

 

George explained that the animals running were a couple hyenas chasing the baby wildebeest.  The mother wildebeest was running along too trying to protect the baby by distracting the hyena.  In addition, a Black-backed Jackal was also in the chase but we didn't see it until once the kill was made.

 

George also mentioned that it is typical hyena behavior to let the juveniles take food like that.  I find that quite interesting and it is much different than the top down eating hierarchy we have seen in North American canines like wolves.

 

In any case, the encounter was truly amazing. It was thrilling and vicious at the same time and likely a once in a lifetime event to see in person.

 

Once we arrived back at camp, I had the impulse to search a tree by the parking lot looking for eye shine.  Good thing I did because there was a Greater Galago (Bushbaby) up in this tree and after a bit it came out into the open.  What a cool little animal. We ended up seeing a second one too.

 

Greater Galago (Bushbaby)

 

Talk about an embarrassment of riches on our game drives today. I am beginning to think this could be the best first safari ever.  But, there was more good stuff to come...

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monalisa

Excellent captures of the hyena kill!

 

HAHAHAHAHA in my defence, we had seen a bunch of failed hunts and were super excited at the prospect of a successful one!!

Poor hyenas gotta eat.

You wouldn't want this little dude to starve would you? :wub::lol:

 

Someday I will have hair too

 

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CheetahFan

Great post @Atdahl.. When daydreaming of seeing a successful hunt while on safari, I can't say that Hyenas were what I had pictured as the hunters. But it turned out to be a very thrilling experience!

 

For those so inclined, below is a video of what took place after the baby Wildebeest had been killed. Keep in mind it's pretty graphic in parts.

 

 

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Atdahl

Yup, the video is certainly gory but that is raw nature.  It's great that you got some of the sounds of the whining juvenile at the end there...you can even see it making off with the carcass :).

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Atdahl

@monalisa, no defense needed.  It was a really cool encounter and hyenas have to eat too.  :)

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Alexander33
On 4/24/2019 at 11:50 AM, Atdahl said:

 

At Porini Amboseli everyone did sundowners together at the watering hole viewing platform.  But, for the rest of our trip we had them out in the bush which I liked much better. Especially, when we could sip a gin and tonic while watching lions.  It doesn't get much better than that!

 

 

@Atdahl

 

Never were truer words spoken. 

 

I’m really enjoying this report.  It’s just as well that you got the vervet monkey treatment early on — it’s almost like an African rite of passage for us safari addicts. I do have it on good authority from our neighbors on our first safari that in addition to cashews, the vervets also have a taste for booze and colorful prescription meds and will wreak havoc on a tent in order to get them. (Not sure if the lodge followed my suggestion to set up a vervet rehab facility on the grounds). 

 

Looking forward to more. 

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Marks

Remarkable hyena encounter!

How long did the tommies duel?

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Atdahl

Thanks @Alexander33.  It sounds like we got off lucky with the monkeys.  I didn't mention this but they tried to get into my wife's glasses case.  Luckily, they couldn't open them.  But, there are lots of teeth marks on the case to remember them by...:)

 

@Marks, yes that was a thrilling chase to watch.  The tommies didn't dual for very long at all unfortunately.

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Atdahl

Kenya day 7 (Part 1) - Porini Mara Continued...

 

I have to admit that it was hard falling asleep last night since the adrenaline of the Hyena chase and kill was still pulsing through my veins hours later.  But, eventually I managed sleep no thanks to the screaming Galago that woke us up a few times.  Maybe it didn't like its picture being taken earlier...

 

Anyway, this morning's schedule was the same as yesterday.  We would be out all morning and have a bush breakfast.  We had no particular plan to start the day so we just waited for Africa to throw something our way.  We didn't have to wait long...

 

Once the sun came up, we encountered a pride of lions.  It was nice seeing these cats in prime morning light.

 

Lioness

 

Marking His Territory

 

On the Hunt

 

Hungry Lion

 

As we were watching the lions, a herd of elephants came crashing through the brush close by:

 

Elephant herd coming

 

There were a couple little elephants in this group and that fact was not lost on the lions.  One of them crept close:

 

Eyeing a BIG prize

 

And eyed the elephants with intent:

 

Stalking Elephants

 

Then it stalked even closer:

Getting Closer

 

And closer still:

Getting Even Closer...

 

I thought for sure we would see some action but the lion let the elephants pass. It seems like this was a juvenile and it wasn't that serious about hunting elephants after all.

 

Losing His Nerve

 

 

We continued on and received notification over the radio that the mother cheetah and 3 juveniles were spotted.  That was enough info to cause us to hustle over to see them.

 

They were as beautiful and regal as ever:

Cheetah

 

It was great to see them on the move:

Stalking Cheetah

 

Soon, it became apparent that something was causing them to move.  See the lion behind the trees in the distance?

Cheetah eyeing distant Lion

 

The cheetahs were looking stressed at this point and began trotting away faster:

On Alert

 

They looked back once in a while to keep tabs on the lion:

Cheetah

 

The lion was getting closer.  You can see that this cheetah is now on high alert:

Lion getting closer...

 

This was for good reason because all of a sudden a lioness comes running at us full speed which caused the cheetah to take off.  A chase was on!

 

I managed to get a few pictures of the chase itself but it's hard to convey the speed of the cats in these pictures:

Lioness chasing Cheetah

 

Full Speed

 

The other cheetahs watched from a distance:

The chase is on

 

The chase continued:

The chase continues

 

Lion losing ground

 

Was the lion gaining ground?

Nope, not a chance

 

Nope, not a chance.  We all know that the cheetah is way faster and eventually the lion admitted that and stopped running.  However, our guide told us that a lion could catch a baby cheetah so they are vulnerable when they are small.

 

Defeat

 

Is the cheetah gloating at all?

Cheetah Gloating

 

"Hmm, I wonder if my man saw that defeat?"

Did the male see that?

 

Yup, he sure did...

Yup, sure did

 

At that point, the lioness retreated back to the male. It was likely there was a full pride back in the trees somewhere and they might have had cubs so the lioness was most likely protecting the pride by trying to drive the cheetah away.

 

Lioness walking away

 

We continued following the cheetahs as they walked quickly away from the lions.  They were no longer on alert now and stopped once in a while:

Keeping Watch

 

Cheetah Siblings

 

But, they didn't stop long and seemed to still be walking with a purpose. Were they trying to put more distance between them and the lions or could they possibly be in hunting mode?

 

On the Move

 

There certainly was a lot of prey within reach:

Prey is everywhere

 

Mama cheetah was aware of the prey as well:

Mama Cheetah

 

But, the juveniles were content to stop and smell the roses so to speak:

Scouting

 

They were even comfortable enough to lay down and rest for a bit:

Cheetah Family

 

But then, it was back on the move:

Cheetah

 

The Three Amigos

 

Cheetah Pair

 

 

Once it became apparent that the cheetahs weren't hunting after all, we all decided it was time for breakfast.  Tipa found the one shady spot around and that's where we stopped to eat.

 

Bush Breakfast Location

 

Here's a shot of George and Tipa getting everything ready.  They wouldn't let us lift a finger so we took the opportunity to stretch and "check the tires"  (Bush talk for go pee pee). Today, they had bananas so Karen was very happy.

 

Bush Breakfast

 

We had a lot of fun with George and Tipa.  Tipa didn't talk much but every once in a while he would say something in a deep voice emphasizing every syllable.  For instance, we would see some Impala and he would say "Im-Pall-La" in a deep voice.  Or we would ask to move the vehicle a little bit and he would say "Ha-Kuna-Ma-Ta-Ta".  I was very amused by it and Karen gets to hear me re-enact it every once in a while at home.  Pity her...

 

This topi wanted to see what we were eating:

Topi

 

After breakfast, we moved on again and that's when we found a small group of elephants:

Baby Elephant

 

The little guy was really cute:

Baby Elephant

 

But, it wasn't moving fast enough for mamas liking so she nudged it along:

Move Along...

 

As if the early four cheetahs weren't enough, we found two more.  They are brothers and were once again doing what cheetahs seem to do best.

 

Nap Time

 

Typical Cheetahs...resting in the shade

 

 

Ahhhhh...

Sleeps just like a housecat

 

What a beauty!

Cheetah Closeup

 

Since the cheetahs were doing nothing we moved on.  Good thing we did because not soon after we saw something new and amazingly were able to drive up right next to a......

 

leopard..............................

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Atdahl

Leopard Tortoise that is...:

Leopard Tortoise

 

 

And with that big tease, the morning drive was over.  Pretty nice right?

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lmonmm

LOL @Atdahl  That was great....loved the leopard.........tortoise  :lol:    Really enjoying this and your wonderful sense of humor and obvious enjoyment of this trip is fun to read. More please :)

 

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Marks

Great job capturing the lion-cheetah chase...sounds like you rolled up just in time to see the whole event play out!

The second-to-last sedentary cheetah photo in the post above is my favorite of that bunch.

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monalisa

Now that was a pretty epic day as well!! A lion chasing a cheetah is not something I ever thought we would see in our whole lives! 

 

I really love this picture... It looks like a copy paste! 

The Three Amigos

 

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Atdahl

Ah yes, the power of the "clone tool".  You are lucky I kept it at 3...:)

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Atdahl

At around 4:15PM we headed out again after a nice rest and filling lunch.

 

This young giraffe has yet to learn about the wonders of "shade":

Young Giraffe needs to learn about shade

 

 

Little Bee-eater:

Little Bee-eater

 

Some more of the great trees in the conservancies:

Huge Trees

 

Masai Giraffe

 

I finally got a picture of a Banded Mongoose that wasn't running away:

Banded Mongoose

 

Even though they are huge, these eland were quite shy and this is one of the few decent pictures I got:

Eland

 

However, this next animal was not shy at all.  It was something I had really wanted to see.  A leopard...............................

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Atdahl

Tortoise:

Leopard Tortoise

 

Damn you Alan!  Stop doing that!

 

Next we stumbled upon some Black-backed Jackals that had just caught a Scrub Hare.  Rather than fight over it, they each grabbed an end and pulled.  Make a wish...

 

There's some use to splitting hares...

 

They each got their wish, half a Scrub Hare:

Happy Jackals

 

I don't think they cared for the onlookers however:

Black-backed Jackals

 

A little while later Karen yells out "Lion!".  Sure enough, there was a beautiful male lion laying down in the shade surveying his kingdom:

Surveying His Kingdom

 

There was another not too far away and he looked hungry:

Looking for Lunch

 

That second Lion led us to a rather old eland carcass.  The body was all bloated and covered with insects.  It was not fresh and the stench was horrible when downwind from it.  Of course, the only opening in the foliage for pictures was downwind.

 

Rotten Eland...Mmmmm

 

We only managed a minute or two before Karen and I called the photo session due to major rotting death smell.  Tim and Andrea had much stronger stomachs (or weaker senses of smell) and could have lasted longer but relented as well.  It's weird but even when I look at that picture I swear I can smell it still...

 

Even the lion couldn't stay there long as he was soon walking towards us and away from the eland:

After Lunch

 

Next up was bathing time for the first male and a chance to nurse some fresh wounds caused by who knows what:

Bathing

 

A vervet monkey and baby kept tabs on us as we watched the lions:

Vervet Monkey and Baby

 

As we were wandering around in the vehicle looking for wildlife, Karen offered up some caramel hard candies.  George and Tipa jumped at the chance and seemed to thoroughly enjoy them.  Karen said they were both smiling as they sucked on them.  Sometimes it's the little things in life. "Car-Ra-Mel"...

 

With the sun going down, it was time to find a spot for a sundowner.  This was the only day that we actually stopped and had a sundowner outside the vehicle.  All of the other days we had them in the vehicle or skipped them because we were watching something interesting.  Even though the sunset was nothing special I had to capture the moment as best I could:

 

Sundowner Time

 

After dinner, we had another night drive.  Of course, that meant more Spring Hares:

Spring Hare

 

We also found a lone lion that was covered in bugs:

The insects don't sleep

 

Interestingly enough, even with all the bugs on most of the animals we never had any issues.  Sure, flies would buzz us once in a while but I only got one bite the whole trip which is by far a new record.  Karen had a couple more bites than that which is also a record low.

 

Dusky Nightjar:

Dusky Nightjar

 

The biggest excitement of the night happened when George spotted some eye shine in the distance.  Unfortunately, he then said "Aardwolf!" which got us all excited...but a few seconds later he said "No, Bat-eared Fox".   I was never so disappointed to see a fox in my life!

 

So, today's night drive was not as eventful as last night's but we still had a good time. And you definitely won't see anything if you stay in your tent so it's good that we gave it a go.

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monalisa

Darn it, it's just another bat eared fox. We are so sick of those things!! Saw too many!

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Atdahl

@monalisa, well that Bat-eared Fox line might have been a bit sarcastic.  They are waaaay cool. :)

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Atdahl

Kenya Day 8 (part 1) - Porini Mara

 

Today, our morning game drive started off with a really pretty sky:

 

Dawn

 

But, it then got serious fast.  We encountered a group of fighting hyenas and this wasn't play fighting.  There was some serious biting going on:

Hyena Fight

 

Vicious Fighting

 

It was really loud but didn't last long:

Fight's over

 

Whoever didn't belong had been driven away:

Spotted Hyena

 

The remaining hyenas did some bonding:

Time to Make Up

 

As usual, we saw more giraffes on the morning drive:

Golden Giraffe

 

We also ventured to an area that I don't believe we had been to before.   There were huge herds of wildebeest and zebra here:

Zebras and Wildebeest Gathering

 

Mini Migration

 

Waiting for the Hidden Signal

 

George said that there was a river nearby and they may be getting ready to cross.  So, we took this opportunity to stake out a good spot to view a crossing if it happened.  As if led by some invisible sign, a queue started to form and pretty soon a crossing happened:

The Queue

 

Crossing Time!

 

Still Crossing

 

Just like good NFL referees, the "zebras" were officiating the whole thing:

The Zebras are Officiating

 

Since we did not come to Kenya during the actual migration it was nice to have this mini migration and crossing to get an idea of what the big one's like.

 

We did just miss a baby wildebeest being born by waiting for the crossing though:

Newborn Wildebeest

 

While the wildebeest were fun to see, since they were everywhere we got a bit tired of seeing them all the time.  At one point, Tim half jokingly said that the "Wildebeest purpose in life is to be food for more interesting animals".  That was really funny and was kind of true...

 

A bit later in the morning we had a close encounter with a few lions.  And by close, I mean CLOSE.

 

Here's the first one really checking us out:

Lion Stare

 

Then this one came up to the vehicle and walked right beside it:

Lion Approaching Vehicle

 

At the same time, another one walked right alongside the vehicle on the other side.

That's a close one!

 

We could have literally reached out and touched either one.  When they are that close, and they look right at you, and there's nothing between you and them but an open side of a vehicle, your heart starts to be beat a little faster...

 

It was a good time for a bush breakfast break since most of us needed to "Check the tires" at this point.  Today there were some pancakes with raisins in them which were very good.  George mentioned that they didn't have bananas but he brought in some personal ones for Karen.  That was really thoughtful.

 

After breakfast, our guides drove us to a pond that was filled with Hippos:

Hippos

 

There was even a Nile Crocodile close by:

Nile Crocodile

 

This Rock Hyrax was checking us out as we passed:

Rock Hyrax

 

My Arizona reptile radar got a hit again this morning.  I spotted something and yelled "stop".  Turns out it was a beautiful Flap-necked Chameleon:

Flap-necked Chameleon

 

It was walking across a rock and swaying to and fro as it went.  It was literally taking two steps forward and one step back.  It was great fun to watch.

 

Next, we came upon a good sized herd of elephants.  There were a few big ones and a few little ones:

Two Big

 

Mama and Baby

 

Small, Medium, and Large

 

Just like the lions earlier, the elephants strolled right past our vehicle.

 

Elephant Stroll-by

 

When they were really close, one of them let out a loud trumpet and I swear I could hear a startled gasp come from the general direction of Andrea.

 

I am not sure what this one was doing.  Maybe trying to audition for Broadway?

Auditioning for Broadway

 

It did appear they were practicing a rendition of A Chorus Line:

A Chorus Line... Maybe?

 

That pretty much wrapped up the morning drive.  Once again, we spent the mid-day time period eating, resting, and doing laundry.

 

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Galago

Excellent report and loved the hyena hunt. Wow, you were lucky! And the photo of the Flap necked chamaeleon is just stunning.

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CheetahFan

Great stuff @Atdahl, I still remember the feeling when the lions were walking right next to the car and looking straight at us!

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Atdahl

@Galago, yes, that hyena hunt was thrilling.  I was super excited to see that chameleon. I didn't expect to see one in Kenya and we ended up seeing two.

 

@CheetahFan, yes those lions certainly were close.  But, another close encounter that happens later was even better.  Good thing someone I know has great video of it to share once I get that far in this report :)

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Atdahl

Kenya Day 8 (part 2) - Porini Mara

 

At about 4PM we met in our tent common area to head out for the afternoon drive.  I bent over to unzip the tent so we could leave but it wouldn't open.  I pulled up, down, left, right...I tried everything before saying "It seems to be caught on something".  Well, it took me hearing that out loud to realize that our anti-monkey device (the plastic ties) were still attached on the outside of the tent.  Everyone got a good laugh out of that at my expense.

 

Soon after the start of the drive Tipa said something to George and pointed.  "Cheetah" George said.  "What?...where?" we said.  "Under that tree way out there".  So, we all looked and could see the tree but certainly could not see anything under the tree from that distance.  But, as soon as Tipa got us closer we could indeed see that there was a cheetah under the tree.  Then, a second head peaked up.  It was the two brothers again.  I have no idea how Tipa and George saw them from so far away, but we are glad they did:

 

Not Enough Shade

 

They had obviously been eating recently:

Still Hungry?

 

But, only one of them cared to bathe:

Bathing Away Lunch

 

Someone else needs to bathe

 

Since they were full and very sleepy, we moved on.

 

The always strange looking Hartebeest:

Hartebeest

 

As it turns out, the mammals aren't the only thing that likes the shade of trees.  We found a large committee of vultures having some sort of meeting:

A Committee of Vultures

 

Lilac-breasted Roller:

Lilac-breasted Roller

 

Long-crested Eagle:

Long-crested Eagle

 

The drive ended with another lion spot by Karen.  At first it was just a male but then she also spotted the rest of the pride.

 

If Tim was our "rhino whisperer", Karen had become our "lion whisperer".  Too bad Tim hadn't whispered a rhino in a while.  Of course, the fact that rhinos are not in any of the conservancies we were in might have had something to do with that.

 

Anyway, when we got close to the pride we could see a lot of lions including these two that seemed to be courting:

Yeah, I'm checking you out

 

Ah a lion doing the Flehmen response:

Dad's Not Happy

 

But the real show was a lioness nursing three cubs:

Nursing

 

Of course we had to spend time watching the cubs.

 

Keeping the youngsters clean

 

"Oh, a stick!"

Oh, a stick!

 

"Do you like my plant?"

Cub Stare

 

"Yeah, I like your plant."

Hey, I like your plant

 

"Give it to me!"

Give it to me!

 

I'll just TAKE it...

 

That fight didn't last long:

Tuckered Out

 

When anything will do as a pillow:

Wood Pillow

 

Eventually they woke up:

Cub

 

This pride was close to the stinky eland carcass we saw before and they all walked that way while mom stayed behind:

Determining if we are food

 

But, another female was watching the cubs.  I hope that's not hunger in her eyes:

Hope she's not hungry

 

A couple of the cubs did try some not so fresh eland but they quickly moved off to relax:

Cubs with Big Brother

 

This cub thought this tree was "looking at it funny like":

I see you...stick.

 

So, it attacked:

Gotcha!

 

To the victor go the spoils:

The tree didn't stand a chance

 

Its siblings were having a little battle themselves that went something like this...

 

Holyfield and Tyson are eyeing each other up before the big fight:

Holyfield and Tyson eyeing each other

 

Holyfield lands a left, then a right:

And Holyfield lands a left

 

Tyson gets him in a clench:

Clenching...

 

Tyson is biting his ear!

Tyson is biting his ear!

 

At least, that is how I imagined it went...

 

If you can't tell, it was really entertaining watching these cubs.  Luckily, they weren't done yet.  If you don't like cub pictures, look away now...

 

Look at those big paws

 

Afraid of Water

 

Mom called out to the cubs to get them to come back to her but they totally ignored her.

Calling her cubs

 

Trouble:

Peekaboo

 

Double Trouble:

Double Trouble

 

Triple Trouble:

Triple Trouble

 

 

That last shot was taken at 6:51PM so it was time we headed back to camp.  It was really a fantastic encounter with these lions, especially the cubs.  It was so good that we skipped our sundowner entirely!  And, if you know me then you know that was a big sacrifice.

 

On the way home, we did have one last encounter.  A baby wildebeest started following our vehicle.   So, Tipa gunned the engine hoping that it would give up and go back to its mom.  However, it matched our speed and called out incessantly.  Well, that wasn't going to work.

 

Next,  George and Tipa talked over a strategy.  First, we found the closest group of wildebeest and drove through them then gunned the engine to hopefully leave the little one in their safe hands...ah...hooves.  But, the little guy just ignored its own species and continued to run right alongside our back tires crying out the whole time.  We were all starting to get a little sad and tense.

 

So, Tipa stopped the vehicle to discuss a new strategy.  It was at this point that Tim said jokingly "Maybe we should just look for a pack of Hyenas".  Well, that caused all of us to bust out laughing.  Even George and Tipa really enjoyed that one and it broke the tension nicely.

 

George decided to get out of the vehicle and the baby immediately came to him and followed him.  He led it into some bushes where it got a little stuck on all the undergrowth.  He then sprinted to the truck and Tipa took off at warp speed.  Since we were now on a regular track and not off-road we could go much faster.  Well, I didn't look back and I don't think anyone else did.  Soon, we couldn't hear the little wildebeest crying anymore so it was now on its own.  Hopefully, it would find its mother.  Apparently, this isn't the first time a baby wildebeest has imprinted on a vehicle.

 

After we got back to camp and showered, we met others around the campfire to chat.  We heard lions calling and Jimmy said they were really close.  So, it was good that they called us up to dinner right about then.

 

We will be leaving Porini Mara tomorrow and we were sad to go.  We had an absolutely fantastic time.  Everything was great from the food, to the staff, to the monkey tent ransacking. Luckily, we had one more game drive in the morning to look forward to.

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offshorebirder

I am finally catching up on this TR @Atdahl.   What a grand first African Safari you enjoyed!

 

Thanks for sharing all the details and photos.  

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