Life at the lodge is always a beehive of activity and out in the Mara, Mother Nature’s work is always ongoing.
Every now and again though, human intervention helps her along the way.
Several fires have been lit across the grasslands, both here in the Mara and further out in neighboring Serengeti.
Though jarring to see, this process will ensure the growth of fresh greenery in about two weeks – just in time for the hungry hordes of wildebeest we’re expecting.
The shorter grass also offers an advantage to the smaller members of the Mara family, like the yellow-throated sandgrouse, which is now able to move along with fewer hindrances.
It’s a double-edged sword though – the shorter foliage also makes prey far easier to spot for adept hunters like this young, African wildcat. Though it looks remarkably like a regular house cat, some of its most distinguishing features include two dark rings encircling its front legs and striped hind legs.
As the weeks go by, the Park continues to open up more as previously flooded areas start to dry out. But we still have the occasional shower and this helps maintain a flourishing bounty of lilies in the pools of water along the various drainage lines.
Probably the only animal I feel works harder at being vigilant than the impala, is the topi – they perpetually scan the horizon for predators with an intensity like no other.
But the impala does come in at a pretty close second. These impala were so focused on a threat approaching from one direction that they nearly missed another coming from the other side – but luckily for them, one spotted the approaching lion in time.
When you’re an apex predator, you don’t really work as hard as everyone else, but just because you’re the new hot shot in town and you’ve got gorgeous different-colored eyes, doesn’t mean the takeover will be easy.
This, as Kibogoyo (from the Bila Shaka coalition) soon discovered when he tried to impress the ladies of the Mugoro Pride.
We continue to see more and more lion, with the pride and territory dynamics changing in exciting ways. The Rekero Breakaway pride made an appearance after a two-year hiatus. A mother flanked by her three-year-old offspring, potentially progeny of the Musketeer Coalition.
The incredible male, thought to be the son of the most famous of the Musketeers, Scar, had a serious injury to his hind leg, quite possibly the result of a buffalo encounter.
Rumors abound that Scar himself could be in the Triangle – it’s quite thrilling to know that we could spot him on one of our drives. But having his son around is certainly nothing to complain about.
Despite all the activity, there are still beacons of rest and self-care in the Mara. The hippos who love to huddle as they snooze.
And the Mara crocodile, who refuse to budge for anything less than a meal of a hapless zebra or wildebeest attempting to cross the river.
This Week One Year Ago:
This time last year, Short Tail was one of the dominant males in the area around Angama. He hasn’t been seen in several weeks and with the arrival of new coalitions in the Triangle, it is likely that his reign is over.