THE MASAI MARA WILL NEVER LET YOU DOWN
On a recent visit to Kichwa Tembo in the Masai Mara, the reserve exceeded all my expectations. There is something quite special about the Mara, being the vast open plans dotted with the umbrella shaped crowns of the Desert date trees (Balanites aegyptica) and the expectation of large numbers of game or the warm hospitality and a welcoming smile as if welcoming long lost family.
The Mara did not disappoint. On a single drive that started early in the morning and extended well into the afternoon, I was spoilt to the Mara’s treasures. It started off with a pride of lions, a male and four females with 14 cubs. The cubs with their boundless energy playing tag and tripping up the adults got a bit too much for some of their mothers and a growl and bearing of teeth was needed to put the cubs in their places. This was just the beginning - it got better! This wonderful sighting was proceeded with herds of elephants, and buffaloes numbering in their hundreds, Tpoi, eland, Grants and Thomson gazelles, black rhino, leopard, cheetah, as well as hyena. This was just too much and all before lunch!
We stopped to have lunch and were serenaded by Usambiro barbets, a great place to see them, while watching ground hornbills foraging in the plains. After lunch, we headed to the Tanzanian border where the grass prepares itself for the onslaught of the coming migration.
The drive back to camp was not without excitement and we eventually saw two more cheetahs and a serval as the light had started to fail with the sun setting over the escarpment, towering over Kichwa Tembo. Thank you very much to Kichwa Tembo!
Posted: Kichwa Tembo Masai Mara by Jacques van Eck, Date: 8 February 2011