Day 7 of the virtual tour of our first trip to Kenya - The Hunt.
Some encounters are so special that they deserve the spotlight and centre stage, the morning drive, our first game drive in the Masai Mara, was one such encounter. A beautiful sunrise greeted us, the awakening noises of the African bush. Lions huffing, birds calling, hippos grunting and far away hyenas hooting, the plains of the Mara bathed in the golden morning light, what could get better than this.......
A mother cheetah and her 2 sub adult cubs is what could get better. Far off in the distance, on one anthill was the mother, on another anthill were the 2 cubs. Far away dots but so, so exciting to see. So we sat, and waited and sure enough eventually the female cheetah spotted some impala that were actually behind us, which meant of course that she came right past us, followed at a distance by the 2 cubs. More patient waiting as she stalked the impala, then the rush as she sped up and scattered the impala, choosing and bringing down her prey, the cubs hot on her heels.
Once the kill had been successfully made (number one rule on safari... keep away whilst the hunt is in progress!) we then made our way to get closer to the cheetahs.
There was not much left of the impala when we arrived, we sat and watched the cheetahs as they finished eating, then the cubs became playful, mum rested but the cubs were running around chasing each other. An already exciting morning become even more thrilling when the 2 cubs decided that our jeep would prove a handy vantage point from which to see the world around them and they climbed on top of the jeep and proceeded to wash and check out their surroundings from their lofty heights!
This was one of the most exhilarating wildlife encounters we've ever had, I think we used up our entire adrenaline quota for a month in those 30 minutes, the 2 cubs were incredibly curious, peering into the jeep, walking around the top and at one point found one of my sand bags which instantly became a toy. I had managed to grab in the rest of the bags in before the Cheetahs got to the back of the jeep but this one escaped me.
Eventually they got bored with their newest play thing and lofty perch and jumped down to follow mum who by time was walking off and it didn't take long for us to lose sight of them as they melted back into the long grass of the plains, leaving us almost breathless and energised at the same time by this electrifying encounter.
Encounters like this are possible because passionate people care about the wildlife and the communities around them and have been moved to create a fantastic project Please support the Community Wildlife Project as we do, this fantastic project supports the local communities who rely on tourism during the Covid-19 pandemic as well as existing anti-poaching units / organisations. It is though their work that Parks such as the Masai Mara National Park are still getting some protection for the wildlife as well as support for the local Masai communities. Please check out the website and help in anyway you can, share the message. Conservation is in the hands of all of us. Follow the project on Facebook, there are regular updates on project beneficiaries and videos and images from the national parks and local villages. Click here CWF Facebook to get to the Facebook page.