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Masai Mara: Your Photo Safari Part Two

Updated on March 31, 2012

After a Gourmet Lunch on the Mara

Female Lioness Content After Zebra Lunch
Female Lioness Content After Zebra Lunch | Source

After a gourmet lunch at our tented camp, we continue our safari and find that the carnivores have been enjoying their lunch as well. Although it may seem gruesome, it is part of the natural ebb and flow of the Mara. The predators need to eat and the large herds of zebra, gazelle and wildebeest need to be culled. Female lions do most of the hunting for the pride and hunt mostly at night. A single meal may consist of 30 kilos or 66 pounds of meat.

Spotted Heyenas eating Zebra Kill
Spotted Heyenas eating Zebra Kill | Source

Spotted Heyenas Have Some of the Strongest Teeth and Jaws of the Animal Kingdom

To your right are some spotted hyenas. Spotted hyenas are aggressive animals that fight in large packs. They are willing to take on a lion if their numbers are large enough. They are effective predators. Their jaws and teeth are some of the strongest in the animal kingdom. They will even crunch up the bones of their prey. Spotted hyenas live in a matriarchal society and often stay with the same group for many generations. These hyenas make noises akin to barking or laughing and have been dubbed "laughing hyenas".

Cheetah on the Mara
Cheetah on the Mara | Source

The Cheetah is the Fastest Animal on Earth

Cheetah are able to accelerate to around 70 miles an hour in just 3 seconds. This is an incredible burst of speed. They generally hide in the tall grass and pick a place where they will be able to spot their prey. Cheetah do not scavenge which makes the hunt an integral part of their daily routine. Usually they hunt in the early morning and in the evening. You were lucky to see the Cheetah today. In 2005 it was estimated that there were less than 50 in the Mara Reserve.

Ruppell's Griffin Vulture and White Backed Vultures
Ruppell's Griffin Vulture and White Backed Vultures | Source

The Scavengers

The vultures in Masai Mara play a significant roll in the control of the eco-system, particularly at the time of the great wildebeest migration. They clean up the thousands of carcasses that would otherwise be left to rot on the plains, leading to an increase in disease. You probably wouldn't want to come on our safari, because of the stench of rotting carcasses. The number of vultures has been decreasing dramatically, due in large part from the use of a poison used to kill predators that are attacking livestock.

Black Backed Jackal
Black Backed Jackal | Source

The Black-Backed Jackal is an Omnivore

The black-backed or silver-backed jackal is an omnivore that hunts for small mammals as well as eating rodents, insects and fruits. He is a scavenger and is happy to eat what is available. Generally they live in pairs for life but will hunt together in packs to pull down animals like a small gazelle. The jackal will also attack livestock such as sheep or goats and has been known to eat poisonous snakes.

Moving Across the Open Plains we Spot an Old Cape Buffalo

Old Cape Buffalo
Old Cape Buffalo | Source
Oxpeckers on Cape Buffalo
Oxpeckers on Cape Buffalo | Source

The cape buffalo is massive in size and may be quite aggressive. Particularly dangerous are solitary bulls or mother's guarding their calves. The cape buffalo are prized by trophy hunters who may spend $10,000 for the opportunity to hunt one. Cape buffalo like to stay in an area that is near water and forest with open plains for grazing. They are generally accompanied by bird friends such as oxpeckers or cattle egrets that eat ticks and bugs off of their backs.

Giraffe on the Mara
Giraffe on the Mara | Source
Elephants on the Mara
Elephants on the Mara | Source

It is becoming dusk as We and the Animals head home for the Evening

Thank you for joining me on safari to the Masai Mara. I hope that you have enjoyed the trip. I would be happy to hear any comments that you would like to share and will be happy to get back to you. Lenzy


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    • Lenzy profile image

      Lenzy 5 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Thanks bdegiulio. I just made it over 1,000 views total tonight. Yeah. Thanks for your part in that. Lenzy

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great job Lenzy. Really enjoyed part 2. Makes me want to go on a safari even more. I really enjoyed the video of the cheetah. The photos are absolutely amazing. Voting up.

    • Lenzy profile image

      Lenzy 5 years ago from Arlington, Texas

      Thanks Caveman. I like to feel good about the quaility of a hub that I turn out. I can tell that you do as well.

    • Caveman Etris profile image

      Caveman Etris 5 years ago from Cincinnati, Ohio

      It is great that you have the proper information with nice photos so that people who don't know about these animals can learn and pass this on. You construct your hubs very well. I think i need to do more with mine in the future.