I have just ended a safari in Masai Mara, that was specifically for the big cats. With my guest who is a professional photographer, we have spent the past 8 days looking for our favourite lions, leopards and cheetahs. From our base camps, Mara Explorer and Rekero, we had access to all the prime big cats locations. We were able to follow up on the Ridge, Olkiombo, Paradise, Olkeju-Rongai and the Marsh prides. When it comes to the big cats sightings, i cannot think of any better location in the Mara.
With the wildebeests gone, the lions and other big cats in the Mara, are actively hunting any available game. We were able to see during our stay a few lion hunting warthogs. The Ridge pride with the help of Notch and his gang, brought down two hippos on different dates. Most of the prides too have very small cubs, which are still very playful and photogenic! We could spent hours or even a whole day watching them.
Cheetah sightings were also great. We saw 7 one day!, and all within one hour of our afternoon game drive. This is a recent records considering how rare they have been lately. Malaika and her son(whom we have named Lucky Boy) has been south of the Talek on the lower Burrungat plains, but have now crossed the river north to Rhino ridge. She is now even more than ever, jumping on the roofs of vehicles since the grass is now very tall. The mother of 3, who has for a long time been down at Lookout hill, has also moved into the same area as Malaika. We did see her hunt, though unsuccessfully a couple of times. There is also one female whom we thought is lactating. We saw her between Rekero camp and Rhino ridge. We hope if she has cubs that she will be able to bring them up successfully.
Our leopard sightings was great too. We saw only 3 different leopards on this trip. These were Olive, her daughter Saba and a young male at the pump house. Who gave us the most beautiful poses. We followed Olive yesterday into the bushes near Mara Explorer where i believe she is hiding her cubs.
Despite the tall grass, we were also able to see a few Serval cats, hunting in the grass, where we got great leaping shots. A couple of them were not shy of vehicles at all.
you can also read this on my blog: http://paul-kirui.blogspot.com/2013/02/big-cat-week-in-mara.html