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Old Aug 14, 2012, 1:44 PM   #1
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Default Last Day Maasai Mara Game Drive

We were told after our Day 2 afternoon safari that we would depart for Nairobi and our flights home at 10:00am the next day.

They asked if anyone was interested in an early (depart at 5:00am) last game drive. Only I and one other person wanted to go. The previous day we had the balloon ride that required a 4:00AM wake up and the evening of day 2 we had a cocktail party and a special dinner so we did not get to bed until 11:00 pm.

When we met with our Safari driver we told him that we wanted to see a nice Male Lion (we had seen many females but only one injured male) and some animal hunting action. Our driver Wilson was a veteran driver and well equipped to find us something memorable.

After driving well off the beaten path for some distance Wilson stopped the vehicle and got up and began scanning with binoculars. He spotted a large group of Thompsons Gazelle that were all facing in the same direction. He told us that they must be watching a predator so we began driving across the Mara in their direction and we eventually came to see the lioness and three cubs. The prize was that she was tugging the carcass of a Wildebeest kill from the night before. She was attempting to drag it from the open Mara to the brush at the edge and then hide it from scavengers.


Had this not been taken in February it would have been perfect for this month's challenge.








Two of the three well fed cubs


Three Hyenas were closely following the scent of the Wildebeest kill.


A Rüppell's Vulture (Gyps rueppellii) was waiting patiently in a nearby tree for last dibs on the carcass.


We not only saw death but also new life in the young Topi Antelope nursing.


Coke's Hartbeest or Kongoni


Masi Mara Airport. Yup that's all there was of it.


Boarding our Air Kenya flight for the flight to Nairobi where we had a day room and the same evening at 11:00 PM our flight to Amsterdam and then to Boston.

This is my last Safari post. I hope I have not bored you all with these pictures but felt it was a unique experience and hope it might kindle a desire for you to take on such an adventure. Of all the travel we have done, if we had to pick only one trip, this one was far and away the most memorable.

Lou

Last edited by Keltech; Aug 15, 2012 at 10:21 AM.
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Old Aug 14, 2012, 3:08 PM   #2
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holy smokes! Grand series and very lovely pics. Its always amazing to see such shots without the fencing or cage in the background.

Looks like you got rather close to them all.

What lens were you sporting for these?
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Old Aug 14, 2012, 3:51 PM   #3
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Bored? I want to go. Thanks for sharing.
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Old Aug 14, 2012, 5:28 PM   #4
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A fitting end to a great trip, all the images were fantastic, enjoyed them all, thanks for sharing

Hans

Lou I can't image 7&9 they show protected.
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Old Aug 14, 2012, 6:21 PM   #5
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So glad you were willing and able to get up early for this great end to the trip. Thanks so much for sharing the "fruits" of your early-rising! Hard to choose a favorite, but the light & the look in her eyes on #1 give it a special mood.

PS - I'm also seeing protected for those two...
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Old Aug 14, 2012, 11:30 PM   #6
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Definitely not bored. I'm seeing two as protected also, but the rest are all incredible. The lioness with her prey/carcass is wonderful.
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Old Aug 15, 2012, 11:14 AM   #7
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NMRecording - Glad you enjoyed the series. I carried a K-7 with a Tamron 18-250mm on a neck strap and had my K-5 with the Sigma 150-500mm in my hand with a Camdapter hand strap. Only on one occasion were we allowed out of the safari vehicles so all the animal shots were through an open window or more routinely through the open roof.

pboerger - I hope you do go as it is something that will never be forgotten.

hnikesch - Thanks Hans, glad I was able to share them with you all. Thanks for pointing out the locked photos, I have fixed the problem and you should be able to view them now.

Mole - When you travel that far and are given another opportunity to see these incredible animals I could not understand why more people did not participate. I had image No. 1 printed at Adorama when they had a sale into an 11"x14" on metallic paper and it came out fantastic. Sharpness on the sight with the large format is never the same the original.

Mtngal - The lioness was struggling to drag the carcass and it must have been much heavier than it looked. She would take several steps and then drop it, rest for a couple of minutes and resume her task.

Lou
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 4:04 AM   #8
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Haha - same as PB. I can't get enough of these and berate myself every time I open one of your threads for not having gone on a safari during my 5 years in Africa (I wasn't into photography at that time).

#1 is a magnificent shot Lou.
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 8:41 AM   #9
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Thanks for this latest series, all fantastic shots.

Simon
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Old Aug 18, 2012, 1:47 AM   #10
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Very nice shots, thanks!
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