Masai Mara Lions Safari with Klaus Tiedge
Klaus always said that he would spend most of his time in the Mara with lions. They provided him much joy but were also the core of his frustration. On this particular day we set out to find 3 male lions we referred to as the Blond Boys, but things turned out quite different.
It only took John about 20min to locate the boys. On arrival we found three lazy lions. They were so fast asleep they didn’t bother lifting their heads to see who arrived. This was exactly what makes lions so frustrating to capture in photography. Hours of waiting for a few small moments of opportunity.
These guys were not getting up anytime soon. John pointed out that they had eaten well last night and that they would likely sleep for 18 hours. Especially with the grey cool overcast weather they were not going to move. So we moved on.
Let's find the Lion Cubs
A radio call came in that a young lioness, with her cubs, was hiding in the bush somewhere not too far away. “Not too far away” could sometimes be a 40 minute drive. This was one of those cases. We arrived in the estimated region and John goes into his silent search mode.
Another 30 mins pass and he suddenly says there they are. Where? In the bush right there….
Honestly we have no idea how he sees these things, but there they were. We tried to get as close as possible without disturbing the mother, but still get a good glimpse of all the action. We parked off for absolutely ages just admiring these three little innocent cubs playing non-stop. AMAZING.
Masai Mara - A beautiful yet cruel place
Later that afternoon we heard that another lioness had given just birth in one of the prides we had been following in previous days. On the scene we could only find one tiny new-born cub. It was with an adolescent female. The young lioness was playing with the new born like it was a toy. Tossing it about and pretend biting. Its seemed to be fairly playful, but definitely too rough for such a tiny creature. We couldn’t understand why the mother didn’t intervene, and which was was she anyway?
John informed us that when a lioness gives birth to only a single cub it is often abandoned. The effort & likeliness of successfully raising a single cub is not worth the outcome for the pride. They must get their numbers up to keep the linage going. It is a harsh reality of the animal kingdom and reminds us of the cruelty of nature. It doesn’t work on emotion, but survival of the fittest. A sad, but real moment indeed.
We stayed with the pride into the sunset. The golden light was magical as the day closed. All of a sudden one of the lead huntresses began the call to hunt. The entire pride exploded into a bone chilling cacophony of roaring and grunting. The night was coming and it was soon time to get active if they were going to eat and survive another day in the Masai Mara.
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