Monday, August 30, 2010

Masai Mara - Day 3 & 4 - Serena Lodge

After two unforgettable nights at Nuyumbu Camp, we headed to the other side of the Mara. Here we were going to stay at the Mara Serena Lodge.

Located within the park, the Lodge offered great views of the plains and contained plenty of bird life, which almost made us not want to go on the game drives. We were greeted at the entrance to the lodge by this large colourful Red Headed Rock Agama


We had heard that the ‘Mara never disappoints’ and it didn’t! But we had to forgo many photo opportunities because they were “off track” and we were not allowed to stray away from the official roads. One of those missed opportunities was the only sighting of a leopard during the whole trip. We heard that a leopard and her cub were resting in a tree but since there were no pathways to it, we could not get close enough for a proper view. We parked ourselves as close to it as possible and waited very patiently for a couple of hours. However, all we could see was the tail and this is the best shot we got.


Ironically, the next day we heard that as soon after we left the spot the mother and cub had come down for a stroll and waited for awhile, right next to the vehicle that was parked there!


Of course, my husband didn’t hesitate to curse and swear at everything that moved from thereon. According to him, seeing the Lion and the Cheetah as well as a very close encounter with wild hippos and giraffes was NOTHING if you didn’t have a leopard dance in front of your lens while in Africa.  Even though I tried to explain to him that we can see the leopard all we want in Sri Lanka, where we go on holiday at least once a year, and that we can’t see the lion or cheetah there. But it didn’t help...... until we heard that a pride of lions had attacked and killed a very big hippo while it was making its way back to the water. Yes, we were not mistaken.... it wasn’t a zebra or a buffalo it was indeed a hippo and yes it was supposed to be a very rare sight.

A very large and very dead hippo was surrounded by a pride of hungry lions. 


Here is a video of them having their meal.... 





To my surprise, the man who refuses to use any public toilet no matter what the emergency, the very man who can’t stand any sort of odour – stood very, very still with only a camera to his nose and with flies buzzing about his face – for over two hours in a place where the smell of dead flesh was unbearable! Everyone was driving by quickly when the smell hit them but we sat there for a couple of hours waiting for some good opportunities for shots. 












After eating their fill, they relaxed and guarded the carcass from the jackals and vultures nearby.


The male in the pride, after a very good meal, was feeling pretty "good" enough to try and impress one of the females. 


My favourite animal is the Cheetah and we got some great chances to see them here. We had a great opportunity to track one who was on the hunt and she seemed to be tracking some gazelle herself. However, she attracted quite a few vehicles and was constantly disturbed by all the noises made by the people who were more interested in talking, quite loudly at that, about their Aunty’s birthday party and the leftover cake rather than look at this great wildlife event. There was a time when we felt the Cheetah was about to launch herself in to the attack and right at that time, a man from one of the other vehicles exclaimed, quite loudly, how he would have liked to have some of the cake! The noise startled the Cheetah and she started walking away, giving up the hunt. It’s terrible when people who can’t appreciate nature and it’s beauty (and are more concerned about cake) are given the opportunity to see such rare sights and yet don’t make use of them.



We really enjoyed our stay at Serena Lodge - the ambience and decor was fantastic. 

We were also treated to a traditional Masai dance 


Grey Crowned Crane


Saddle Billed Stork

These cute Rock Hyraxes were every where around the Lodge


A slideshow of all the shots can be seen here





7 comments:

  1. Another amazing blog post guys!! My total favorite is the feast with the sunset in the BG, vicious and beautiful at e same time!!! And again just some amazing wildlife photographs Riyazi!!! Your killing us with this one post a month storyline!! More, more, more!!! :-D

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  2. Love the photograph of the Rock Agama.

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  3. If you like this blog or pictures???? I love it!!! You two are so lucky to see and take pictures of all these....as the first one commented I like the photo with the sunset in the background very much! Excellent photography....after seeing your photos I used to compare all the others photos with your ones and I have no 'proper' words to describe their one cos I have used them all!!!

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  4. Hats off to bwana (Mr) Riyazi and Michelle!! great photos guys! :) i dont have the words to describe how wonderful and beautiful these photos are :) They are indeed breathtaking :) :)the black and white photo of the lions are awesome! when i saw them i felt as if i was back in the old days on safari! really the photos are fantastic! even the colored photo of the cheetah, the one who is looking back, its wow! thumbs up! :) i salute you Riyazi :) i have to admit it, I LOVE ALL THE PHOTOS YOU GUYS HAVE TAKEN!!:D :)

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  5. The one photograph with the lions feeding and the sunset in the background -- that's some National Geographic shit. Everything else -- equally fantastic.

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  6. Stunning photography

    Well done !!!

    Cheers!

    Rajiv

    http://wildlifediaries.blogspot.com/

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