Masai Mara lions
Masai Mara lions: In the Masai Mara national reserve which is located in the south western part of Kenya, lions have a long history with the Masai people in different aspects such as warriors among the Masai had to prove their ability and to transition into adulthood from childhood by killing a lion.
These predators are among the big five which are wildlife species which are highly sort out for by tourists during safaris to Masai Mara national reserve. The big five animals apart from lions include elephants, rhinos, buffalos and leopards.
Visits to Masai Mara reserve to watch the lions is a very rewarding activity and the roars of these wildlife species can be heard as the male ones mark their territory and scare off other males to stay away from their territory. This reserve has a high concentration of lions in its ecosystem.
Lions hunt early in the morning, late in the afternoon and during the night time. Hunting is usually done by the females and it involves killing their prey by a bite on the neck or suffocating the prey by clamping down the muzzle.
A group of lions are known as a pride and in Masai Mara national reserve these prides are made up of three males, females and their cubs. It’s common to see the females moving with their cubs as they search for their prey.
Lions in Masai Mara national reserve can be seen in different locations such as Ol kinyei conservancy, Porini lion camp in Olare Motorogi conservancy, Serian Mara north conservancy and also in Serian Nkorombo.
Lions can be spotted by their unique whisker spot pattern which is a means of their identification. Lions can also be identified by their nose color, mane size and use of ear tears.
Many tourists are interested in seeing lions which are commonly referred to as the “king of the jungle”. In Masai Mara national reserve and other locations where they can be seen, these creatures are social compared to other big cats which are solitary.
The lions are known for having a lazy character especially when their prey escapes and they try to chase it which is commonly done by the females. These wildlife species are carnivores and they prey on wildlife species such as wildebeest, zebras, buffalos, antelopes and many others.
Another interesting fact about lions in Masai Mara reserve is that they are also known to be scavengers which and they attack hyenas and steal their prey.
After hunting which is done when the lions are hungry, they are known to rest and sleep for a long time about 20 hours.
Lions can be identified by their manes and the large darker manes are a characteristic which shows that the lion is very strong and this characteristic often attracts females while scaring away the others.
Lions exchange scents by rubbing against each other which is common among the male and females when they meet. Another form of interaction among these creatures is when they are playing with each other they tend to hide their claws to avoid hurting each other.
The long tails of lions provide a form of balance when the lion is running and it is also a form of signal to other members of the lion pride.
Description of Masai Mara national reserve
Masai Mara national reserve is famous for the wildebeest migration and is known for wildlife viewing opportunity all year round. This national reserve is also known for its private conservancies which include Ol Kinyei conservancy, Mara Naboisho conservancy, Olare Motorogi conservancy, Mara north conservancy, Ol Choro Oiroua conservancy, Mara triangle conservancy, Olderikesi conservancy, Siana conservancy.
The private conservancies are put in place to promote efficient wildlife management and to help the local community to benefit from the revenue generated from tourist activity in Masai Mara national reserve.
These conservancies offer a range of activities which may not be carried out within the reserves such as night game drives, walking safaris and off the track game drives. There are a number of rules and regulations put in place in the conservancy to avoid scaring away the wildlife species.
Many different tourists are interested in visiting Masai Mara national reserve to watch the lions and to enjoy other unique attractions in this national reserve as part of their experiences in Kenya. Other attractions in this reserve include;
- The Maasai people are another major attraction in this reserve and they are known for their unique culture and nomadic way of life. During interactions with tourists, the Maasai people share a lot of experiences about their traditional way of life such as their “manyattas” which are the traditional houses of the Maasai, the cultural way of dressing where the men wear “shukas”. Tourists also get to watch traditional dance performances of the Maasai during their visits to the Maasai villages.
- The different conservancies in Masai Mara national reserve are another attraction which can be visited by tourists during safaris to this destination.
- The great wildebeest migration is a natural wonder which involves movement of thousands of wildebeest as they search for greener pasture and water. This migration takes place annually between Serengeti national park and Masai Mara national reserve. Tourists can observe the herds of wildebeest in the plains of the reserve as they graze.
There are a variety of wildlife viewing activities which take place in Masai Mara national reserve and they include the following;
- Game drives in Masai Mara national reserve take place at different times of day and they include morning game drives, evening game drives as well as full day game drives. A variety of wildlife species can be seen in the reserve during morning game drives since they are more active at this time of day. Full day game drives offer more chances to observe and watch the wildlife species at different times of day. Some of the wildlife species which can be seen during game drives in the reserve include wildebeest, kobs, giraffes, gazelles, hippos, hartebeest, zebras, antelopes among others.
- Nature walks involve exploring the Masai Mara national reserve on foot in search of the different wildlife species in their natural habitat following different trails. These nature walks also involve armed rangers and guides to ensure the experience in the plains of the reserve is safe for the tourists.
- Hot air balloon safaris involve exploring the Masai Mara national reserve from an aerial view in a hot air balloon. This activity gives a better view of the different attractions within the reserve such as herds of elephants, wildebeest, the beautiful landscape of the reserve among others.
Visit Masai Mara national reserve and look out for the legendary predators as they hunt for their prey in the plains of the reserve.