June has been packed with excitement in and around Mara Plains camp. The grass here is green and lush after the full moon brought on the ‘Migration rains’, and the Lion populations of the Olare Orok Conservancy (said to be the densest in the world) are trying hard to make an impact on the Loita Migration animals, which arrived here from the North East at the turn of the month. We are hearing whispers on the wind from the South of the progress made by the Great Migration, with millions of Wildebeest and Zebra filing across the Tanzanian border coming north into Kenya as we speak.
The action is all around us. The plains on both sides of camp are swarming in Zebra and Wildebeest already, but this is only a fraction of what is to come. The bulk of the Wildebeest are still held up “clearing customs”. Every night we hear stampedes and snorts, gnuing of Wildebeest and yacking calls of Zebra stallions as the predators hunt around us.
Three nights ago we stared into the darkness beyond the camp fire, listening wide-eyed to Lions kill nearby during dinner. Then we heard the Hyenas arrive and a monumental battle ensued. One of our guests was lucky enough to have been on a night drive at the time, and so exclusively witnessed the whole scene first hand in the red filter glow of a spotlight. The Lions lost the kill to the Hyenas, and so killed another Wildebeest…right next to tent no.1. This they lost to the two big male Lions from the Ridge Pride who charged in through the camp, roaring as they came.
Last night, after lights-out, we listened to the sounds of a seriously big cat fight, also in the camp. The two big Ridge Pride males had caught one of the young brothers from the new pride forming in our river line. The young male is, as I write, lying in a bush next to tent no.2; his injuries are serious and bloody, and the dent to his ego is clearly visible too. We are keeping an eye on him and calling in the wildlife vet to come and lend the Lion a hand onto the road to recovery. We will keep you posted on his progress.