Harriet Smith Photography


"For The Love of Africa"

AFRICAN SAFARIS - Trips Of A Lifetime

Youngsters At Play

Country: Kenya
Location: Masai Mara National Reserve
Lodge: Mara Explorer

Youngster At Play

This is a picture of 3 gluttonized lion cubs at play on a gray-black, slate like dry rock riverbed.  There are 2 wildebeest kills within a 50 foot radius. Also a large, gorged lion pride.   These three 5 month old cubs will spend much of their waking time playing, and practicing the survival skills they will need as adults. At about a year old, they will join the pride females and begin to follow the hunt. Before the cubs have reached the age of two, they will be able to bring down prey as large as a gazelle by themselves.

This picture was taken in the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Masai Mara National Reserve was named for the Maasai people who inhabit the area, and for the Mara River, which flows through this great reserve. It shares a border with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and is essentially a continuation of this park, forming the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. Covering an impressive 430 square miles with four main types of topography, the Masai Mara is a land of breathtaking vistas, abundant wildlife and endless plains. The Masai Mara is in the Great Rift Valley, which is a fault line some 3,500 miles long, from Ethiopia's Red Sea through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and into Mozambique.

Over 1.5 million wildebeest, zebras and several species of antelope make an annual circular tour between the Serengeti in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya in search of greener pastures. The great migration  happens with a fair share of animal drama as the migrating herds attract the attention of hungry predators - the hyenas, lions crocodiles that prey on the lame and sick animals along the way.

This is a Reserve rather than a National Park and it belongs to the Masai people. The Masai have, over centuries, developed a synergetic relationship with the wildlife.  The Masai Mara was made famous by the book Out of Africa by Karen Blixen.

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