Masai Mara Safari Day Two: Charged by a Buffalo
Masai Mara Safari Day Two
“O my god it’s still following us!”
Even though on our first Masai Mara safari we were marooned for over an hour in lion country, we still had an absolutely amazing time. We saw lions, cheetahs, elephants, cute little pumba warthogs and tens of thousands of zebra and wildebeest migrating from the Serengeti.
Even though our first safari was awesome our second safari was even better!
On the first drive we shared a big Land Cruiser with a South African couple but this time around we ventured out by ourselves in a little Suzuki 4X4. This little change in vehicles would come back to haunt us as you’ll read a little later.
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Safari: Day Two
Just like our first safari, our second got off to a very quick start. We hadn’t even been in the park for twenty minutes, before our little 4 X 4 came across a wildebeest who’d “seen better days”.
Where were the lions?
About 30 metres away in patch of long grass a lioness stood up, looked at us for a quick second and then slowly started skulking toward the wildebeest with her mouth wide open. Before we knew what was going on the lioness had grabbed the wildebeest by the neck and began dragging her prey into the bushes where three other lions who had previously been camouflaged, stood up excited to see that breakfast was served!
We couldn’t have asked for a better start to the day as four lioness with fresh kill were within only a few feet of our car!
This kind of intimate experience you’d only get in the Masai Mara as they will do their best to get as close as possible to the wildlife without putting them or their clients at risk. In Tanzania they only allow the cars to stay on the paths which does help protect the environment while also protecting the tourists. To be perfectly clear though, the drivers in the Masai Mara can still be fined by the government if caught going off the designated paths however we found that only in Tanzania do drivers turn each other in to the authorities.
A call came across our radio that someone had spotted a rhino so although we were having the time of our lives watching the lions do their thing, we had to leave because rhinos are now the hardest of the Big 5 to spot due to both their solitary nature and the fact that their numbers have dropped significantly in the park due to poaching.
Alyse and I as well as our Masai guide, all stuck our heads out the top of our 4 X 4 and scanned the horizon for over 30 minutes. Unfortunately, we were a just little late and the shy rhino had already disappeared into the forest.
Our search wasn’t in vain though as our eagle-eyed guide spotted an elusive leopard high up in a tree!
Much like our first safari, our second safari hit a bump in the road (pun intended). Our driver decided that we should try to get a closer look at the leopard and proceeded to do a little bit of off-roading. The problem was that the grass was quite high and we couldn’t really see what the ground condition was like.
Our little Suzuki bounced up and down as we made a beeline toward the leopard but our eyes were glued to the big cat the entire time. That’s the last thing I remember before our car suddenly crashed into a giant pothole and my head slammed into the seat in front of me making me black out for a few seconds.
Just like the day before we were stuck but this time we were in a much smaller vehicle which could easily be knocked over by a rhino and buffalo.
Luckily, it took the guide and I only a little bit of pushing to get up and out of the hole which we were every tha and within a few seconds we were on our way to our next spot where a huge family of elephants was rumoured to be.
Before getting there though we ran into yet some more trouble but this time it was with an angry buffalo who wanted nothing more than to trample us all!
Driving along a small road inside the bottom of a valley with no other vehicles in sight, a massive buffalo decided he really didn’t like us. Within a matter of seconds the buffalo had lowered its head and was sprinting towards us. In a Land Cruiser we may have survived a head on collision with this beast but in our little 4 X 4 we would of been flattened.
Our driver put the pedal to the floor and we sped away from the angry buffalo. After a few seconds of manic driving we lost him or at least we thought we did. A minute later as Alyse and I snapped photos of a family of elephants grazing close by, our guide said quietly to our driver, “He’s back”. Our Masai guide “Jeffrey” hadn’t taken his eyes off the path where we’d last seen the buffalo. You could tell he had a healthy fear of this animal.
As the buffalo got within 50 metres of us its pace quickened from a trot to a full sprint! He was gunning for us! Our driver again floored it and the buffalo kept up with us for over 50 metres! It reminded me so much of the scene where the T-Rex is chasing Jeff Goldblum and his jeep in Jurassic Park.
After we lost him for the second time our guide explained to us that his father had been killed by a buffalo when he was a teenager.
For the next twenty minutes we watched an elephant family graze in the hills. This magical experience was interrupted by our guide who tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Look up there”.
It was the damn buffalo! He was up in the hills looking down on us. I couldn’t believe it, the crazy buffalo was still following us!
I’ve always been told that the African buffalo was the most dangerous of the Big 5 but until this point I really didn’t understand why.
A few minutes later as we drove along a small windy dirt path our driver noticed a freshly killed zebra was blocking the road in front of us.
It didn’t take us long to realize that where there’s fresh kill in the park there’s got to be a predator or predators close by. There sitting only a few feet to the left of our vehicle was a muscular lioness with blood all over her face just staring at us.
It just goes to show you that in the Masai Mara, you really could be just feet from a massive alpha predator and have no idea. They are masters of camouflage and stealth.
I could go on all day about the rest of our day in the Masai Mara but what I’ll do instead since I’ve already past 1000 words in this post is share our favourite photos from the rest of our day.
I hope you enjoy!
Lions on Their Honeymoon
Thousands of Wildebeest
Brothers Having an Afternoon Siesta
Goodbye to the Masai Mara
Ross & Alyse