kenya: maasai mara, part one

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The final leg of our Kenyan journey was spent in the Maasai Mara National Reserve.  The huge game reserve is close to the border between Kenya and Tanzania and actually connects with the Serengeti.  It is the location of the Great Migration, a massive annual spectacle when millions of ungulates (zebra, Thomson's gazelle, and particularly, wildebeest) migrate from the south to the north and back again. 

While the Mara Ecosystem has no shortage of issues with poaching, it was heartening to see so many animals with their young as well as so many visibly well-fed lions.  The area has an incredible concentration of wildlife and, subsequently, an incredible concentration of Safari vehicles.  Fortunately, most of the guides seem to respect the animals and the park rules but it's more than a little disconcerting when you're part of a 15 vehicle convoy that has corralled a cheetah and her cubs resting peacefully in the long grass.

The first couple days involved sitings of playful young lions, a cheetah and her cubs, large herds of buffalo, our first ostrich, topi, an insane-looking secretarybird, and my personal favourites, dik-diks on the grounds of our lodge.