July 28, 2017

The Five Brothers

My FAVOURITE from the cat family! Found these famous 5 sub-adult brothers the very first day in Mara, peacefully sleeping after a full meal. Did our first sundowner with them – I’m sure these lazy bums didn’t move from there for a good couple of hours.

On the fifth day, we were specifically looking for cheetahs as we hadn’t seen any since our first encounter – we’d been too preoccupied with the migration, leopards and lions. Luckily, we found these dudes again around 7 am that day. They hadn’t hunted since 24 hours and we were sure that it was going to happen any minute now; Cheetahs don’t have particularly useful night vision and they do their hunting in the morning and evening, when they’re less likely to have a hard-earned meal stolen from under their noses AND also avoiding the mid-day heat. Little did we know, we were looking at the laziest bunch of hunters EVER! They made their first attempt around 8 am and didn’t catch anything till their 5th or 6th attempt at 5.30 in the evening!

BUT, we waited.

We waited for 10 hours, with a brief break for lunch where we left them for 2 hours – came back only to find them in the EXACT SAME position, sleeping under the SAME tree. I think out of those 10 hours, we just watched them sleep for some 5-6. But, man they were rockstars. They would get up after a couple of hours, start their gorgeous walk together in a formation – 2 in front, 1 in the middle and 2 at the back.  They would just walk towards the herds, like they freakin’ owned the place, and two of them would randomly start running. As cool as they looked, they were pretty lousy at hunting  and only managed a baby impala in the evening, which was DEFINITELY not enough for 5 cheetahs. But, their connection with each other, their stunning walk still gives me goosebumps! They looked like total badasses.

We were pretty thrilled that we saw a hunt, even though it was from far away and with many many other jeeps – little did we know the next morning we would meet the brilliant Kamanka (another gorgeous Cheetah), who was going to give us the most incredible experience of our lives. A quick, AMAZING hunt – and just for us. But that story deserves its own post!

For now, enjoy these carefree rockstars.

(No music for this one! Still looking for the perfect track!)

Day 1: First look… Ooooof I love you!

What a brilliantly disproportionate beauty, this animal.

Ok ok, go back to sleep.. we’re leaving now

Sundown on our first day at Mara… beyond perfect.

Day 5, first look. THANK YOU FOR THIS SHOT, gorgeous!

Hungry boys.

And they start walking… GODDAMNIT! My friend was right, looks like a band photograph!

Before and after every attempt, they would find a tree and mark it!

Attempt no. 1. After their glorious walk, one of them would just start running randomly! HOW on earth will you catch something like this boy?

It was STUNNING how the wildebeests would suddenly come together once they saw the cheetahs walking. They wanted them to know that they’re dealing with a big herd…..
Just look at them line up behind this guy!

Lining up again… wildebeests aren’t SO stupid afterall!

That wildebeest at the back was one of the guards of the herd. He did not move for HOURS on end, eyes hooked on to the Cheetahs. It was incredible watching their behaviour!

Ok, its 3pm, now the boys are desperate.

“What do we do boss?”

“Sleep a little more maybe…? 6 hours clearly wasn’t enough”

Their 3rd of 4th failed attempt! 

Now THIS was their final walk before the actual grab. We were pretty far away and all the jeeps were giving them space to spread out…

AND they caught a little Impala

And were finished with the little guy IN SECONDS!

And their grooming started again! Classic feline behaviour!

“Ok, now what. That was less than an appetiser…”

Glancing across the plains for their next course!

And we start again!!

Super hungry boys.

On to the next one!!!

Goosbumps, again.

A couple more failed attempts…

…But they just couldn’t get anything else.

Unfortunately for them, it got dark and started pouring! They were gonna have to spend the next couple of hours hungry!

But the day ended beautifully for us…
Spent the entire day with these boys, and we loved every bit of it.

Double Rainbow sundowner. I love you Kenya.