The Masai Mara National Reserve is a landscape of diverse habitats rich in nomadic herds of zebra and gazelle, and with wildebeest numbers estimated to run into millions. Its perfect lion country, in other words, and its 1,500sq km are home to 500 lions in over 20 prides. Famous for the abundance of lion, the great wildebeest migration and the Maasai people, the Mara offers the most superb tourist attractions in the world and is home to the greatest safari experiences in Africa.
As with all lions, the females of the pride do most of the hunting, while the males sleep, get first pick of the dinner, and defend the pride’s territory from invaders. Most of the hunting happens a night, for which lions are well equipped. Their eyes are six times more sensitive to light than a human being.
Males might seem to have it easy, but the good life rarely lasts for long. Itinerant males often form coalitions with the intention of taking over prides. For that reason, ownership of a pride rarely lasts beyond two or three years.
Prides can occasionally number up to 40 animals; that may include up to three males, a dozen or so females, and their young. A male will weigh 189kg on average, and a female 126kg. Lions have a lifespan of about 14 years in the wild.
Other predators of the Masai Mara include cheetah and hyena, but lions are the dominant killers. They typically prey on zebra, wildebeest and gazelle, though they will also attack buffalo, hippo and giraffe. Lions are the only big cats to hunt cooperatively, herding prey towards an ambush. They also scavenge for food, and will frequently steal the kills of other predators.
Lions may be the kings of the Masai Mara, but they don’t have it all their own way. Hunting can be treacherous and injuries lethal. Only one in five attempts will end in a kill. For most prides, buffalo are a regular menace. Though they occasionally provide a meal, their size and power is always a danger, a fact dramatically demonstrated when one of the pride’s males was killed by a buffalo at the Musiara Marsh.
This Mara lions, the wildebeests and much more make Kenya the preferred choice for holiday or a vacation due to the numerous tourist attractions.
Did you know?
- A lion’s roar can be heard up to 8km away – it’s the loudest of any big cat.
- With eyes that are six times more sensitive to light than ours, lions are most active at night.
- A lion will only make one kill for every five attempts, so scavenging is an important source of food.
- In a single sitting an adult may consume 30kg of meat (a wildebeest weighs about 200kg).
- It has been estimated that a lion will copulate 3,000 times for every young that reaches one year old.
- Lions and other big cats have few sweat glands but can pant up to 200 times per minute to cool down.
- Individual lions can be identified by a unique pattern of whisker spots.
To witness this 7th wonder of the world and a lots of other wildlife, contact us and we will offer you a cheap and affordable package that is all inclusive covering your expenses from flights, accommodation, to your game drives and much more. We are more than happy to welcome you to Kenya.