Cubs & Calves & Other Joys of Africa

Impala, topi, gazelles and giraffe on the plains of the Maasai Mara, Kenya.

We’ve been keeping very busy, being the traveling fools that we are, and are now home long enough to upload updates of what we’ve been up to. We can’t gallop into the present without sharing a few images from our annual East Africa Photo Safari from back in Feb. We again had the treat of working with Micato Safaris, now for our sixth year, and again we had day after day of fantastic wildlife sightings.

Lion cubs with Mom and Auntie, Lake Ndutu region, Tanzania.

On two outings at Lake Ndutu we encountered two lionesses, perhaps sisters, one of which had three adorable cubs in tow. When we first found them the mother and cubs were lying in dense brush nursing as the other female was sleeping on more open ground nearby. When the kid’s meal time was finished we expected them to all fall asleep, and we wondered if we’d ever get a good view of the cubs who had been mostly obscured by leaves and branches. Then the mom stood up and led the cubs out onto the open ground right in front of us. She lay down, and the kids began playing, and playing, and chasing each other this way and that, tumbling over each other and pestering their mom, and then grabbing their brother’s tail, and on and on. The show went on for probably an hour. [Wildlife photo tip; if you want to know exactly how long an encounter lasted, or how quickly a predation event transpired, etc., if you were taking photos the entire time you can check the time codes in the EXIF data for the first and last photo.]

The following morning we found the same two females and three cubs, again out on open ground giving us another amazing show.

Lion cubs taking a momentary break from another session of play.

Throughout the safari we enjoyed seeing young of different species, including hyaena cubs which are actually cute at a young age, and baby wart hogs which don’t quite make it into the cute category, but they’re pretty funny to watch with their little tails in the air running after Mom. Baby elephants are also amusing as they often try to act tough with the safari vehicles, shaking their heads and floppy ears, and trumpeting to scare us off. If that doesn’t work to frighten away the intruders, they can always retreat to the safety of their Mom who has been calmly grazing through the whole show.

Curious elephant calf watches us from beneath its mother.

As usual, we can’t wait to return to Africa for more amazing experiences on safari.

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