Now then, if day 1 hadn’t been gripping enough, day 2 was about to get off to a unimaginably good start. We headed out early – always just before dawn for the best light – to see what was out and about. Then one of the drivers got a shout over the radio that there were leopards. Leopards! My bogey animal! Up until this point I’d never seen a real, wild leopard. It didn’t take us long to catch up with the other vehicles that had spotted the big cats. Imagine our delight when one of the two leopards was a cub! A cute, shy cub staying close by mum and not quite sure what to make of us in the vehicles. What a moment to savour.
After a while, we left the leopards to their own devices to avoid over-stressing them. Further round the back of the bushes and trees that the cats were sitting in, a pair of dik-diks could be heard alarm calling in the direction of the predators. Hunters are often given away by the behaviour of the animals around them and if we hadn’t already had the heads-up about the leopards, the dik-diks would have given us a good idea where to start looking. As you can see from the picture, these tiny antelopes were exceptionally alert and on their guard.
Out on the plains, we passed a couple of sparring male topi antelopes and a pair of white bellied bustards – some of the hundreds of species of birds in the Masai Mara.
The previous evening’s lion cubs put in another appearance, bounding around and misbehaving so that mum admonished one of them with a mock head bite. He won’t do that again in a hurry!