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Mahali Mzuri

Mahali Mzuri: Lions, lions and more lions!

Reading feedback about how much guests have enjoyed their stay with us is a real highlight to our day!  Recently, Jacqui Misener from Canada got in touch with us after her stay at Mahali. She loved her time with us so much that she wanted to share her best bits with everyone.  But that’s enough from us, let’s hear from Jacqui:

Our second stop on our Kenya trip of a lifetime had us staying at Mahali Mzuri in the Maasai Mara. We experienced much drama from the outset; spotting two young females on the drive to camp who were causing concern to the local Impala. When we went out again a couple of hours later, we discovered it was not the impala but the wildebeest that were the target!

Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener

The next morning, I had an early 3:45am wakeup call in order to catch the sunrise hot air balloon ride. The flight was a pilgrimage of sorts for me, to see the landscape my Uncle Peter saw during the filming of ‘Out of Africa’. It was an experience like no other. The champagne breakfast on landing was pretty amazing too!

Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener

Once back at the camp, we enjoyed a leisurely drink by the pool followed by lunch on our private deck. As Baloo the bear from The Jungle Book would say, “this is really livin’..!”

During our afternoon game drive my lifelong dream was fulfilled seeing lions, lions and more lions! After the first sighting of a mating pair, we spotted the pride – 13 in total – feasting on an elephant kill. This jaw-dropping sight followed by a stunning sunset was the perfect end to our day.

Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener

The next day during our game drive, we were blessed once more with an extraordinary variety of animal sightings. Our highlight was tracking an elephant family with two calves, the smallest one a mere one month old. While in the distance a magnificent storm was brewing, spreading awe inspiring lightning across the horizon.

Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener

As we made our way back to camp, we heard the fearful cry of a young lion cub. Returning to the gorge the next day for our morning game drive, we discovered two lionesses playing a dangerous game of cat and mouse.  They were protecting their vulnerable cubs from one of the incoming dominant males; he will kill the cubs if he can determine they are not his.  The females were trying to distract him by pretending to be in heat, luring him away from their young cubs. A mother’s work is never done..!

Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener

When we stopped for our picnic breakfast, we were joined by a female cheetah and her cub.  It was a picture perfect morning; what a gift to be so close! Short of a unicorn sighting, I don’t think there could be anything more incredible to witness during our trip and yes, the cub’s neck fur really is that fluffy!!

Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener

Thursday afternoon’s game drive had me wanting to check in on the lioness sisters.  I had become quite fixated with “my girls” and the safety of their cubs. We found the same lioness huddled under a small bush trying to get out of the rain. She was once again working her magic, keeping the male’s focus on her.  The opportunity was so captivating, we stayed watching them for the next two hours.

During our final game drive the lioness sisters still had the male distracted at the top of the gorge and the 13-member pride had finished off the elephant. In my wildest dreams I never thought I would be so fortunate to see such sights – these lions took my breath away.

Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener

Saying goodbye to the team at the Olare Orok airstrip was an emotional moment. Dickson, our guide, was a never ending fountain of information. His attentive nature and endless knowledge added to our experience greatly.  Mahali Mzuri is fortunate to have him. Since our return to Canada we have had numerous people ask what our “favourite” part of our trip was.  My response has been, the privilege of the time shared with Dickson and the extraordinary intimacy of the Conservancy.  I hold the endless sightings shared on our game drives my greatest possible gift.

Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener

“Asante Sana” to the entire team at Mahali Mzuri for helping to make our stay such an extraordinary experience. I will take great joy in continuing to be an ambassador for the camp.

Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener
Photograph provided by Jacqui Misener