Cats are the only species in the world which have self-domesticated, but you will find that hard to believe when you meet their truly wild cousins in the Masai Mara. This vast Kenyan game reserve, which is contiguous with the Serengeti in Tanzania, is famed for the Great Migration, but wherever the wildebeest and zebra herds go, opportunistic big cats inevitably follow in their wake.
Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp and Mara Plains Camp are our two favourite places to base yourself for a big cat adventure. Not only are they both in wildlife rich conservancies, but the expert guides have decades of local knowledge to draw upon when they’re tracking the big cats. Human visitor numbers on these private conservancies are much lower, so there’s little chance that you’ll have to share your long awaited sighting with another vehicle.
Game drives in the Masai Mara take place in the early morning and in the late afternoon, and it is during these hours that the big cats are most active due to the cooler temperatures. Encounter a pride during the latter and you may enjoy the thrill of seeing them wake up, stretch, and ready themselves for a hunt.