ON THE MAASAI MARA, Kenya — I have two cats at home, which probably makes me just that much more likely to enjoy game viewing that includes some of the big cats. I was lucky enough to do that recently, when I joined a press trip, sponsored by the Kenya Tourism Board.
Jeeps and driver/guides for our group’s game viewing were provided by the Sanctuary Olonana tented camp, where we were hosted one night, and Great Plains Conservation, which owns two camps where we were guests, Mara Plains and Mara Toto.
Our group watched the big cats several times on the Maasai Mara National Reserve or, at times, while in nearby privately held conservancies.
We saw the lions first. With one exception, though, that was not where the action was. Generally, the cats were doing what cats do very well — sleep, stretch and yawn.
In the one exception, a lion pair was doing what comes naturally to make those cute little cubs. And, we were probably indecently amused.
As it turned out, out observations of leopards and cheetahs were more gripping — although, in no case, did we see a kill. Fine by me.
One of our guides could not resist referring to gazelles as cheetah chips. He also called the wildebeest lion sausage.