The Big Cats

20514Apparently, lots of people who travel on safari are obsessed with cats. Everywhere we went, people were talking about which cats they hoped to see and which they had. And the very fortunate few who saw cats kill prey couldn’t stop gushing. It’s a bit of a phenomenon, really.

We saw our share of cats, but, for us, we were most struck by the hippos, giraffe and elephant. Call us freaks?

20704That said, here’s a laundry list of our ‘cats’. First was the leopard lounging in a tree in Tarangire. Then, a pride of lions (with a male present) in the Crater followed by two Cheetahs fresh off a kill walking through the high grass plains. Next, a male lion alone (again in the shade) and a mom and two cubs (though one of them seemed to be nearly an adult) lounging in the shade of a bush in the Central Serengeti. And finally, a pride of at least10 lions in the Mara Triangle in the Northern Serengeti lounging under bushes and high trees atop a high rock kopte amidst the grassy plains.

20807Notice a theme? The most striking thing to us is how lazy the cats seemed. They hunt every day or every few days, but it’s not necessary for them to constantly hunt for prey. The food source is plentiful, so they just laze between meals waiting to get hungry again. We did see the Cheetahs walk about after finishing their lunch—that was exciting…for cats?

Whenever we saw other animals (elephants, giraffe, buffalo, wildebeest, birds, rhino, zebra, etc), they were doing something entertaining. We felt enlightened.

20812Perhaps we were in the wrong area for cats and hence, they didn’t seem to have much personality. Or, perhaps, the cats we saw were atypical and others have more spirit. But overall, we weren’t too in awe of the cats and were left feeling that all those nature shows with exciting footage of cats doing things must have loads of boring footage that doesn’t make the cut. The cats’ lives didn’t seem, to us, nearly as exciting as made out to be on TV.

The giraffe’s still my personal favorite. They’re just SO cute.

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