Elephant Pepper Camp happens to be situated smack bang in the middle of prime lion habitat! Vast grasslands surround the luxury-tented camp for as far as the eye can see. Large herds of Wildebeest, Zebra, Topi and gazelle are dotted all over: plenty of food for Africa’s apex predator. So much food in fact that this area houses a lion pride that last month numbered over 25 individuals!
Where there are lions so there are hyenas. And in this areas there are masses of Spotted Hyenas. Coming from South Africa, I am used to seeing small groupings of four or five individuals. Here, in the Mara, it is not uncommon to come across clans of 20 – 30 patrolling throughout the night. Of course, here at Elephant Pepper Camp, you are allowed to go out after dark for a night-drive, and night is when hyenas and lions tend to get very exciting.
Even if not out in the jeep, even if just in your tent, you get to witness this excitement first hand. The thin canvas walls of your tent allow the incredible sounds of the nighttime to reward your ears. There is absolutely nothing like lying in bed listening to the roar of a lion, the whoop of a hyena, or better still, the two gladiators in the middle of a disagreement!
It happens most nights…
Written and photographed by Adam Bannister