Epic Big Cats
September 28th – October 8th, 2017
Epic Big Cats is a unique itinerary dreamed up by big cat/lion researcher Bill Given. The challenge was to put together a combination that maximizes the chances for observing active lions, while spending time in exceptional areas for the other big cats – cheetah and leopard. The result is a remarkable safari that combines the classic Masai Mara, with the best frontier/safari secret in Ruaha National Park.
We will have a private mobile camp in the stunning Mara Triangle. Here we have legendary guide, Ping Nkukuu, the absolute best guide for predicting big cat action. The Mara is unrivaled for big cats, arguably the best area for observing cheetah. The presence of the great migration (typically including dramatic river crossings at this time of year) also makes this the most likely time and place to witness lions hunting.
Next we venture to what is possibly Africa’s best kept secret – Ruaha National Park! Tanzania’s largest national park is incredibly diverse as wildlife from East and Southern Africa overlap in this special place. Ruaha holds 10% of the world’s lion population and is outstanding for leopard too. Elephants, huge buffalo herds and giant baobabs dominate the awesome landscape. We have timed out stay to be late in the dry season, it is a hot time, but also hot for action as the park is known for its lion super prides (greater than 20 individuals) that frequently hunt huge prey favoring buffalo and giraffe. No guarantees but we will devote time to try and get lucky with these titanic battles. We hope to dedicate time to observe the family dynamics in these unusually large lion pride that form for the dry season as well. Mid-day if the action turns sleepy we can retreat to the highly anticipated Jabali Ridge Camp, which will become Ruaha’s most luxurious camp when it opens September 1st – fortunately we are taking advantage of an opening free night special. The camp design is exquisitely styled and will be a great place to share the tales from our time with big cats.
Conservation Biologist Bill Given is your big cat specialist guide throughout this safari. Bill is the owner of The Wild Source, and known for his hard core game drives to find outstanding wildlife and the patience to observe a full range of behaviors. Bill has conducted research on African lion, cheetah, leopard, jaguar, and puma/mountain lion. He loves to share his passion and knowledge with his safari guests.