The cat families of “African Cats” make their homes in the Masai Mara National Reserve, located in southwest Kenya, on the border with Tanzania, approximately 125 miles from the capital city of Nairobi. My son traveled there just last year – a trip he’ll never forget.  He fell in love with the people of the area and found a new respect for the wild.

My son (left) and his friend "petting" a lion in the Masai Mara National Reserve

Deep within the arid continent of Africa is a hidden paradise, a home for the greatest number of wild animals on our planet. Here the African cats still rule and their dedication to their families is unyielding. But taking care of the young and protecting their loved ones is not easy. The world around them is an unsympathetic one with challenging conditions and eager competitors. Raw power rules the day.

Covering an area of roughly 930 square miles, the Mara, which means “spotted” or “mottled” in the Masai language, adjoins the much larger Serengeti and in its sheer concentration and diversity of wildlife is one of the most remarkable natural habitats on earth. The reserve is home to a dizzying array of species and as many as a million migrating animals pass through the park each year. The Mara is also special in being one of the few remaining places in Africa where the three big African cats – lions, cheetahs and leopards – live in large numbers and in close proximity.

Photo from my son's African Safari

In the heart of this place lives the River Pride, a dominant group of lions that roams the hills south of the Mara River.  A second group of male lions—a powerful father and his four sons—rules the area north of the river.  The River Pride is threatened by these lions from the north who are awaiting the perfect opportunity to move in.  Tucked within the open grasslands between the clans of lions is a mother cheetah and her babies.

The compelling adventure unfolds for the audience as captured on film—with all of the real-life drama and emotion.  Don’t miss your chance to see “African Cats” which opens Earth Day 2011 (4/22/2011) on the big screen – it will be phenomenal movie for the whole family.

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Content:  ©Disney and used with permission