Masai Mara: Massive Numbers Cross the Mara river as the Concentration of Animals Increases

By August 31, 2013 Uncategorized No Comments

Ben Reports:

Our amazing day started as always before the sun peeped over the horizon. Because we enjoyed the tiny lion cubs so much we searched for them first, but as they were out of sight we headed straight to the Masai River.

We stopped very briefly for two large male lions, but because we were keen to reach the river we did not tarry for long.

We arrived at the river just as a huge number of wildebeest and zebras completed their crossing of the river, but as we could still see thousands of animals on the opposite bank, and more arriving every minute, we realised that the drama for the day was just beginning.

 

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For the remainder of the day we patrolled the riverside, covering a stretch of about four kilometres. And each time we saw a relentless buildup of animals we headed in that direction. Although our predictions were off at times, we managed to capture some amazing crossings.

At one stage we found ourselves back at the Fig Tree point and had a superb view of the cluster of animals on the far bank. And we could see hundreds more arriving.

Any moment now ..

And then it happened … the first zebras –

 

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– and wildebeest slithered down the steep embankment to the river below, and successfully reached the water. Within seconds others followed and the noise, drama, mud, dust, water, splashing, bellowing and snorting were totally incredible. And it lasted and lasted as more and more … and unbelievably more animals joined the crossing.
Wow! Incredible! We found ourselves becoming quite exhausted just watching the effort and they reached the water, swam vigorously across, and then stumbled up onto the near bank.

And as suddenly as it started, it was all over. Silence! The remaining animals on the far bank retreated and dispersed while those that had made the crossing melted into the bush.

This drama repeated during the day … with some successful crossings, and at times just as we expected the animals to start a crossing, they would pull back and gaze at the river, waiting for a more opportune moment.

Each afternoon we have watched as gigantic thunder clouds develop as the day passes. And today the much anticipated rain has arrived. Right now there is an awesome thunderstorm raging all around us … and the good news is that the rain forces the wildebeest closer to the river, so we can expect large numbers again tomorrow morning …