Wim’s News from the Masai Mara Migration Safari: At last – 2 Small Crossings!
We were on way before dawn as always and as we left the camp we ran into a hyena and a jackal alarm calling. It took us about fifteen seconds to locate the reason for the fuss – the two scavengers were harassing a female leopard.
We didn’t want to hang around for too long as we were ultra keen to get to the river as quickly as we could, so we watched the interactions between the three for a while and then continued on our way.
En route we found fifteen hyenas with a wildebeest kill, and photographed them as they communicated with each other in different ways while tearing into the kill. The sunrise behind them was beautiful.
In fact, the golden lighting was so magnificent this morning that we photographed everything we saw while traveling to the river. There were Topi, Eland, Impala on ridges against that sky, Tommies (Thomson’s Gazelles) – besides the wildebeest and zebra. Picturesque scene after picturesque scene unfolded in front of us, and few could suppress the aaahs as another vista came into view. Needless to say, our cameras worked overtime all the way to the river.
Unfortunately for us again, the migration was about a kilometer from the river, but we hung around hopefully, praying that at least some of the animals would approach the river, moving away only for mealtimes …
And a couple of small groups did exactly that. Different small groups of zebras arrived at the river, and two of the groups actually dared the crossing.
There were not many – about twenty or thirty in each group, but it was well worth waiting for, and although the numbers weren’t there to create the incredible noise, dust, screaming and bellowing that accompanies large crossings, these crossings became somehow even more dramatic to watch – with the smaller numbers – and still the same large numbers of crocodiles lurking and waiting.
So all in all we were more than delighted with what we did see –
On the way back to camp we found a lioness hunting wildebeest. We followed her for a while, but she moved into some very long grass and we totally lost her. We waited for a bit, hoping to see her again, but the vegetation and grass is so thick and the area so huge that it was like searching for that proverbial needle in a very large haystack.
Close to camp we drove into a small drift where we found a leopard that had just caught a wildebeest and was in the process of killing it. She was a little obscured behind some grass and leaves, so although the sighting was amazing, the photography was not great.
Not even two kilometers further we saw a large plain with Wildebeest, Topis, Tommies, and Zebra –
– and on the edge of the plain we spotted the two male lions with a lioness that we had seen a few days ago. (Notch’s grandsons).
We captured some fabulous images of the lions and animals in the foreground, with dramatic storm clouds and rain behind them, and with sun rays piercing the cloud to create a magical effect.
We were about to move on when a large buffalo charged up and chased one of the male lions (he scampered away from those threatening horns with alacrity!), and the two dashed right in front of us. It was a perfect ending to another perfect day,
Although we haven’t seen a large full large crossing, our days have been very full, and we return to the camp each evening tired, pleased with our experiences, and ready for dinner – and equally ready for the next day …
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