Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A spectacular wilderbeest crossing

Masai Mara 

Once again it was an early start with a great sunrise. Heading over to see the Paradise Pride (the name is not because they are happy, it's about the location) we knew we were going to be treated to another special day in the Mara. On the way over to the area that the pride was last seen, we saw balloons drifting across the horizon.


Southern Ground Hornbill

When we found the pride, the male was sitting by himself and when one gets a itchy nose you just have to scratch it.

Grey crowned crane
One of the most beautiful birds in Kenya

Later in the morning we came across some lionesses and their cubs.  I think a great caption for this is the cub looking up at mum and saying "Mum, am I going to be covered in flies like you when I get older".  Flies are part of the animals life here but at no time were they an issue to us.  We did not even need to use any insect spray.


The wildebeest finally decide to cross! Tension was in the air as they decided to go, or not to go. Once one went, then a few crossed, then it all happened.  The dust, noise and suspense never stopped until for some unknown reason it all finished, they just turned around and walked away.

Wildebeest


We were extremely happy to see a crossing because we had been told in Istanbul on the way over that the migration had finished. Nothing was further from the truth, there are many "crossings" and then for some unknown reason they can do a "U" turn and come back again.

When we got back to the camp for lunch we were welcomed by the resident Hippo.  During the night we would hear them calling. On one occasion some of the guys were fighting.  Yes, it was over the girls again.

Hippo

Topi's standing guard
Seeing the Topi's was good fun with the mounds all being taken by Topi's on guard for the predators.

Heading out for our afternoon drive we saw an Eland.  Every animal has its defence tactics and this animals is its ability to jump. Yes jump, about 3 metres high. It can leap across creeks and water to get away from predators.

Eland 
Cheetah in hunting mode
This cheetah was having a rest from the midday sun and then he saw some Topi, so he crouched down low as cats do and then went off after them, but he wasn't successful.


We love the servals, they jump at their prey like arctic foxes although we haven't been fortunate to see this yet, one day hopefully ......

Serval
Most afternoons it the weather would close in, time to cover the roof and put the side flaps down. We were tracking a cheetah, he was moving to the edge of the national park so we had to abandon our quest.


Ostrich

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