I have recently returned to the office after about 3 and a half weeks out in the field on safari.
Having joined Wild Eye last year, this was my first year visiting the Masai Mara and all I can say is that it blows me away every time. The shear open space and vast number of animals gives one a feeling that is very difficult to put into words...
I thought, considering I was in the Mara for two weeks that I would combine the two safaris into one trip report. I hope that the images to follow below will do justice to the incredible two weeks my guests and I had in the Masai Mara.
Michael was in the Mara the week before and had an absolutely incredible safari, which included a number of crossings! With reports of thousands of wildebeest and Zebra still pouring into the Mara, I was sure that my guests and I were in for a good safari. On arrival to the airstrip, there were no wildebeest and zebra in sight, but heading towards camp to unpack and settle in, we started to see more and more. Most of the animals were gathering on the other side of the river, which we hoped would cross at some point in the coming days.
This year has been very different to previous years in terms of the migration. The reason being a variety of different factors, from very localized rainfall to fires in the area. This meant that the Masses of wildebeest and zebra have been delayed in reaching the Mara triangle this year and that is why there have been a number of huge crossings out of season.
Having said the above, the Masai Mara experience, allows us to see more of the Mara apart from crossings. It is an incredibly beautiful area which a rich diversity of wildlife and things to see. It is not called the best game reserve in the world for nothing.
As I have mentioned, this was my first year in the Mara and what really strikes me is how different yet incredible each trip has been. This two week stint, was no different.
During the two week period, we were fortunate to see a number of crossings, the longest one lasting about 45 minutes long! I love the excitement around build- ups and crossings, seeing the big waves of animals coming together and 'marching' towards the river is printed firmly in my mind. Its hard to describe, but the anxious feeling you get while waiting for animals standing on the banks of the Mara river preparing to cross, reminds me of how I used to feel before playing a big sports game.
We had plenty of action around the crossings, from dramatic dust, crocodiles catching wildebeest to lions running in to catch wildebeest in front of our car. Its very mixed feelings one has around crossings as there is so much going on. I must say, I have huge respect for the Wildebeest and Zebra, building up the courage to drop down steep embankments, jump into crocodile infested water and then get out the other side to the unknown, where anything could be waiting to catch them.
Below I have put together a few images to show you all some highlights from the two weeks. I must say it was a difficult selection to put together, as there were so many great moments, but here they are...
We had some really special and memorable crossings, but that wasn't all, my guests and I were also treated to some great all round game viewing, especially of the predators. What I love about wildlife and being out on safari, is that no two days are the same, it is forever changing and exciting. Apart from thousands of wildebeest and zebra in the Mara Triangle, there is an abundance of other species that call the Mara home. Like I mentioned, this was a very different year in the Mara and just goes to show how unpredictable wildlife can be.
I feel extremely privileged to do what I do and be able to share my passion with those around me. As you can see from above, it was a sensational two weeks in the Masai Mara. I cannot wait to head back here next year and do it all again.
If you have any questions regarding this safari or blog post, please drop me a comment below.
Until next time,