Day 8 MIGRATION IN THE MAASAI MARA

We day-trip from Lobo heading to the Mara River.  The day starts with another spectacular sunrise.  We call rays of sun filtering through clouds “god-light.”  A good description this morning.  

17_lobo_sunrise

Leaving at dawn, again, we head down the mountain and catch an amazing sight on a hilltop that is right out of The Lion King.  A male and female lion are silhouetted in the morning light.  It just keeps getting better!

18_lions_on_ridge_at_dawn

Heading into the plains, we come across a male Maasai ostrich with a bright pink neck.We know it is a male because he has black feathers.  The females are brown because they sit on the nest in the day and brown feathers blend into the grass.  The male will sit the nest at night so his black feathers help him hide in the dark.  The pink neck is significant…it shows he is courting a female.  

17_ostrich_w

In a tree we find our first Rupple’s Griffon Vulture with a (large) chick.  These are magnificent creatures and we’ll see a lot more of them in the next few weeks.

19_rupples_griffon_vulture_and_chick

On the way to the Mara River, we hit huge migrating herds of wildebeest.

20_wildebeast_migration

Driving along the trail–since we’re not in Ndutu anymore, we must stay on the roads–we are in the middle of the herd!

20_migration_from_car

We follow the wildebeest to the tributaries of the river.

21_herd_at_river

But there is no crossing while we watch.  On the bank we can see some huge crocodiles.   This may be the reason the wildebeest aren’t moving into the river.  A little later we’ll see this is a smart move.  The crossings can be extremely dangerous.

21_crocks_at_the_mara_rivef

We are a long way from Lobo so we must head back without seeing a crossing.  Regretfully, we leave.  But Africa doesn’t let us down.  We find two young cubs playing on a fallen tree on the way back. 

22_cubs

What a joy. 

22_cubs_on_fallen_tree

We make it back to Lobo after sunset.  Another long day.  At daybreak, we’ll head for the Seronera River area of the Serengeti National Park.  The schedule is hectic right now but we can’t believe what we’re seeing.

 

 

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