Day 18 THE MARA RIVER in the MARA TRIANGLE

In the early morning we head for the Mara Serena Safari Lodge on the banks of the Mara River.  We are at the Tanzanian border so we are hoping to see herds crossing.  We’ll be at this lodge for three glorious days so we will be able to go on drives and come back to rest, as we choose.

We pass T/K Rock, marking the Tanzania/Kenya border on the plains.

Tk_rock_8-13

As we enter the Mara Triangle, we enter the part of the Maasi Mara reserve, regulated by the Trans-Mara District. The district has only one local authority, Trans Mara County Council.  As we enter the Trans-Mara area, a Mwanza Flat Headed Agama greets us.  This beautiful lizard is probably the dominant male.

Red-blue_lizard_8-14_best

 

Along the way, we see the ferocity of vultures in action. 

1_vultures

Here they posture and fight for prime positions on a Cape Buffalo carcass.   They puff themselves up and walk like Dart Vader to secure the best position.

We immediately head for the river and find a croc waiting on the shore.

Croc_8-14

We are lucky to see a zebra crossing.  Yea!  

2_sm_zebra_xing

Although not a huge number of zebras cross, it is eventful.  The stallion leads his herd across.  But there is a hippo under the water in his path.  All we see are huge splashes mid-stream and his difficult water exit,

2_zebra_splashes

When the stallion gets to the top of the bank he just stands still, while all the other animals are in a constatnt state of motion.  Odd.  On closer look we can see why.

2_gored_zebra

The hippo has gored his belly and he is in serious trouble. That’s an example of why hippos are considered the most dangerous animal in Africa.  We’d thought we might see crock attacks, but not this.  He rolls in the dirt–maybe trying to get away from the pain?

2_gored_zebra_rolling

It doesn’t look good for him.  We head back to the lodge for our night drive.  We’ll check on him tomorrow.

After dinner, we head off in open trucks.  Our drivers have huge spotlight for our late night game drive.  We see some small hares, then suddenly…two female lionesses.  This is just below our fensed camp!

3_two_lions

One of the ladies gives us a grand show.  “Roar” does not adequately express the noise she makes.  We can feel the power of her vocalization as it sends shock waves through us!  To me, it was louder than being beside a BIG motorcycle gunning the engine.  And here we sit in this open car.  Amazing experience.

3_lion_roar

They seem fairly oblivious to us and our lights–except for the roaring.  Was she letting us know we were not welcome?  Or just announcing this is their territory?  

3_lion_at_nite

On the way back to the lodge we see hippos on land for their nightly foraging.  Just as long as we’re not between them and the river!

4_hippos

Fantastic night!

 

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