Day 19 DAY TWO at the MARA RIVER

We go back to the riverbank and see the zebra stallion did not make it.  When we arrive, hyenas, secondary predators. are there. 

1_hyenas_at_zebra

Shortly, Rupple’s Griffin Vultures move in and actually chase the hyenas off the carcass.  

1_hyenas_and_vultures

One gives us the Darth Vade stance.

1_darth_vader_new

They are a moving clean-up machine.  Although not pretty, these birds are extremely important the well-being of the African wild.

The Maribou storks squabble as they join in.

1_vultures_and_storks_new

Back to the river, today we see the massive herds cross.  Wildebeest mass,

2_best_mass_in_dust_new

Then swim across.

2_wildebeest_xing_mass_3_1

It’s not pretty on the other side as they desperately climb over each other trying to find a way up the bank.

2_wildebeest_mass_exit_new

Zebras mass and cross.

3_long_view_w-zebra_best

We see the hippos are still in the water.

4_hippos_still_there

In the panic to get to the other side, not all animals make it out of the water. 

Dead_zebra_in_river_8-14

And the vultures wait.

6_vultures_at_carnage

At the top of the cliff a mother zebra calls out for her baby.

5_mother_calls_for_baby

Finally the little one makes it to the top.

5_mother_and_baby_zebra

Driving by the zebra carcass at mid-day only bones remain.  The circle of life can be quick.

8_noon_bag_of_bones

Back to the lodge, we pass our Twiga “gatekeeper.”  The big giraffe is usually on the hill when we leave or return. 

9_twiga_best

He is a great example of the hard callouses males develop on their heads for fighting. 

9_twigs_bumps_best

After lunch, we start down to the river and meet the three twiga brothers! He’s brought his friends.

10_3_twiga

Back to river, more huge crossings.

As we move off, we find beautiful male waterbuck in the marsh.

13_waterbuck1

And a twiga family amble by as the sun lowers.

15_twiga_family

As we head back to camp—a real find.  Hyena mother and tiny babies.

14_hyena
14_hyena_babies

This is a rare sighting!   And we have one more day here!

We end the day with another lovely sunset…

16_sunset


 

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