First thing this morning we head back to the hyena cubs. They are still in the red oat grass but we now see they have a social structure—the babies have a “nanny.”
The matriarch has a tracking collar (hyenas packs are always lead by a female, and females are bigger than males). The rangers only tag the lead female hyena as they gather data so they can manage the area.
We see the nanny carry one of the babies in her mourh—a bit of discipline for this youngster who has been acting up. These are lucky babies. Born to the matriarch they have high status in the pack. Babies born to other females will have a very tough life.
Suddenly we hear a starling noise coming at us—a crazy hot air balloon is almost landing on top of us—and the hyenas are agitated.
The balloon moves over us and they resume normal life.
Moving back to the Mara we see two female lions—are these the ones we saw during our night drive? If so they were much more ominous in the dark! Or I should say they are deceptively benign resting in the grass. Lions follow the herd…they follow the food.
Back at the river we continue to see crossings.
The wildebeest make quite a sight leaping off the rocks into the river.
We feel very lucky to have seen so many huge crossings. Really a remarkable spectacle. We even see a Topi swim across. Who knew?
Heading back to camp, we drive by the wetlands one final time.
We find a batchelor herd of young Topis. We stop to enjoy the boys sparring.
A mother Topi and calf look on.
Out of the wetlands, we meet a large giraffe family
And watch while one drinks. They are in such a vulnerable position when they go for water. Quite an amazing pose.