Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Great Migration

When we were at the Masai Mara with my family in mid-late June, we had only begun to see the beginning stages of migration...meaning that we saw only about 20 wildebeest. We were told that when we came back in mid-July with Paul's family, that the migration would be in full swing...and it definitely was. It was like turning on the TV and watching something on the Discovery Channel. I have never seen anything like it. We joked about how we continuously had to pinch ourselves as a reminder that we were really there watching this unbelievable migration firsthand.

Our tented camp was a prime location as to where the wildebeest cross the Talek River. It only happens every couple days or so, but we actually saw it happen within 2 minutes of arriving to our camp. As soon as arrived to camp, the Masai warriors came running to our vehicle telling us to "hurry, hurry". They grabbed both the babies out of our hands and shuffled us quickly down to the river. And this is what we got to see...

...absolutely incredible! It is hard to see in this picture because of all the dust, but there were thousands (literally) of wildebeests lined up on the hill on the right side waiting their turn to cross the river.

The girls in awe of the crossing behind us!

My little "wanna be" Masai warrior.

We were so thankful they offered to take care of our boys as we watched the wildebeest!

A few days ago they said they saw a crocodile swim up and snatch one of the wildebeest, but unfortunately we saw no such thing. Once again, I just think it would be neat to see a kill...but I NEVER got to see one. Sad, I know!

We must have stood and watched this crossing for 25 minutes. It was amazing to see how some of the wildebeest were scared to jump in and swim. They would try to find an easier place to cross or just chicken out altogether in hopes of trying again with another group in a few days. Out of all the days we were there, this was the only day we got to see them crossing the river, so we were extra thankful for the Masai rushing us :)

However, everyday, we did get to see thousands upon thousands covering the grassland in the Mara, which was very different from when we had been there before. With my family we often drove for 20 minutes without seeing a single animal...this time, we hardly drove 2 minutes without seeing anything. It was amazing the difference in the landscape in just a few weeks time.

1 comment:

Blair said...

Love the wildebeasts pics! Wow! What an incredible sight that must have been. Like you said, it's hard to believe the landscape changes so drastically and so quickly.