Els and Rita on safari in east Africa travel blog

Mating ritual

Mom with baby

Female lion

Cheetah on a hunt

Cheetah with kill

Hippos

Nile crocodile

Vultures and Maribou stork

Wildebeest


We didn't think we could top yesterday's excitement of the cheetah kill, but today turned out to be an excellent day as well. Left the Lodge at 7 am for a full day gamedrive with a nice box lunch for each. I forgot to mention that we are traveling with two nice people from the US (sigh of relief𤘈) a brother and sister team. We're all getting along well. We first spotted two Jackals, easily mistaken for dogs by some, and sightings of Cape Buffalo, zebras, crocodilles and wildebeest. Noticed a lioness next to a recently killed zebra with Maribou stork and vultures eagerly waiting their turn.

For those of you who have seen the National Geographic programs showing wildebeest crossing the Mara with many not surviving, we have a much better understanding now of the happenings. Driving along the upper ridges of the Mara river we spotted lions conveniently positioned to attack those who had made the crossing. Amongst the lions were a male and female attempting to mate, but it seemed that the old man was not too interested. More about that later. We also spotted huge crocodiles lying next to the river in anticipation. Thousands of wildebeest were moving parallel to the river and we thought we would actually witness a crossing. But, they kept changing direction left to right as they couldn't make up their minds which less hazardous crossing to take. The most impressing sight was the sheer volume of wildebeest. You hear and see about this migration, but you can truly appreciate the uniqueness when you see it happening. Unfortunately we haven't seen a crossing yet but Rita feels confident we will.

Talking about Rita........it seems she is now getting quite used to all these rare experiences, so she expressed her desire to see a male lion with a beautiful mane as well as the mating ritual. Well I think you already guessed it ..........her wish came true rather quickly. The male was a bit old but had a nice looking mane, however he wasn't all that interested in the lioness's antics but attempted the mating anyway. Two hit and misses (they mate approximately every twenty minutes for about three days) and two successful ones, pretty well within ten feet of our vehicle. The mating seems almost violent as they roar and nip at each other after this very short exercise. The female then moves a short distance away and the ritual repeats itself as mentioned earlier.

Heading home we again saw thousands of wildebeest scattered throughout the Mara. Some 1.2 million wildebeest cross the Mara every year and about 2000 are resident wildebeest. We finished the day with a close encounter with two elephants, one of which was making sure her three months old baby was safe and at all times close to her.

Again, pictures are at the whim of this Internet connection.

Lala Salama (goodnight in Swahili)



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