NOVEMBER 9th, 2009 – MY SAFARI IN AFRICA CONTINUES
We had a quick breakfast, coffee and a Danish. Time is of the essence now, as our Guide Tony wants us to see everything there is to see. We were on the road, promptly at 6:30, to drive to the Mara River. Our camp sits in the center of the migration. There are over 1.4 million Wildebeest, 200,000 Zebra and Gazelle. The animals migrate in a clockwise fashion over 1,800 miles each year in search of rain-ripened grass.
Our safari was scheduled from 6:30 – 9:30, and it was another thrilling moment in time. We saw a hyena rolling around and playing with himself in the vast plains. Our driver had a machine that matched animal sounds and he set it for the hyena. The little guy went searching for the phantom hyena. It was so funny all we do was laugh. I wish I had that on a video.
We saw a young male lion on a hunt and watched as all the other animals gave him a wide birth. I was so frightened that I would witness a kill, but the lion was annoyed that we were watching him watch them. He kept turning around looking at us as if to say “Hey you are in my space.” He continued walking and so did the heard that kept avoiding him. None of them ever moved fast. It was kind of a slow dance. Our guide told us that he believed the male lion was alone because he had been cast out of the pride. A lone male lion can’t take down a wildebeest alone. I guess the rest of the animals knew that but they still took note of him.
Later we saw two larger, older lions not to far away. They were just sitting on the side of the dirt road making moaning sounds. It was magnificent to hear and see them up close and personal. Our driver said they were calling for female lions so they would hunt for them. We were close enough to touch these guys. It astounds me how close you can get to all the animals in this reserve. Of course they have no fear of man or their vans no matter how many are gathered in one place to take photos of these grand animals. They know they will not be harmed because they are the Lords of their land. The sad part is that is also their downfall because there are still poachers that hunt to kill. The area is so vast that poaching cannot be controlled completely, but they do the best they can. If a poacher is caught it is a death sentence, but our guide told us the government of Kenya is trying to get that law rescinded. In my opinion they should definitely keep that law. It is legal to hunt in Tanzania, but you need a license and it has to be in season. This is not good, because the Serengeti is much larger so how can they stop poaching. It makes me very sad and very mad. MORE TO FOLLOW…