Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Drama at the Masa Mara, part 2

We were on safari at the Masai Mara Game Reserve in south-west Kenya. It was getting late in the day and we had just given up on seeing a dramatic river crossing, when we stumbled on a huge herd of wildebeest. Would they try to cross the Mara River, outwitting the crocodile lurking there? 

It took us very little time to agree that we would follow the herd, waiting them out to see where they would choose to cross. We sat in the silent vans, engines off, trying to guess at the direction the herd would take. Izzo entertained us with stories of previous safaris and close-calls.

Finally he decided it was time, there was only one place that the herd would cross now. Tony and Izzo turned over the engines and we began bouncing back to the river. The wildebeest had stepped up their pace from a walk to a slow canter in anticipation of reaching the Serengeti with its wealth of grass on the other side of the Mara River. The three silly topis who were too afraid to cross the river earlier had joined them. 

Only yards from the bank, a sight caught someone’s eye. A crouching lioness.
The wildebeest had increased their pace, set on their destination. Until the lioness bound into their mass. 

Chaos ensued and the wildebeest turned from the river and galloped back into the plain, stirring up a cloud of dust. Above the fray, bleating could be heard.

As the dust settled, a figure emerged – the lioness with a small wildebeest by the throat. She hung on, strangling the life from the young animal. 

When the wildebeest went still, she dragged him into the brush. 
We drove closer and saw her resting peacefully, panting, her paws covered in blood.

But that was not yet the end of the drama. 


Denise said...

I love your writing. Great pic of her stalking.

Mary Repinski said...

Wow! What a blessing to be able to see this. Did you take the photos yourself? I love them as well as how you fit them in the exact moments of the story.

Chris Loehmer Kincaid said...

I took all of these pictures, with a great little camera my hubby bought me just for the trip.