Sometimes while out on safari, having a good sense of humor and adventure can be just as critical as having a camera, as things in the bush tend to have a habit of not going according to plan.
Regardless of how much planning goes into a game drive; it doesn’t always go the way it was meant to. After all, it is the wilderness and one of the major attractions of a safari is the unpredictability that comes with each day and every visit.
For example, I never plan to get stuck when I go out on game drive, but it does happen every so often. In fact, this week, I got stuck a total of four times. Three of those times I was behind the wheel, and the fourth time I was a passenger.
As frustrating as getting stuck can be, it is also rather exciting. I never (well, almost never) feel embarrassed getting stuck in the grasslands of the Maasai Mara because it is inherently a wet landscape, with treacherous, sticky black cotton soil.
It takes ingenuity and hard, physical, dirty work to get oneself out of these situations. Jacking up the car, digging away the soil, finding rocks and branches to plug holes, and a great understanding of the capabilities of the vehicle. And if all else fails, as a last resort, you call for help. And whilst help is on the way, it is the perfect opportunity to sit back, enjoy the sounds, and perhaps even close your eyes.
This week, the Mara seemed unable to decide whether it was drying up or getting wetter. A few drier days allowed the Tanzanians, in the Serengeti, to start their yearly burns to our south. Depending on the wind direction, this can make for some dramatic late afternoon photography.
At the same time, we are seeing short electrical storms pass through with wonderful cloud build-ups during the day. Some areas receive huge amounts of rain, whilst others seem to continually miss out on the action. The Mara River, the life-blood of the ecosystem, continues to fluctuate with very little predictability. At the moment there is still a decent amount of water in the river, but next to nothing when compared to this time in years gone by.