Before leaving Africa’s famous Mara, the rain had left its mark across the Reserve, making game drives near impossible – at least not without risk of getting stuck in a muddy hole. Happily, the rains seem to be moving on and it has been fantastic to enjoy sunnier days out in the park.
Dawn in the Mara continues to amaze, even more so now that they are unencumbered by heavy clouds and, as always, the early morning sunrays paint everything in a soft golden hue.
My first drive since returning felt like a lap of honor – and it gave me the chance to catch up with some familiar favorites.
Hyenas and jackals continue to patrol the Triangle’s main roads, often darting off as we drive by, only to re-emerge shortly thereafter. Ground hornbills, thankfully, are far less skittish and impossibly photogenic.
It was a delight to reconnect with the new additions to elephant herds and to see how these tiny babies have grown into giants (relatively speaking) in what feels like no time at all.
Speaking of new additions – it’s been wonderful to discover lion prides that I haven’t seen before. Lions always make me laugh at how quickly they can go from fearsome beasts to sleepy house cats in the blink of an eye.
And of course, a week in the Mara Triangle wouldn’t be complete without a few bird sightings. This too has been a mix of the familiar, such as the Egyptian goose, with the new. I finally spotted both the black-bellied and the white-bellied bustard on the same drive.
Quite possibly the most exciting find for me was the presence of a few wildebeest. Soon we will be drowning in them.
The migration is still some distance away in Tanzania but these individuals herald the coming spectacle, the setting of which is the Mara River, and I can hardly wait.