“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

TravelHaven Journal – African Safari 6

A Day at Serengeti Mara Camp

After breakfast, we set out on a day trip to the Mara River to catch the wildebeest migration across the river on their way to Kenya. On the way we see more giraffes, wildebeest, zebra, and warthog, as well as Thomson gazelles and a myriad of birds of all sorts. Among the birds are vultures — huge birds with a wing span of over 3 feet! We also saw a file of army ants, singlemindedly devouring anything that can’t get out of their way – very creepy.

After about four hours driving, we get to the river and find thousands of wildebeest ready to cross the river. But first, the leader has to make sure it’s safe to cross. About 45 minutes after we arrived, the leader decides to risk the crossing and the entire herd starts into the water, mostly in single file. Seeing them leap or slip into the moving water, swim through the current and flounder up the far bank is an awesome sight!

Sometimes a crocodile or lion will take one or more wildebeest during the cross—usually animals that are sick or injured or otherwise weak. But this time, all the wildebeest we saw make it across safely. Yay!

At the Mara River we also spot about a dozen crocodiles and even more hippos, plus a huge Cape Buffalo. Despite seeing so many wondrous creatures roaming freely in their own territory, I still can hardly believe I am actually there.

After the crossing, we enjoy a feast of a picnic lunch the camp had sent along. We have beef, three salads — pasta, chick pea, or fava bean — and cole slaw with fresh fruit for dessert. Fantastic fare, set at a small table with a tablecloth, director chairs, cloth napkins, and stainless cutlery. Their “picnics” certainly put mine to shame! And it’s so amazing to be eating such a lovely luncheon on the Serengetti plain.

On the way back, we see a truly beautiful male lion that Roland says is about six years old. After watching the lion for a while and taking lots of pictures of him, we start for home. But wait! On the way, we must stop for afternoon tea. How perfectly civilized!