wildebeest crossings

This will not be for the faint of heart!  I’m including not only the spectacular numbers of wildebeests and their crossing of the Mara River, but also the carnage left behind.  The first time we traveled to the river early in the morning with breakfast on board, we waited for two hours before they finally made the decision to cross.  But the sheer numbers of animals crossing the plains was phenomenal.

IMG_0860 

IMG_1073

IMG_1076

IMG_1061

While all these wildebeests were milling around not knowing what to do, this single wildebeest decided to cross over to them.

IMG_1102

This group was very undecided.  While they milled around, some started to leave and travel further upstream.  Many vehicles took off after them.  Our guides assured us that they were likely to cross at this site so we waited.

 IMG_1110    

IMG_1112

A large contingent turned and began the trek back over the ridge.

IMG_1135

Indeed, many that had traveled upstream did return.  After endless milling the decision to cross was made by a cow and her calf.  Go girls!

 IMG_1150

IMG_1196

IMG_1156

IMG_1159

IMG_1163 

 IMG_1185

IMG_1181

IMG_1170 

IMG_1155

Now, where’s mom?

IMG_1191

Still looking…

IMG_1204

Yep, this is my mom!

IMG_1208

Fortunately, no wildebeest died in the three crossings I witnessed.  But clearly, plenty had lost their lives in previous crossings.  Again a warning… this is not a pretty sight but it is real and necessary.

IMG_1842

IMG_1723

IMG_1749 

IMG_1754

IMG_1758

IMG_1770

IMG_1772

IMG_1820 

Even vultures need to feed their young.  The vulture was in that carcass with her entire head inside (I didn’t include it because I didn’t want to gross eveyone out!).  She was diligent until she finally got enough to let her youngster feed.  And the ever patient maribou stork who is so much bigger watches and waits.  

IMG_1833

 IMG_2339

IMG_2345

IMG_2346

IMG_2347

IMG_2350

This croc came out after this carcass that was floating by. He rolled it trying to take off a piece but was unsuccessful.  Our guide said that it would swim around with it until it found an interested party and with the two of them rolling and tearing, meals could be had for both.

IMG_2362

I know the vultures are ugly but I like them.  They are an important link in the cycle of life.  And I really like hyenas, too. 🙂

The third crossing we witnessed was far more dramatic.  There were far more wildebeest gathered and as you’ll see, many took to leaping off the bank.  Interestingly enough, zebra led this large group to the river but none of them ended up making the crossing.  I need to look at a detailed map of these crossings and when they occur because I am confused by the direction they are traveling.  This third group actually crossed the river in the opposite direction.  I don’t get it!

IMG_2324a

IMG_2264 

IMG_2275

IMG_2280 

IMG_2291 

 IMG_2298a

IMG_2299

IMG_2304a

IMG_2297

IMG_2309a

IMG_2318

IMG_2319

IMG_2270

That’s it.  I’m thinking that I’ll do the rest according by location.  At some point, I’ll create albums  based on categories of animals.  Hopefully, before school starts!

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “wildebeest crossings

  1. Nancy, you have got me so excited. I am glad you went before me, because seeing your photos, I know now what we may see. Wonderful photos and great shots of the Wildebeest leaping off the bank into the river. Did you ove the stench????

  2. Nancy, I totally agree with what someone said earlier — your photos are of National Geographic quality. That is very strange and interesting that the one group was going in the opposite direction. Loved the shots of the leaping wildebeest especially.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s