SERENGETI - MARA RIVER.
The following day we had an early start. Frank was convinced that the Wildebeests were going to cross the river judging by there behaviour the day previous. they were agitated, some going to the river bank and back then moving off. We found them about a mile downstream from the camp, bunching up at the top of the bank. It was some sight so what it is like when the migration is in full swing I can only imagine. We waited about 15 minutes and suddenly there was a move towards the water and the first brave beasts jumped in, quickly followed by many more. Frank had been right. A few hundred made the swim and bounded up the bank and away onto the new grassland away from the bank. Amazingly a dozen or so came back after half an hour and swam back across. Although we saw Crocodiles in the water nearby, none of the animals were attacked.
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While waiting to see if the Wildebeest were going to cross I spotted this Juvenile African Fish Eagle and an adult and juvenile Kingfishers.
The Wildebeest are thinking of crossing but they moved off half a mile down river.
Then they decided to come across to the south bank. Leaping off the bank into the water with a tremendous splash, swimming close together and then climbing the steep bank to safety.
After the excitement of watching, the crossing was over we had to make a move for the long drive back to the central Serengeti. A different area than before and we had time to stop for photo's on the way. The first is a Secretary bird. Then a female Ostrich with chicks. you can only see two in the picture but there were about a dozen altogether that Gordon spotted. we stopped at this Lilac Breasted Roller which was perched on a bush. As I got my camera in place it dived into the grass, rooted around and then flew up with a lizard in its beak plus a length of grass.
A Kori Bustard displayed for us, throwing out its neck feathers as they do when trying to attract a female. Gordon spotted a baby Giraffe near the road side so Frank backed up by which time the mother appeared. The youngster got up unsteadily, Frank estimated it was only two weeks old as the umbilical cord was still present, and they wandered off into the trees.
I spotted a Klipspringer Antelope, high on some rocks which is one of their favourite points but surprisingly there was a family of Elephants, also up on the rocks, feeding from some trees.
This Eastern Pale Chanting Goshawk was half hidden in the grass but it obliged by walking to a Termites mound and standing on top. Much better to photograph there. We came across a bit of wet ground and three Hamerkop were there in the grass. then we arrived at the Mbuzi Mawe Lodge for dinner and overnight stay.
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