Serengeti II 5 Aug 2021

  • Barry 

So wonderful and such a privilege to have Carel in our vehicle. Jules was driving, Carel was in the passenger seat and Barry in the back.

Carel and Sally run a business called great migrations – their mission is to make the migration and Serengeti experience available to more people without exorbitant costs. It is still costly as park entry fees are high but the camping costs are lower and this combined with professional wonderful hospitality makes for a good business model. They also make a plan for self drive tourists to share their facilities like showers, food, camaraderie , fireplace and guiding.

The great migration website is well worth looking at and exploring – especially the blogs and you tube videos

The days always start early in the bush because that is when the animals especially the predators are still moving – before the heat of the day sets in.

We headed north toward the Mara river – this is where the migration crossings occur.

Sunrise across the Serengeti

On our way there we detoured off the main road to the east up a rocky escarpment which often had predators in the area. At one point we had to squeeze the vehicle between rocks and immediately afterwards out TPMS (Tyre Pressure Monitor System) started alarming – we stopped, checked the surrounds fir predators and found the side wall cut …in the words of notting hill “oopsie daisies “ or something like that – we got to work – well Carel did – two plugs and the leak stabilized – we pumped the tyre back (using the onboard engine mounted compressor) and we continued. The tyre held until our return to Arusha where we had the sidewall repaired at superdoll tyre shop and then held after that another 8000km till we were back in SA and finally replaced in hoedspruit.

Carel at work on the side wall cut

We saw many gathering herds and finally got to the Mara and worked our way from crossing point #8 down toward #4. Below is a map which pictorially indicates main crossing points

Mara River Crossings
Bigger picture of the migration cycle which occurs over the annual season change

And yes we did see crossings mainly wildebeest and some zebra

Celebratory cold G&T with ice in the bush

We crossed the Mara river at the bridge near Kogatende airport and waited for the crossing on the northern side of the river. This is a process that requires much patience as the wildebeest are very skittish often scared off the first step into the water. Especially when the car had bright colour designs like ours

After the crossing issuing we drove further north and followed a river course with many herds grazing and moving in a arbitrary unhurried manner all around our vehicle . The next moment the herd moved as one away from our position look back at us – when the dust settled we saw a lioness still in stranglehold position with a wildebeest – the animal soon stopped kicking and lay still

It was just after we were leaving the site of the kill when another vehicle approached us – Carel was in the passenger seat and he chatted to the driver who asked which lodge we were in – and they chatted for a while – it was after this interaction when driving back in the direction we had come that we realized we had been briefly in the Masai Mara in Kenya – an easy mistake when following the herds – as can be seen in the image below

The border between Tanzania & Kenya

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