When Dust Settles on the Savannah
One of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles takes place in the Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. Each August and September, more than a million Wildebeest migrate across the Mara-Serengeti ecosystem in a ceaseless search for fresh grass.
During our tour last August, vast herds of Wildebeest were grazing on the western side of the Mara, within the Burungat Plain. Tens of thousands were spread throughout the grasslands, steadily working their way northwards towards the Talek River. To observe this endless collective motion was truly inspiring. To witness the interaction between predator and prey was extraordinary!
Along the Talek River we encountered two Lions strolling out of the riverine scrub and into adjacent thickets. The remainder of the pride was likely somewhere within the thicket but they remained elusive and unseen.
Further along the river a large herd of Wildebeest congregated with the intention of crossing a shallow point in the waterway. After a pause, some of the beasts gathered nerve enough to proceed down the well-worn embankment.
Soon there was a steady line of Wildebeest crossing the river, and galloping up the the steep bank in front of us. Suddenly, a male Lion emerged from a nearby thicket, and trotted towards the animals. The Wildebeest immediately bolted in panic, their scrambling hooves kicking dust everywhere. The lion descended the bank, crossed the shallow river, and grabbed a young Wildebeest on the far side – an unfortunate victim of the confusion and mayhem.
After the dust settled, we saw that the lion had dragged it’s prey a short distance to the shade of a tree and in full view for us.
After a brief rest, the lion proceeded to eat its meal, tearing through the hide to reach chunks of still-warm flesh. We watched for a long while, thrilled that we had the chance to see such an amazing encounter unfold before our eyes!
Join us on an upcoming safari for an opportunity to experience Africa’s amazing wildlife for yourself!
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