Safari – Kicheche Mara Camp & The Crossing – 8/28

Safari – Kicheche Mara Camp & The Crossing – 8/28

Today we decided to test our luck and see if we could view the crossing of the Mara River. This year, they expect two million wildebeest, 300,000 zebras, some topi, gazelle, and eland will cross the river. So far this year, the crossing hasn’t taken place at the main point yet, so we decided to try some other points on the river to see if any smaller crossings were viewable. 

It would be a longer excursion to go the crossing so instead of having two different game drives today we would just have one lasting from 7:30 AM until 5:00 PM. We started our morning with breakfast at camp and then headed out for the day. To get to the crossing we had to drive about two hours. On our way through the Reserve we heard that there was a cheetah hunting and we went to go check it out. We quickly saw that this was not where we wanted to be as there were over 20 cars in the area. This is the real downfall of the Reserve… We later found out that 12 drivers and their vehicles received bans from the Reserve for the next two years. The experience made us really appreciate the conservancies. 

Once we got to the river we drove around to find a spot that looked promising for a crossing. Eventually we found an area with a lot of zebra on either side of the river and some wildebeest heading over to join the rest of the group. Zebras could be heard barking at each other across the river. Much of the river was surrounded by high cliffs, but there were a couple points where the herds could access the river. 

Eventually the zebra herd on our side of the river built up enough pressure to force some zebra across. A few dozen zebra ran back and forth across the river with some settling and joining the herd on the other side. Unfortunately, this would be the only crossing we would see today… and it was the wrong way! Some more pressure would continue to build up and then dissipate just as quickly. We waited for a few hours to see if anything else would happen and had a nice picnic lunch along the river, but eventually we gave up. 

We continued to drive along the river and we saw a few different groupings of animals including a couple of pods of hippos, some crocodiles, a pride of lions hanging out in some poisonous bushes, a male and female lion mating, a pride of lions eating a buffalo they had hunted earlier that day, and a loan cheetah eating a Thompson’s gazelle it had killed moments earlier. Eventually we made it back to camp and were thoroughly exhausted from the days travels. 

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