18 July 2014 – Day 7/8 Safari@Tanzania

The last chance for us to witness the wildebeest crossing today, so again we set off at 6am. Our effort finally paid off when the wildebeest decide to made their move at around 10:30am. The mad rush for the best spots by all the waiting jeeps was just as spectacular as the crossing itself. Thousands of wildebeest and zebras made the crossing and it lasted almost an hour.

We head back to our lodge for lunch and a good rest before venturing out again in the late afternoon to look for the lions, hopefully a male one. Our wish was granted when we saw 2 brothers sharing the pride.

Heavenly rays greeted us early this morning. A sign of good fortune probably. Looking back, it was indeed good fortune that we saw what we had come for, the Wildebeest crossing.

Left very early at 6am so as not to miss our very last chance at witnessing the Wildebeest crossing. Stopped here to have our picnic breakfast in between waits for the ultimate crossing.

Breakfast table was been set up.

Hungrily waiting to be served.

Our last rays of hope to see the Wildebeest crossing.

Masai woman?

This Masai blanket is very good at keeping one warm from the drastic drop in temperature in the early morning and late evening.

Another Masai woman with a modern hat!

Blankets mainly in 2 colours, Orange or Purple.

Must be chilly in the morning!

Sharing of warmth?

What’s up ladies?

Still not resolved!

Let me tell you…………

Too fair to be a Masai woman.

The mad rush had finally begun.

From a distant, the Wildebeest looked just like marching black ants.

The zebras too joined in the crossing as they migrated with the Wildebeest.

Squeezing up the muddy slope.

New path formed when one decided to take a different route.

Once on the move, there was no leader but just herd instinct.

Another group of zebras joined in the crossing.

Unfortunately, or should it be fortunately for the Wildebeest and zebras, there as no crocodile at the crossing site probably due to shallow water.

More and more Wildebeest poured into the river.

The action up the slope was as incredible as those in the water.

At the peak of the crossing, the number of Wildebeest in the water was amazing.

The crossing seem like never ending and lasted almost an hour.

The Wildebeest kept coming from behind pushing those in front to keep moving.

Closeup on the action in the water.

Wildebeest annual migration.

Never ending queue.

Many already crossed over and many more still in the queue.

This was probably the first crossing experience for these young Wildebeest calves.

Yet another small group of zebras made the crossing.

The zebras seem to cross with ease.

The last few to make it across.

As sudden as the rush began, it stopped abruptly. Here an injured Wildebeest tried and failed several attempts to scale the wet muddy slope.

Gave up and made its way back to where it started from. May be tried another day with another group after recovery from the injury.

There were still many Wildebeest massed here and yet to cross over.

A wider view of the crossing.

The large crowd that gathered by the river to watch the Wildebeest crossing.

The jostling for spot at the start was as amazing as the crossing itself. As everyone was taking cover in shade, that mad drive to the river bank was like an off-road race.

A celebratory group pose after the amazing Wildebeest crossing.

An eaglet alone in the nest.

Lilac-breasted Roller seem quite common here, spotted several over the few days.

Little Bee-eaters

Warthog, due to its short neck, kneels on its front legs while feeding.

Southern Ground Hornbill

According to our guide Edwin from Lemala, there is a myth that it’s going to rain when Southern Ground Hornbill is around.

Tree Hyrax but always spotted among rocks.

Finally saw the Lion King, the last animal that we wanted to see for the trip. The only other wish but didn’t materialized was to see a hunt and kill.

It was getting bored with all the attention from the visitors.

Spotted another male nearby, must be brothers. Lion brothers do share and defend their pride together.

Disturbed from its rest.

Though king of the jungle, they are wary of human still and choose to peep at us behind some bushes.

Many more Wildebeest still on this side of the Mara River yet to make their crossing.

The same small herd of Hartebeest near our lodge spotted again today.

Caught this Agama agama while walking back to our lodge.

On our way to a surprise event, saw this lone buffalo up on some rocks.

Surprise sunset chill out party. Comfort for guests was never taken for granted, large cushions were provided.

Today was such an eventful day with Wildebeest crossing and Lion King that even a rainbow appeared before the sunset.

Relaxed and sipped champagne while watching the sun set.

Cheers for a great day! Especially this was our last day and the Wildebeest decided to make the crossing, and also managed to see the Lion King.

Quite an experience to watch sunset in the middle of nowhere and surround by wildlife.

After an eventful day, time for the equipment to take a break.

The smiles said it all that everyone was glad that they had seen what they came for.

This was our last group photo, and the next day we would head home on our separate ways.

Cheers!

A last toast before we head back to our lodge for dinner.

The sun finally set on a day that we would remember for a long long time. May tomorrow be a better day.

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~ by grbenji on 18/07/2014.

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