Monday, June 16, 2008

Masai Mara Update: Mara River crossing

The big news to report during May is the unexpected arrival of the zebras in huge numbers. Thousands of them are in our area of the Mara covering the Musiara Marsh, Paradise and Topi Plains. These zebra are the residents of an area east of the Masai Mara Game Reserve and they normally migrate into the Reserve every year but this year the migration has happened earlier than we would expect. This may be due to competition for grazing with Masai Cattle in the concession areas bordering the Game Reserve. The zebra have been filing down towards the Mara River in large herds and towards the end of the month we were seeing them crossing the Mara River on an almost daily basis. The resident crocodiles seem delighted as their annual feeding frenzy arrived a few months early and we have seen very large crocodiles manoeuvring into strategic crossing points along the river. On the 23rd five hundred zebras crossed the Mara River; on the 28th a further two hundred crossed with the crocodiles snatching a couple of zebra on each occasion, and on the 30th a very large herd crossed the Mara River and six were taken by crocodiles. On another occasion twelve Thomson gazelles bravely took the plunge and crossed the river ahead of the zebra herd. Sadly all twelve Thomson gazelles were taken by crocodiles and the following herd of zebra all managed to cross without incident! The following day many zebra were seen crossing again and our driver-guides remarked that these are the best sightings of zebra crossings we have had in many years.

Source: Governor's Camp, Mara River, Masai Mara 16 June 2008

Zebras filing up to cross the Mara River

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