Saturday, 25 October 2014

Wildlife of the Masai Mara - 4.

This should be the last post from our first afternoon driving through to our accommodation!

 A female White-bellied Bustard appeared from nowhere - when they're still they're so difficult to see in the vegetation!

We drove round to a spot known as the "Hippo Pool" to see what was in residence and saw quite a large group including this parent and young one.

This Waterbuck has had one antler/horn broken, probably in a fight.  I should have asked our guide but was a bit tired and didn't think to, but that probably means he won't sire any offspring as he would presumably be at a disadvantage in the battles that go on amongst males to be able to have a group of females in a harem.  On the other hand, it may be easier to fight with just one prong!

It also shows the number of flies that continually bother the animals!

Buffalo were another fairly common animal we saw.   The large older males have a particularly malevolent look, and are apparently quite dangerous.

I wasn't going to put another hippo one in this post, but it was too tempting to share this one.  I saw Common Sandpipers on hippos several times while we were in Kenya, but never saw what happened when/if the hippo submerged!

The most populous animal of the Masai Mara and the cause of the timing of our visit - the Wildebeest, the species which is the main participant in the Great Migration from the Masai Mara, across the Mara River and down the Serengeti in Tanzania.

Finally to end our day, we met another group of elephants.   These two would have been the youngest in the group and literally ran to greet each other as they got close.   The smaller one, nearest, used its trunk continually to feel the other one, and rubbed up against the larger one in several places.   It was delightful to watch, as was the hot towel and cold fruit juice we were given on arrival at our accommodation, even before checking in.  This happened in most of the places we stayed in Kenya, and was a great way to be made welcome, as were the cries of "Jambo" = hello, in Swahili that all staff used when they saw a guest.  It was accompanied by huge smiles, so we really did feel welcome!