Safari update 22 Aug

22 Aug

Weather: cool and overcast with patches of blue.

Another wonderful day in the northern Serengeti. Our camp is known as Kogakuria, and is some 20km south of the Kogatende Air Strip. Sitting on a hill top, it offers commanding views of the valley to our front. Today was about photographing the wildebeest migration as they crossed the Mara River. Although I purposely scheduled this location more than a year ago to take advantage of the migration crossings, I learned from my time in Kenya, that photographing river crossings is somewhat of a crap shoot. It’s all about being at the right place at the right time; toss in a considerable amount of hope and the blessings of mother nature and there you have it. Breaking camp at 0730, we made our way through the Bologoja Valley searching the kopjes for lions and leopards. The lions we found we too far away so we quickly moved on, promising ourselves that we would return the following day for some killer landscapes. As we crested the last hilltop, all we could see was wall to wall wildebeest lined up on the far side of the banks of the Mara River (Lat: 1°34’57.21"S Long: 34°56’24.756"E Altitude: 1442m). Kileo and I quickly discussed sunlight, shooting angles and located what we thought would be a perfect shooting position. To ensure we did not impact the crossings, Kileo positioned our trucks in a camouflaged position which we held until the crossing started. OMG, it was great. Thousands of wildebeests decided to cross in a manner that could best be described as wild chaos and we were expertly positioned to capture it all. After photographing several crossings, we pulled back for mid morning coffee & tea and plotted the rest of our day. Soon we could see hundreds of thousands of wildebeests running toward the river from the highlands, creating a huge dust storm. We decided to follow them in hopes of another crossing. While the herds went further north into a well known Kenyan crossing, we turned our focus on a huge herd of elephants that mad their own crossing…… what a show. For the crossings and most of the day, our photo trucks were the only vehicles around or within sight. It was like having our own private movie preview. What a day. Tomorrow we are off to another crossing in the morning, returning to the kopjes for golden light in the evening. As we ready for our eventing meal, we are treated to a killer African sunset. With dark clouds and lighting in the opposite direction, I am sure we will have rain tonight…..I will sleep well with the sounds of rain on my tent.

Afya and lala salama