An Unusual River Crossing !          - 13/11/2013      <--Prev : Next-->

We went with ShewhomustwearKevlar to the Masai Mara recently for her milestone birthday. We knew it was too late to see the magical "crossing" - the migration of the wildebeest or even the birthing, but we still needed to get there!!

Something primal happens to Zimbos at this time of the year when the land is achingly dry and the long corn colored grass waves tantalizingly in the dusty wind.

There is a blue haze like a giant thundercloud, covering the horizon, miles and miles of dry earth just waiting, waiting with the promise of rain.

Vast clouds circle menacingly overhead and the air is still as though we are in the very eye of an hurricane.

We parked on the side of the Mara river, knowing we would probably not see a crossing today, even a late, small one, but the air is always filled with expectant excitement nevertheless.

Then suddenly we saw activity on the far bank! The giant crocodiles had gone downstream aways to deeper water, to sink their engorged bellies thankfully in the soft riverbanks. They were indeed enormous, filled to the brim with a feast of carcasses from the earlier gnu crossings.

But there were two young male lions perched tentatively on the edge of the river, aquiver with energy and anticipation. They patted the water several times like small children playing in a puddle, daring each other to be brave, and then they garnered enough courage, snarling and yelping, and plunged into the mighty Mara River.

It was not deep where they crossed, the river was probably at its lowest ebb, but all the same they had to swim vigorously, heads darting from side to side, jaws snapping, teeth gnashing to try and scare away any predators that could be lurking nearby.

ShewhomustwearKevlar luckily managed to catch it on film, the journalist in her works swiftly!

It took them several minutes to cross, and all the while we were urging them across, praying there were no crocs in the area, whooping and cajoling these two feisty youngsters to get safely to the other side.

Luckily they made it intact, and exhausted with their exertions they leaned on each other triumphantly, soaking wet and uncomfortable but exhilarated that they were safe and sound on the 'other' side of the river, where of course the grass is always greener!!

Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit. - Edward Abbey -