Monday, August 20, 2012

Buffalo Stampede


Todays flight was a beautiful flight like all flights but the one thing that really made it extra special was seeing the largest herd of Cape Buffalo I’ve seen so far in East Africa. The sound of hundreds of buffalos running through the grass is a wonderful sound at 6:45am. When I first noticed the large herd to the west I did a double take as I thought it was perhaps just a thick section of trees but as we lowered down and rode the winds I quickly confirmed it was a very large herd of Cape Buffalo - it was an amazing sight! Shortly after the herd of buffalo we spotted four lions lounging by the river.






 



On the way to the breakfast in the bush we spotted many animals, elephants, zebras, many colorful birds and this beautiful Waterbuck - he was standing picture perfect for us.

Each day I learn more and more about beautiful East Africa and the way of life and cultures.  I would like to thank my mother, Margo Strowbridge for being the first to start a donation fund for those in need in Tanzania.  This has inspired me to learn of more opportunities and ways to help support those who are less fortunate then me.  

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Great Migration

I did not think I would get to experience the migration in the Masai Mara this year but to our surprise we had to make a last minute trip from Tarangire National Park, Tanzania to the Masai Mara, Kenya.  From Tarangire to Arusha, onwards to the border town Namunga reaching Nairobi and then the four to five hour drive into the Masai Mara from Nairobi.

Normally we fly into the Mara on the bush plane so this was my first experience by road.  It's a long bumpy ride however the experience is worth it, at least one direction anyway - especially for those who enjoy taking in the culture and sights of the Great Rift Valley along the way.  Flying over the Great Rift Valley in a bush plane is a wonderful experience as well. Your drivers will be waiting at the airstrip for you and your safari will begin. 

 
It is currently high season in the Masai Mara and the Great Migration of Wildebeest and Zebra has begun.The Wildebeest and Zebra were a bit late this year due to a longer than normal rainy season. The open savannah grasses were very long therefore they did not need to move from their grazing grounds in the Serengeti. 

Better late than never they have started to flow into the Masai Mara from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.  It is amazing to see the hundreds of thousands of Wildebeest running with their friends the Zebra. Over one million Wildebeest migrate annually from the Serengeti to the Masai Mara. As we fly overhead in the balloon I am amazed with the numbers, it was more breath taking then I had expected. I am happy to have crossed off another item on my bucket list!  Whether you have the opportunity to watch the migration in Tanzania or Kenya it will be an experience you will never forget. The best way to get the full experience and see just how many Wildebeest their are definitely is in a hot air balloon!