We were so captivated by the magnificence of Masai Mara reserve that we vowed to return again and that is exactly what we did. This time we landed right in the middle of the annual migration of the Wildebeest. However, given the drought this year, the average herd size of the migrating Wildebeest had been significantly reduced. To us it was all too exciting since the herd sizes were much larger compared to what we saw on our previous visit, last year.
On the first evening safari of this trip, we saw a herd of Wildebeest (above) in the distance. We decided to get close to them and see if we could try and predict when they would cross the Mara river. However, when we got close to them, the entire herd turned around and started walking away (below) from the direction of the Mara river. Our guide pointed out that this confused behavior is indeed very normal since the Wildebeest keep going back and forth many times in their quest to find greener pastures.
After walking away for some distance, it looked like the Wildebeest changed their minds, for all of a sudden, the entire herd turned around and were now walking towards us. However, the lethargic pace was a clear giveaway that this herd was in no hurry to cross the river today evening. In a few minutes, we were proved wrong once again, when the herd started purposefully walking in the direction of the river, in a single file (below).
While many tourists lost patience and went away in search of more interesting game, we decided to stay with the herd (above) and predict the river crossing. The Wildebeest herd foxed us again and this time they stopped in their tracks and were foraging around with absolutely no sense of urgency. It was clear we haven’t yet decoded this river crossing and we gave in and drove deeper into the Masai Mara reserve. Our patience though was well rewarded when one Wildebeest mother paused to let her hungry calf suckle for a couple of minutes and we captured the moment as the feature picture (first image) of this post.