Sunday, September 21, 2014

Day 6 and 7, Northern Serengeti

Northern Serengeti- lusher, greener, cooler temperatures with animals in larger herds than Central Serengeti. We came here with one purpose in mind and that was to witness the migratory wildebeests and zebras crossing the Mara River.

                                                    Colorful Agama lizard

Eland- the largest African entelope 
Lodging here was at Bologonja One Angata Migration Camp. Luxury tent with huge bathrooms, mosquito netted king size bed, a nice library and dining hall. But, not so good food (set dinners of overcooked meat and undercooked veggies). Nice location in the migratory path of the wildebeests and zebras but not the best location to see the river crossings as it is about 1.5 hrs away from the Mara River. Strong winds at night shook our bed and tent which made for two sleepless nights. There was no electricity in our tent on the 1st night. Was told by one of the staff that an elephant had pulled out the cable during the night. Second night came around and we still had no electricity. Another staff decided to check the power battery and yup, the battery needed replacing. One good thing about this camp was we were provided with 5 gallons each of hot and cold water for shower. It was more than sufficient for a nice warm shower.
 Wildebeests in front of the campsite
 Male ostrich looking for food.
 Flush toilet, sink area and shower with a nice shower head.
 Buckets of shower water
Red sun rising on our way to the Mara River.
On the day that we're supposed to see the river crossing, we left the campsite at 6 am and were at the Mara river by 8 am. Thousands of wildebeests had gathered at the river bank with some turning back. We stuck around for an hour and our driver didn't want to wait any longer. He didn't think that there would be any crossings that day. So, he took us across the Kenya border into Masai Mara. I'm not sure why. We didn't think to ask either as it was not in our itinerary. On the way back, we got lost in the Kuria Hills for two hours, not anywhere near the river- passed by the same Lemala Kuria Hills' sign twice. While we were lost, the river crossing was actually happening. We found this out the next day from a video shot by another family on our flight to Zanzibar. From the video, there were lots of other safari vehicles there too. I was disappointed that we missed the crossing. We should have waited by the river. Adding to the disappointment, lunch time was miserable as we had lunch in our safari vehicle with tse tse flies everywhere. Now, tse tse flies are pretty harmless but it hurts if bitten and they do suck the blood out of you. Can't forget my first "bush" bathroom experience here too, as bathroom facilities were "nada" in this area. 

An overturned truck by the bridge as we cross the Mara River back from the Kenya border.
                                                Crocodiles resting by the Mara River.
The black rhino- considered a rare sighting and the last big 5 (elephant, leopard, black rhino, lion and cape buffalo) that we saw. Overall, this safari trip was a trip of a lifetime. It's been two month since we've been back. Going thru the pictures had not ceased to amaze me of the experience that we had.
Our last sunset of the Serengeti.

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