Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

Tidal Wave of Wildebeests

Posted from Mara Sayari Camp, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania at 8:17 pm, August 5th, 2014

Growing up in the USA we are all told stories about pioneer days when herds of buffalo filled the horizon. That still happens in the Serengeti – at one point today we watched a herd of wildebeest galloping across a pass in the hills, down a valley, and across the plain, and couldn’t see where the massive movement of animals began. The animals traveled in lines that broke like a wave around our vehicle (see the photo below), with hundreds and hundreds running by us while the majority took another path further away. The herds of wildebeest here are IMMENSE, and we’re supposedly only seeing the stragglers that haven’t yet crossed the Mara river into Kenya…

Our lodging for the evening is the ridiculously fancy Mara Sayari tent camp – my “tent” has a hardwood floor, partitioned separations for the upscale bathroom, tub, shower, etc; I am not roughing it. There is a pool here with a large pile of what is obviously elephant poop near it – I asked the manager if elephants ever stopped by for a drink, and she admitted that they do but noted that the wooden fence keeps out the hippos who once frequented it. Pool maintenance is clearly a much different task in the bush of Africa than it is in the backyards of Los Angeles. Lest anyone think this is merely a fancy resort, everyone was frequently and emphatically reminded to request a guide when walking at dark due to the many animals roaming about, several of whom would happily make a meal of any stray camp resident.

Coming on this safari was an unbelievably good decision, and I’ve already seen sights that I’ve wanted to see since I was a little kid watching nature documentaries on TV. We’ve got much more to go, but already the soul has been much refreshed from everything we’ve experienced.

Wildebeest migration in Serengeti National Park

This photo captures a tiny fraction of just one herd migrating through the Serengeti. There are more than a million wildebeest on the move, and they fill the horizon at times.

4 responses to “Tidal Wave of Wildebeests”

    1. Supposedly we may see something like this again in Kenya. There were literally wildebeests across the entire horizon, and one tiny branch of that mass of animals came pouring down around our vehicle. It was pretty cool.

  1. That wildebeest picture is stunning!! I shared with some friends on my job site and everyone was totally blown away. It really looks like a painting! Good job on the photogramizification.

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