July 2023

An obstacle to overcome and life in the Lamai Triangle


An obstacle to overcome and life in the Lamai Triangle

It is mid-July here on the vast plains of the northern Serengeti. Thousands upon thousands of migratory wildebeest have reached the endless hills and valleys of green pasture. The conditions are favourable here in the north, still plenty of grass available from the later rains. Life is looking pretty good here, not only for the migratory animals but for predators alike. Lions, leopards and cheetahs fill their bellies with the influx of animals into their realms, for they have been waiting many months for this feast.

The wildebeest gather on the southern banks, a relentless surge as they begin to shift towards river access. One of Nature’s greatest spectacles is about to unfold and the anticipation rises like the dust in the warm air above the backs of thousands of beasts.

The dramatic Mara River crossings unfold. The wildebeest parade the banks of the Mara, they wait, building up the courage, the energy and motivation to overcome this monumental obstacle. One courageous beast makes the leap and the rest race after it as they pour down the river banks like ants. They leap into the waters currents, focusing hard on the opposite banks. Suddenly the water ahead erupts with the heads of dragons. The crocodiles have too been waiting many months for the wildebeest to return…

These powerful reptiles take no prisoners and swiftly dispatch wildebeest as they tire upon the water’s current. We witnessed two or three wildebeest taken by the Mara dragons, snapped up in the jaws of this giant reptile. The majority of the animals however made it through unscathed and continue their great migration north to the Mara conservancy in Kenya.

It has been a truly magnificent few days with my guests as we gazed on to this almost mesmerizing display of animal behaviour.

Wildlife viewing away from the pandemonium of the Mara River has been very pleasant with some fantastic leopard sightings in the woodlands closer to the camp. The Walkers’ Plain male leopard was spotted on a number of occasions with a kill in a tree. Before the wildebeest arrived this male was focusing on gazelle as prey, however, now the young wildebeest calves have become a favoured source of protein.

A female leopard was spotted along the boundary road near the black rocks with a wildebeest calf kill. She appeared to be quite relaxed as we viewed her from a distance. Another male leopard was sighted just upstream of the black bridge, lying up in a thorn tree. This provided guests with some lovely viewing.

Cheetah sightings have been great with good time spent with the coalition of three brothers, a female with two young cubs and a single male up on the high ground of the Kambi Kambi.

Some excellent lion sightings were enjoyed with the Black Rock Pride in their usual spot on the higher ground towards the Kenya border. These six lionesses and youngsters are doing very well, looking strong and in fine condition.

Elephant viewing has been incredible in the Lamai Triangle this month. No matter where you look you seem to have elephants in your field of vision. What a pleasure! A fantastic month in Lamai and I have enjoyed each and every day relishing these wild experiences with my guests. Such magic memories!

By Andrew Kavenga