After being away in the north, guiding, i have just come back to the Mara to a big surprise!
The wildebeest have made another dramatic come back. In the past one and a half weeks, the concentration in the central part of the reserve swelled to an enormous number. Most of the herds as per our previous update had moved back into Serengeti but are now made a complete change of direction in the past two weeks. They moved from the eastern part of the river, crossed west onto the Mara Triangle, then south into northern Serengeti and turned around to re-enter the Mara around Enkoikwateet salt lick area where some come through in early August. In fact everything now is just like at the beginning. There is a higher concentration on Olorukoti, and paradise plains. The westward bound herds have spread out on the Topi plains again and the herds from the Mara triangle have been crossing the Mara River at the main paradise crossing point for the last few days. For the past few days, we have witnessed many animals crossing below lookout hill, with some crossing activity lasting upto a couple of hours. The animals are crossing over from the Mara triangle just as before and others heading north . The western concentration is around Serena lodge and south to the border of Serengeti. Most of the other areas south of the Talek river upto Keekorok lodge have very few animals as much of the concentration is in the west and the northern areas of the reserve. This turn-around of events is exactly as happened around the same time in 2008 as per my reports of 11.10.2008.
There was burning of the grass on the plains near Lookout hill which is now teeming with short fresh grass after the short rains recently. This is where most of the herds have settled temporarily. The light showers we had two weeks ago have played a crucial role in the sprouting of the grass. The crossing points around paradise plains have been alive with activities, with most animals crossing back and forth. The water in the river is quite high currently making these crossing quite dramatic.