A Sea of Black and White..

12 July 2012

Some of us went out on an adventure searching for the Migration which we had heard was not too far away. I joined Heather, Anne, Richard and Francoise and we started our journey with Kakae after a nice, slow start to the morning, haven had a delicious breakfast.

Our first few sightings outside camp were two Oribis, two Reedbuck and a lovely little Dikdik. We then spotted a huge herd of Elephant over in the hills opposite us and we knew that we were in for a good day!

We drove 70kms South-west and then South-east and saw many fantastic sights, such as hundreds of vultures on a Zebra kill, large herds of Eland, Topi, Red Hartebeest and great groups of assorted animals feasting together on the dried-out burnt patches where National Park had done 'control burning' which is a common occurrence this time of the year.

As we left, two lionesses who had recently been feeding on a Wildebeest carcass, were now flopped down in the grass with rather large bellies.

We drove over the hill and had our first sighting of the beginning of the famous Wildebeest Migration! There were probably a hundred Wildebeest dotted around the plains with a couple of Zebras thrown in for color, but it was not so much the sight which amazed us as we closed in on them but the sound, which is something that one cannot explain – just truly incredible. Each Wildebeest has its own voice and each one sounds completely different, with much ‘neighing’ and 'grunting'. Summing it up in one word, they are quite appropriately called 'G..N..U..'.

Soon we left them and continued towards the Bologonja River . Words cannot really express what we saw, but hopefully the photos will be able to explain in more detail. Let me just say that there was literally a sea of black and white, and in every direction we moved - we saw more and more Zebras! The collective noun - 'A Dazzle of Zebras' – is definitely the best way to describe this sight!

In total we worked out we saw approximately between 8,000 to 10,000 Zebra in this one area. They were standing, walking and running in their groups all around us. The noise was astounding as each stallion called out to his family and each mare called out to her foal. Groups would run backwards and forwards, trying to decide where to go, and once arriving at the water to drink, one of them would let off a neigh and again, they would all gallop away! The most incredible thing of all is that each and every Zebra we saw had a different marking, much the same as a finger print!

We found a lovely spot on the edge of the small stream where we set up our picnic, surrounded by these magnificent animals, all galloping and cantering around us!

We arrived back to camp at about 1800 in the evening after a full and truly adventurous day, ready to tell all about our sightings!

Since then, most guests in camp have taken the time out of their busy Lamai schedule to drive to the Bologonja River to witness this incredible spectacle of the Zebra migration!

If this is only the start of it... we can only wonder what lies in store for us over the next few weeks!!

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