Harriet Smith Photography


"For The Love of Africa"

AFRICAN SAFARIS - Trips Of A Lifetime

Crossing Over

Country: Kenya
Location: Masai Mara National Reserve
Lodge: Mara Explorer

Crossing Over

This is a picture of 4 elephants (perhaps mother, sub adult, juvenile and a youngster) crossing over a small river which has gouged itself over the eons down 25 feet below the surrounding savanna. This meandering waterway intermixes with both mirror-like small, still pools and sandbars. Its banks are covered with lush vines, shrubs, grasses and trees. Masai Mara is perfect elephant habitat, available water and plentiful grass mixed with trees and shrubs.

A healthy adult will drink up to 60 gallons of water a day. They cannot survive more than 24 hours without drinking. That's why elephants are never too far from a water source. One of the critical lessons for a young elephant is learning the cycles of water in Africa's changing seasons.

This picture was taken in the Masai Mara National Reserve. The Masai Mara National Reserve was named for the Maasai people who inhabit the area, and for the Mara River, which flows through this great reserve. It shares a border with Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and is essentially a continuation of this park, forming the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem. Covering an impressive 430 square miles with four main types of topography, the Masai Mara is a land of breathtaking vistas, abundant wildlife and endless plains. The Masai Mara is in the Great Rift Valley, which is a fault line some 3,500 miles long, from Ethiopia's Red Sea through Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and into Mozambique.

Over 1.5 million wildebeest, zebras and several species of antelope make an annual circular tour between the Serengeti in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya in search of greener pastures. Thegreat migration  happens with a fair share of animal drama as the migrating herds attract the attention of hungry predators - the hyenas, lions and crocodiles that prey on the lame and sick animals along the way.

This is a Reserve rather than a National Park and it belongs to the Masai people. The Masai have, over centuries, developed a synergetic relationship with the wildlife. The Masai Mara was made famous by the book Out of Africa by Karen Blixen.

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