If there is one thing I’ve learnt during the last 5 Great Migration seasons in the Masai Mara its that no two crossings are the same.
This is the first in a series of posts where I’ll feature some of the most prominent and regularly used crossing points in the Mara Triangle and I’ll start with what is probably the most photogenic of the lot. The Peninsula.
Located just 3.5 km from one of our most regularly used camp sites in the Mara this particularly crossing point has delivered some of the most spectacular and voluminous river crossings over the years. The image below clearly shows why its referred to as their Peninsula. What is not immediately obvious though is how this “finger” of land contributes to the sheer size and duration of the river crossings that take place here.
As the herds move west onto the edge of the peninsula and numbers begin to build, so too does the pressure. Compared to some of the other crossing points where the herds often move up and down the river, this particular crossing point usually builds up massive pressure from the east in a relatively short period of time.
From a photographic perspective, the vehicle icon on the map shows the only position from which crossings at this point can be viewed. Luckily though this position affords guests a front row seat to capture both the entry and exit points, a pretty unique feature!
One of the other unique features of the peninsula are the buttes and channels between which the migratory hers must pass to access the river. With late afternoon light from the north west these buttes make for interesting light as long shadows are cast across the scene and a subtle side lighting accentuates any dust which is kicked up into the air.
Of course, one cannot talk about the Peninsula without mentioning that there is more often than not significant amounts of dust kicked up into the air!
The Peninsula and Maji Machafu (dirty water) drainage line which enters the river just upstream from it is the core territory for a beautiful female leopard who we see regularly throughout each and every season in the Mara Triangle.
This beautiful female often makes use of the drainage lines and the exit point at the peninsula to stalk and pounce on her favoured prey species which means there is never a dull moment! We have on many occasions had river crossings interrupted by her sudden appearance along the river bank.
Here are a couple of images from the rest of the Wild Eye team with their thoughts on this crossing point…
So there you have it, the Peninsula!
Experience a river crossing for yourself!
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