“To witness that calm rhythm of life revives our worn souls and recaptures a feeling of belonging to the natural world. No one can return from the Serengeti unchanged, for tawny lions will forever prowl our memory and great herds throng our imagination.” ~ George Schaller
The Serengeti ecosystem covers a swathe of Eastern Africa approximately 12,000 square miles in size. Most if it sits within Tanzania, with the northern tip located in Kenya, where it is known as the Maasai Mara.
The Mara-Serengeti is home to one of the largest mammal migrations in the world, as more than 1.5 million wildebeest (and a quarter of a million zebra) follow a time-worn circular loop in their continuous search for grazing. The spectacle of their crossings over the Mara River and up into the Maasai Mara is one of the natural wonders of the world, and a draw for wildlife lovers.
Of course, the Mara-Serengeti has much to offer beyond the migration. Its diverse habitats, including riverine forests, grasslands, swamps and woodlands, are home to a wealth of mammal and bird species including a large lion population, popularised by the BBC’s Big Cat Diary.
This lioness and her cub were members of the famous Marsh Pride, located in the Mara’s Musiara Marsh area for which the pride was named, in the vicinity of Governor’s Camp. This is an area I’ve visited a few times over the years, the quality of wildlife viewing has always been phenomenal.
Sadly, there has been a decline in the Marsh Pride in recent years, due to encroachment on their habitat and deliberate poisoning. It is hard to know whether future generations will experience the same calm rhythm of the natural world that so many of us have cherished in the Mara-Serengeti.
A lioness and cub of the Marsh Pride, in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.
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