Magazine article Geographical

Kenyan Journal

Magazine article Geographical

Kenyan Journal

Article excerpt

Wildlife photographer and author Jonathan Scott writes of his and his wife Angie's frustration at having to delay their Serengeti safari due to fires and unpredictable wildebeest

There's is still a chill in the air on the Equator during Britain's summer months. Though not cold by British standards this is our winter and Nairobi skies are dull and grey. There is no shortage of fuel for a log fire in the evenings thanks to the silent efficiency of millions of termites that transformed some of our favourite garden trees to pulp during the drought of the past three years. Fortunately, our house is built from termite-proof stone blocks, though panic set in a few months ago when Angie found that termites had got to the kitchen and eaten through some of our cupboards.

We experienced frustration of a different kind last week. Our safari to the Serengeti has been postponed. Film-maker Alan Root, who knows the Serengeti as well as anyone, flew over the park to check on the movements of the wildebeest migration, and found that many of them have already headed north for the Masai Mara. Alan's colleagues had hoped to film crocodile predation when the thirsty herds come to drink along the Grumeti river in the western part of the Serengeti, home to some of the biggest crocodiles in Africa, some of which grow over five metres long. Alan also told Angie that large areas of grassland have been torched -- some of the fires are natural, others started by poachers and herdsmen. …

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