Kenya 2010: The Watering Hole

Location: Serena Sweetwater Tented Camp - Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy

The tension was palpable. The herd ran in, thrashed about, drank, and dashed away into the landscape. Seasonal droughts produce micro-habitats where scarce amounts of food and water can be found. As the dry season progresses the flora is over-grazed and ephemeral wetlands evaporate into mud holes. The large groups of megafauna are forced into river valleys, springs and semi-permanent wetlands. Individual animals fight for position within the herd... nobody wants to be left on the margin. While water sustains life, its absence restricts diversity and survival. These scarce resources are the lifeblood of the savanna they are a place to live and a place to die. 

We watched from the edges of a pond as one herd after another ran into the wetland. Warthogs intimidate as they rumble into the water, snort and wallow about. Known for a grumpy disposition, the hogs displace the quiet of one herd as they bully about. They are nothing short of obnoxious as they vocalize with bombastic exuberance. Tails go up when it's time to go, and the hogs leave as quickly as they arrived.
If you are looking for the drama of Africa, find yourself a quiet little pond surrounded by a naked landscape. Pull up a chair, peer through the camera and wait. The action is just around the corner.

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