Saturday, September 25, 2010

Africa: The Migration (9) - Serengeti and a Wrong Road

It's hard to say good-by to the migration safari and to the beautiful Masai Mara Game Reserve. I've come to love it so, and can't wait to explore it again in December - even without the migration - with American friends who are coming to join me. The Great Four will return to the Masai Mara, and visit many other game reserves and national parks as well, but the migration was special, and I'm so blessed to have been able to experience it.

So we leave the Great Migration with more views of the beautiful Masai Mara and, as we drove down toward the Tanzania border, some views of the Serengeti. We were not permitted into Tanzania. Barnard - our guide - tells us that going beyond the 1 kilometer limit beyond the Kenya border is strictly forbidden, but we could stand at the border and do our bit for inter-country relations. It was spectacular to look out over the Serengeti (and hope to go there one day).

We were interested to see how different this landscape is from what we had been observing a little farther north in the Masai Mara, but we should not have been surprised. One of the delights of this part of the world is the continually changing landscape. Nothing ever seems to be exactly the same. Drive a distance (even a very short distance) and you will see different things.

But this was special, and we were pleased to have a brief visit to this southern-most part of Kenya. Very, very nice to see, and to share with such lovely friends (as can be seen at Migration Safari - Endnote).

Unfortunately, as my personal experiences with the migration came to an end I
was saddened to read in my online edition of The New York Times an editorial from 30th August, chastising President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania for his plans to go ahead in 2010 and build a highway running straight through the heart of the Northern Serengeti. The highway, as planned, will directly bisect the route of the Great Migration, and it's a sad decision. As The Times says, it's based on a choice between the wrong kind of development and the right kind. This is not the right choice. For those of us who love Africa so, this is very, very painful news.

So now for us it's the end of the Great Migration, looking out over the Serengeti and delighting in what we see, and what we have seen. And perhaps even thinking about what we will see the next time.

1 comment:

Dale Stanley said...

Reminds me of Edward Abby's book, Desert Solitaire. You might enjoy it -- great writing, wilderness setting, a memorable scene involving plans for a highway...