On the way to the Mara Triangle Conservancy, a separately managed area on the far west of the reserve, we passed the largest elephant I have ever seen. We were traveling at speed since the drive to the triangle from Talek is almost two hours and we were aiming to start our work by 8:30. The elephant had its back turned but was quite close to the road. As the car whizzed past, it whirled around swinging its trunk in the air and showing off two tusks that were easily longer than my entire body. Dust burst in the air at the movement of his bulk, but soon all that could be seen was the dust from our vehicle.
The Triangle is staggeringly beautiful and nearly empty of tourists.
It is a bit marshier than other parts of the park and we actually saw an otter! I know, I wasn’t even sure if otters lived in Africa, but I checked and they do and it was definitely an otter. It leaped from a small pond on one side of the road to the marsh on the other, its slick black fur making it unmistakable.
We also discovered that the Triangle has more Tsetse flies than other parts of the park – something that the two gaping holes in my shoulder can attest to. Generally known for caring the plague of sleeping sickness and thus preventing cattle from living in various parts of Africa before their extermination, the Tsetse fly also has a rather painful bite and a habit of being attracted to dark colors.
Unfortunately I happened to be wearing a black shirt (one of their favorite colors as it resembles the buffalo) and got nailed twice in the shoulder before we finally grabbed the little bugger and tossed it from the window. After the bite, I now understand why there was near hysteria in Ghana when one such fly got into the car.