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Flash floods in the Mara

28 Mar 2010 / 0 Comments / in natural world, travels

After a long period of devastating drought, East Africa was lashed by torrential rain earlier this month. Uganda suffered mudslides which killed scores of people, and a deluge in Kenya’s Samburu national park left acres underwater and washed away valuable conservation research.  The storms hit south west Kenya, too, while we were visiting the Masai Mara game reserve. It was very dramatic and at times quite scary. We got stuck behind a stream which had grown into an impassable river before our very eyes and had to be rescued in the dark by brave Maasai drivers in 4Wdrive vehicles after a five-hour wait.

Here’s a little film I made about it:

The next day we had to drive in minibuses through knee-deep mud which as well as needing frequent pushes to get us out when we got bogged, was extremely dangerous. The drivers had to virtually throw the vehicles into the slippery soft ground to have enough momentum to get us through the bogs and channels and out the other side. You can imagine the fishtailing, skidding and rolling! It was pure chance we didn’t hit a tree or rock and turn over.

The locals said they’d never seen rain like it and blamed it fairly and squarely on climate change.

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