In 2003 Clarissa and I made our first camping trip to the Mara in search of material for my paintings. This was the first of many rewarding trips that we made over the years, usually camping at remote special campsites on the Mara River. However our first trip to the Mara was to the Sand River campsite where we spent a few weeks familiarising ourselves with the conditions and wildlife. My biggest surprise on this safari was that there was lots of rain and muddy tracks even though it was supposed to be the dry season! In Southern Africa I was used to dry seasons that lasted 7 months without a single drop of rain. Every day here was potentially one in which you would end up stuck in some flooded ditch or muddy pothole.