13 August, 2014

MARA INTREPIDS CAMP ANIMAL SIGHTINGS - 12th August 2014

Weather 
  
It’s cloudy in the early morning but gets warmer by midday with clear blue skies.   It’s important to dress warm for early morning game drives.   

Temperature   

17c morning   
28c at midday   
25c after sunset   

MIGRATION OF WILDEBEEST AND ZEBRAS   

The migration is moving in circles following the weather pattern. For the last two weeks, the wildebeest and zebras have been crossing to the west of the Mara towards Oloololo Escarpment for greener pastures.   Four days ago, there was rain in the Central Plains. The wildebeest and zebra had already grazed the grass down here. With the heavy downpour, it’s already looking lush and green.   The center of attraction during the last four days is the massive crossing of the wildebeest and zebra south of Mara Intrepids Camp by Lookout Hill. There have been dramatic happenings around Mara River, with the anxious wildebeest jumping off high cliffs to join their friends in the river crossing.

             

 Predators

 Lions

The Double Cross pride and Ridge pride are doing well with all the prey and rain around.   The Ridge pride is at Rekero with seven cubs of different ages. The pride has four lionesses including Lipstick. Blacky is the male in the pride. Double cross is between the two rivers - Intiakitiak and Olare Orok with Mohican and Romeo2 as the males of the pride. It has six lionesses and seven cubs of different ages. During the lean times, the lionesses in the pride killed a young giraffe at Bull Crossing near Olare Orok.

     

 Leopards   

 Bahati has finished mating. She is now patrolling the area between Mara Intrepids Camp and Smelly  Crossing. Saba and Lerai are at Double Crossing - Lerai at Intiakitiak and Saba at Olare Orok. 

   

 Cheetahs   

Cheetah sightings are good around Mara Intrepid Camp. There are two young males roaming between Mara Intrepids Camp and Fig Tree. The cheetah females are still in their hideout with their young. The cubs usually come out of cover after nine weeks. This is the time when the Thomson gazelle are dropping their fawn – so there’s prey for the cubs.

     
 Report and pictures by John Parmasau – Head Safari Guide, Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer Camps.
©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya. http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/

05 August, 2014

A Wildlife Preview Of A Game Drive In Samburu National Reserve

The whole land has turn to be dry and we are deep in the dry season in Samburu and further North. Most of the shrubs, trees and grass are completely finished in some areas. The life giving river Uaso Ngiro is also too low and people within region are also struggling to graze their animals where there is little pasture. There is a lot of migration taking place---- all in search of water and pasture.   

In the reserve, our safaris have been enjoyable and successful in terms of big cats sighting. Samburu’s large carnivores – lions, leopards and cheetahs – are coping very well. Our guests see cats making kills almost daily. 


The 5 cubs and 2 females are eating a full grown warthog which was just killed by Nanai (mother of three). We have also recorded Namunyak has been limping on the right foreleg for quite some time now.

Due to lack water in the region, lots of prey concentrates within the water areas and the same makes it easier for carnivores to find the prey coming to the river. In this time therefore is the best time to see the predators because they spend more time concentrating along Uaso Ngiro River, and are also more lethargic, making it easier for carnivores to ambush them.   

This family has been most of their time it’s in the reserve near Koitogo mt.. Their hunting has been successful due the number of warthogs, Zebras, Oryx which has increased in the park. The family has many a times with warthog kill and many other time killing Zebras and other game.


Cubs eating Zebra carcass

Few other rare animals has been recorded in the reserve including kudus (lesser and greeter) 5 lesser kudus which was amazing, over 300 Grevy’s Zebras, lots of impalas, waterbuck, giraffes, grant gazelles plus of course the big cats.



 
Wild dogs have been recorded in the reserve but they are not regular visitors.  

The female lioness and her three cubs visit the river banks of Uaso Ngiro River during the afternoon hours to cool down their bodies from the intense high temperatures which are recorded during the day. The cubs are fond of eating the grass at the river banks to induce puking which is a natural way of cleaning their stomach from impurities eaten earlier from its prey.   

The female Cheetah and her two cubs are very patient and hopeful animals when it comes to hunting expeditions. Despite their hunger strikes, they are able to focus and strategize on getting their next prey. The cheetah converts its hunger strain into power and agility into hunting for its prey. It never gives up hope. The female Cheetah has a greater responsibility of getting a prey this is due to her cubs that have no greater or minimal experience and ability on hunting for its prey.

 

The cheetah has a remarkable reputation of capturing its prey after a day as compared to the other cats which spend almost two to three days towards capturing their next meal. Cheetahs are not heavy eaters but there are known for their speed both in eating and running as compared to lions and leopards. This can be explained well by their streamlined body structures.Leopards are good tree climbers due to their muscles on both the front and hind legs. The female leopard at Samburu National Reserve which was spotted on top a tree during evening hours and later on, the following day in the morning at the hills was considered to be leading a solitary life, which in general it’s their nature. They protect and monitor their territory from other predators.

 

The leopard has a good eye sight capability when it comes to sighting of their prey on top of trees. They can stay up to more than half an hour focusing and strategizing on how to hunt at the marked prey. Sometimes lions depend on them for their survival whereby they wait for leopards to kill and the run to snatch the kill. This has been very common in Samburu whereby young male lions hide near leopard’s territories to try their luck.

 


The Reticulated Giraffe, Water back, Impalas, Oryx, Somali Ostrich, Grevy’s Zebra and the dik diks are all the prey of the big Cats that are found in Samburu National Reserve.

     


Impalas numbers have increase for the last five years and that made it easy for the lions to hunt them. Oryx are also preferred due to the size which can fill the whole pride at once. The Water Bucks meat has got a lot of fatty tissue around their muscles thus it’s the least of the big Cats favorite prey. We happen to meet the Gerenuk feeding on small tree shrubs standing on its two feet and with its long neck, which is its adaptive feature and means of survival in the wild which is a major advantage among the family of herbivores game animals.

  


To mark the end of the days adventurers expedition we happen to meet “Pumba” ( a warthog) and his fellow brothers enjoying themselves before they become their predators meal at sunset…'You Only Live Once’…I heard them say.

   
Report by Steve Tilas and pictures by Jelly Loloju – Safari Guides, Samburu Intrepids Camp.
©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya. http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/

Migration Update - 25th July 2014

Weather   

It’s cloudy early morning with clear skies mid-morning. You have to dress warm for early morning game-drives. We provide our guests with Maasai shukas (blankets) on game-drives.   


Temperature   

17c morning   
28c at midday   
25c after sunset   


The Migration   

The migrating wildebeest and zebras have been crossing to the west of the Mara following rain along Oloololo Escarpment and the Olare Orok Conservancy in the north. There has been a lot of up and down movement for the rains have not been even and locally distributed.   Another large herd from south of the Mara is streaming in from north Serengeti through Sand River. Led by a herd of zebras, they get in to the Mara where the grass is heavily over grazed by the earlier migrating herds.   The first lot is at Talek River behind Mara Explorer crossing. The zebras are in the lead while the wildebeest follow.   Their area of interest is between Rekero and Rhino Ridge. It’s a valley that stretches to Paradise Crossing. It’s the last place to visit on the migration route. It is the only place that is supporting herds of buffalo at the moment, for it is green, has water springs and pools. 
 
           

Predators   

Lions   

The Double Cross pride is starving at the moment for the wildebeest and zebras have moved to the marsh after crossing Mara River in the west.   Barnoti and Oloolpapit, who have not yet acquired a pride are scavenging for food from the hyenas. They have a lot of claw cuts and bites on their bodies that show they have been fighting for survival.   Notch’s boys have expanded their territorial boundaries far south over looking Sand River. The four brothers are still together looking healthy.

           


Leopards   

The Ridge male is at Double Crossing, either at Topi plain or Olkiombo plain depending on prey availability. 




Cheetahs

Amani is at Lookout Hill with her seven-month-old cub and her older daughter.  

  
Report and pictures by John Parmasau – Head Safari Guide, Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer Camps.
©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya. http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/

ANIMAL SIGHTINGS - Mara Intrepids & Mara Explorer

Weather   

Cold, cloudy mornings clearing up by mid-day. You need to dress warm for the early morning game drives.  


Temperature   

17c morning   
28c at midday   
25c after sunset   


Annual Migration of the Wildebeest and Zebras   

Herds of wildebeest and zebra continue to flow west to cross Mara River following the rain on the Mara Triangle along Oloololo Escarpment.   During the crossings, there are only a few casualties because the water level in the Mara River is low. Nevertheless, crossing rivers in the presence of crocodiles is a dangerous affair.   Crocodile are more efficient in deep and fast flowing water than in shallow water - they kill their prey by drowning it and ripping it by spinning.     


Predators   

Lions 
  
Lion prides are healthy and doing well in terms of feeding and family grouping.   The Rekero pride is doing well with six cubs of different ages - four aged three months old and two aged five months old. Lipstick and Blacky are the male lions of the pride.   The Olkiombo pride is at Central Plain with four of Notch’s sons in charge of them. The Shonko pride has eleven members.   

Leopards   

Bahati has been seen mating during the last two weeks on the edge of Olkiombo airstrip – a kilometer away from Mara Intrepids Camp – She’s with a young male who has yet to be identified.   

Cheetahs   

Amani is at Lookout Hill with her cub aged seven months.   

             
Report and pictures by John Parmasau – Head Safari Guide, Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer Camps.
©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya. http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/

01 July, 2014

The Wildebeest Migration Endures: Maasai Mara Wildlife Update

Weather

It is warm during the day with a clear sky and a great time to enjoy the beautiful golden sunrise and sunset. It can be a bit dusty during the game drives.


Temperature

17c morning
28c at midday
25c after sunset


MIGRATION OF WILDEBEEST AND ZEBRAS

The migratory animals are moving to the river crossing points towards Mara Triangle Conservancy.

The migration south of Mara Intrepids Camp has crossed Sand River into the Mara led by thousands of zebras. Some are heading north while others are moving west towards Mara River. They are moving fast due to pressure from behind.

The crossing at Lookout Hill is expected to take place any time from today heading west. At the moment the big river crossings are at Paradise Crossing upstream from Lookout Crossing in the morning. We encourage guests to carry picnic boxes for it is unpredictable when the wildebeest and zebra will cross.

The water level in the Mara River is not high which makes it easier for the herds to cross and hopefully spot the crocodiles – but they are always hesitant to cross because of the danger lurking in the muddy rivers.











































PREDATORS

LIONS:

The lion prides are establishing themselves into family units. The nomadic male lions are roaming around looking for new prides territories to take over.
The Ridge pride also called Rekero pride has five cubs of different ages with Lipstick and Blacky around them to make sure their offspring are safe from intruding males who will kill the cubs. By killing the cubs, the females come into heat soon after and are ready to mate with the new males. In this way the new males ensure their genes are carried on.

Double Cross pride is still doing well with 11 members.





















































LEOPARDS:

Bahati and Saba are still around along Olare Orok. Bahati has been seen mating but shying off into the bushes by the junction of Talek and Olare Orok rivers.

Siri at Shamarta by Mara River is lactating. We think she has cubs on the big rock.

























CHEETAHS:


Amani’s female cub is at Shamarta not far from Siri’s (the leopard) hideout by Paradise Plain.


SPECIAL SIGHTING.














Elephants swimming with hippos at Mara river.


Mara intrepid camp watching Karanja by Mara Intrepids camp foot bridge.

Report and pictures by John Parmasau – Head Safari Guide, Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer Camps.
©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya. http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/