18 November, 2017

MASAI MARA OCTOBER SIGHTINGS

Weather

Very hot days but cold early mornings.

Most parts of the park do not have much grass – nevertheless where there is some grass, the migrating herds of wildebeest and zebras are there.

Many seasonal rivers are almost dry. Only the permanent rivers inside the park are still flowing. Interestingly, the Mara River which was very low for most of the year now seems to have a lot more water which is an indication that there is some rain upstream at the Mau Forest that is the source of the river.


Wildlife

Lots of plains game concentrated around our camps.

At the end of September, there was a little rain and the grass sprouted which attracted the herbivores including big herds of the migrating wildebeest and zebras. We saw herds crossing at the Talek River heading south towards the Serengeti.



This is the traditional calving season for most antelopes like topi, Thompson gazelles and Grant’s gazelles, hartebeest, buffalos, elands and warthogs. A few giraffes have also given birth around Olkeju Rongai.

The elephants are slowly coming back into the park now that the migration is almost over.

Predators

Lions
The Rekero-breakaway Pride

It’s at Chemarta doing extremely well with several cubs of different ages. The Musketeers are the dominant males in the pride. The pride positioned itself strategically at the Chinese hill crossing point where it has made successful kills of animals trying to cross the river.

The Musketeers are also taking care of the Paradise pride. This pride seems to be expanding its territory across the Talek River into Maji ya Eland.








The Ridge Pride

It’s at Double-crossing and the Topi plains. It’s doing quite well with the two dominant males - Lipstick and Blacky - holding on to the pride and breeding with the females.
The cubs are doing very well and one of the older females has three new cubs that are about two months old. The older four cubs - the Mandevus - three brothers and one sister - are about three and a half years old. They seem to be slowly moving away from the maternal pride and may soon establish a new territory of their own.




The Enkuyanai Pride

Some females from Olare Orok conservancy are now at Chumvi Chumvi along the Ntiakitiak River.
The dominant males - Ololpapit and Olbarnoti - who took over the pride from Romeo2 and Mohican don’t seem to be very stable. They are sharing the girls with Blacky and Lipstick of the Ridge pride.
Strange though, the pride has three cubs who seem to be tolerated by the two sets of males – Blacky and Lipstick and Ololpapit and Olbarnoti. Ordinarily, if neither of them is the father, the cubs would have been killed by them.









Cheetahs

The five-male cheetah coalition is still moving around the park. It’s been seen to cover great distances in a day taking advantage of the wildebeest around, frequently killing both young and full grown wildebeest.

The two female cheetahs who are Imani’s cubs are still together and have moved from Paradise plains to Double Crossing where they killed an impala. But because of hyenas and the Ridge pride they could not stay long in the area. They are now in the Mara Triangle.

Malaika is doing well with her two cubs. They are fully grown. We expect them to cross over to Kona ya Were as there are many gazelle and topi foals to hunt.



Leopard

Bahati with her two cubs is doing great.  She killed three wildebeest next to the Mara Intrepids Camp football pitch where she stayed for four days.

Safarilink, the older of Bahati’s cub from the previous litter has moved out of the maternal territory and establishing his territory around Maji ya Eland. He has been seen with kills up the tree.

Kaboso and cubs are doing great too. The older male cub from the previous litter is still around and moving along the Olare Orok River. They have been seen with kills up in the tree in different locations and at different times




Written by By Raphael Koikai                                     

ZIWANI OCTOBER SIGHTINGS

Weather
Extremely hot.
It’s quite confusing because there were signs of rains. They are much needed.
Briefly
The animals are by the rivers - which are drying up - to quench their thirst. If the drought continues, many animals will die. We’re seeing them become weaker by the day. It’s sad to see weak animals like warthogs and impalas getting stuck in the river.
The elands and hippos are around the campfire at night. Our residents Jumbos are on the other side of the dam feeding on acacia trees. It’s very interesting for our guests to watch this from the restaurant.


Temperature
20’c morning
37’c at midday
28’c at sunset

In Tsavo West National Park, the rivers are drying up with patches of grass by the river banks. Although the grass is short, it’s better than nothing for the animals.

This week we had several nature walks.

Along Sante River, we had the usual - zebras, waterbuck, giraffes, warthog, impalas and elands. They interact because they have one thing in common – security - and so they alert each other in case of danger. The biggest danger is the lion.



Still on the nature walk, we saw the rock python under thick shrub which made the guests happy to see a real snake in the bush.



Predators

Lions
One female with two cubs was seen near Kitani Bridge.

Cheetahs
The male cheetah was seen twice this week. The first day it was at the end of our airstrip. Yesterday we saw him during the night game drive at Lake Solomon inside the Sanctuary.

Written by Stephen Lekatoo 

15 November, 2017

A Jack-Daniel's weekend at GRVL

Lohana Golfing Weekend
GRVL hosted the Lohana annual golfing even on the weekend of 14th and 15th October with 104 society members playing under the stroke play format.
The climax was the evening at the Cepheus restaurant with a presentation of Jack Daniel's whiskey by a team from Brown-Forman Corporation with four labels for sampling.




Facts about Jack Daniel’s
  • It is produced in Lynchburg, Tennessee, by the Jack Daniel Distillery, owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation since 1956.
  • It is the top selling American whiskey in the world, whose  founder, Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel, was born in 1850 (and his tombstone bears that date), but said his exact birth date was unknown. 
  • It is also not known why Jack Daniel named his whiskey “Old No. 7” but there are theories: it may be the number of girlfriends he had, the way he wrote the letter “J” or because it’s lucky.

Drink Jack Daniel's Whiskey


  • Straight
  • On the rocks
  • With a dash of water
  • With club soda
  • With ginger ale


By Ruth Gathugu

28 August, 2017

Fresh Look in Voyager Beach Resort

Hooray!! We have a fresh look now.
Our goal as a company is to have customer service that is not just the best, but legendary. We went out of our way to ensure that your stay with us is more than comfortable. We promise you that you will be delighted if not impressed by our service.

Superior sea view




Executive sea view



Superior garden view




Junior suite garden view



Executive suite sea view



Executive suite garden view



23 August, 2017

The Migration Series

Weather

Dry but with very cold early mornings - temperatures as low as 15 degrees Celsius. The day warms up to 30 degrees Celsius.
Evenings get cool with temperatures at 18 degrees Celsius.


Rivers
There have been no rains in the Mara for some weeks except in the northern and eastern parts which has made it possible for the rivers like the Talek and the Olare Orok to swell and flow.
The Mara River – the life-lung of the Mara – is quite high meaning that there is some rain in the Mau forest - the source of the river.


Wildlife

With the onset of the migration, there is spectacular wildlife with the big herds of wildebeest and zebra spread all over the savanna grasslands.



There have been fantastic crossings over the Mara River with lots of wildebeest and zebras crossing at different points. All seem to be heading towards the Mara Triangle and to the salt lick at Enkoiguaate at the base of the Oloololo Escarpment. This area is very lush because it was burnt recently before the rain for fresh grass to regrow.
Some of the crossings have been at Lookout Crossing and Paradise Crossing.
At Rhino Ridge and Topi Plains near Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer camps there are several hundreds of wildebeest and zebra making their way to the Mara River.



An interesting observation:  An albino zebra on the southern side of the Mara Intrepids and Explorer camps.



During the annual migration of the wildebeest from the Serengeti, elephants tend to move to less crowded areas but there have been sightings of families of up to 15 individuals by the riverine forests in search of pasture as there is hardly anything for them to eat on the plains.
Rhinos have been seen at Olkeju Rongai and around Chemarta.
Buffalos are common but out-numbered by the migrating wildebeest and zebras. Several hundreds’ are calving.  
Eland are also common by the sundowner site by the camp.
Giraffe, impala and gazelles are in plenty despite the dry season.





Predators

Lions

Ridge Pride: doing very well with the pride growing in size with a new set of cubs. Most of the adult females are also pregnant.
The pride has been at Double Crossing and having a great time hunting wildebeest every two days. The three sub-adult males (Mandevu) and their sister Ashlina seem to be getting pushed out of the pride. They have been seen on their own trying to hunt near Rhino Ridge. The dominant males - Blacky and Lipstick- are still in charge of the pride, going strong.



Paradise Pride and the Rekero breakaways: Doing great. They have several cubs.

The Musketeers are in charge of both prides. The prides are around Paradise Crossing and Chemarta hunting wildebeest and zebras.

Long Face who was the dominant male for the Maji ya Eland pride has been loitering around Rekero Crossing and Smelly Crossing. He seems unsettled since he was pushed out of his pride by the four nomads. He was last seen alone at Smelly Crossing.


Lookout Pride: Is below Lookout Hill doing well with the Notch boys in charge though they seem to be getting frail due to old age.

Cheetahs
The coalition of five male cheetahs who are of different ages have been giving us some very good sightings in most parts of the park.
They are also hunting wildebeest and at times they have made multiple kills. They seem to move a lot at night. They moved into the Olare Orok Conservancy for a night and the next day they were seen at Olkeju Rongai which is quite a distance for them to cover in a night.



Imani has left her cubs. The cubs are moving around Rhino Ridge, Possee Plains and Maji ya Eland. They have been successfully hunting - though the kills are small and sometimes they lose them to hyenas.

Malaika - the grand dame of Mara - and her two cubs are also in the same area but a bit further at Concrete Crossing near Lookout Hill. The cubs seem to be doing well but Malaika is getting weak and less efficient at hunting.


Leopards

Bahati: She and her two cubs have been elusive and spotted only once at Mara Intrepids’ Swing Bridge across the Talek River.

Her elder son Safarilink was seen in the same area. They are doing fine and the little cubs are growing.
Kaboso and her two cubs and the older cub are doing very well. They have been seen together sharing kills.
This family has been roaming between Olare Orok River and Kaboso crossing point. They have been hunting wildebeest calves as they cross the rivers.


News alert!

African Wild Dog

We had another rare sighting of a lone hunting dog at Double Crossing who was a bit nervous, running up and down.
The African hunting dog has a satellite collar fitted by researchers to learn more about his movements.
In the early 20th century, the African hunting dog was almost shot to extinction as farmers saw it as vermin.
Numbers are now on the increase.




Senior driver-guide at Mara Intrepids Camp
By Raphael Koikai