28 January, 2014

Hippo For Breakfast!


It’s been wet and muddy with the rivers and luggas overflowing. Game drives are only possible with 4x4 vehicles.

From Mara Intrepids Camp it’s possible to access all sides of the reserve. Guests walk across the camp’s foot bridge to the vehicles parked on the other side of Talek River. It’s quite spectacular to cross this suspended bridge when the river is in full spate and be able to see the occasional crocodile sunning itself on one of the rocks.
Mara Intrepid's foot bridge. File.

There are heavy downpours on most evenings but by morning the sky is clear followed by a hot day.


170c morning
280c at midday
220c after sunset.

 The Plain game

The grass is overgrown in some areas of the reserve, pushing the grazers to plains with shorter grass. For some grazers, it’s a safety measure, for if they stay where the grass is too tall they can’t see the predators which use the grass as cover to stalk their prey.

Other grazers are just specialized short grass feeders.


Lion’s sightings are good. They are easily seen in their territories searching for prey - warthogs and Topis are their main target.

Notch’s boys can’t starve with hippos around. Since the start of this year, they have already killed two hippos in Talek River, three kilometers south of Mara Intrepids Camp.

The lion cubs are struggling to survive for there is not enough food for them. If this continues, we are likely to lose some cubs to starvation.
Mohican and Romeo 2

Mohican and Romeo 2 have established themselves with three lionesses and six cubs aged four months at Double Cross, between Intiakitiak and Olare Orok. Mohican and Romeo 2 are sons of Chesa and Sala from the Olkiombo pride. Their father was killed when Notch and his sons took over the Olkiombo pride. They have taken over a section of the Ridge pride which disintegrated to form their own pride.


Malaika is expecting. She’s roaming around Shamarta Hill overlooking Mara River, which is five kilometers west of Mara Intrepids Camp.

Amani’s three cubs’ – that’s two males and one female are still together. They separated from the mother in September 2013 and are seen around Mara Explorer and Double-Crossing River.

The new leopard male, who is shy and skittish is seen around Double-Crossing and Mara Explorer Camp. He may be tracking Olive’s female cubs, Saba and Bahati.

Saba has established herself at Mara Explorer while Bahati is controlling the area around Talek and Olare Orok rivers.
Shujaa scans the plains from a vantage point.

Bahati, Olive's daughter, just behind the Mara Intrepids foot bridge.

Shujaa and Siri are at Shamarta and Paradise plains.

Other special cat sightings 

Two caracal couples based between Smelly and Double crossing are expecting kittens. They are hard to spot in the Mara ecosystem but keep to within this territory. We shall try to keep a look out on these families and report on the new litters.

Caracals resemble the serval cats but don't have spots.
Caracal. Image shared from Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license. 

The caracal is also known as a desert lynx and is distributed in Africa, central and southwest Asia, into parts of India. The caracal has been classified variously with Lynx and Felis in the past, but molecular evidence supports a monophyletic genus that is closely allied with the African golden cat and serval. Additional info from Wikipedia.

A serval cat. File © Heritage Hotels

Heritage Hotels (Kenya) manages two luxury camps in the Masai Mara - Mara Explorer and Mara Intrepids - in the confluence of the four game viewing areas of the Masai Mara. The camps are on the banks of the Talek River, with most tents spread along the banks.  Report and pictures by John Parmasau. ©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya. http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/

04 December, 2013

Naivasha Updates


Christmas has come early for Green Park School.
The children received Christmas gifts and a huge cake was baked to celebrate it which the staff served to the kids.


Pili,  was born on 18 January 2012. Next month, he will be one year old.
He is still suckling although he is almost as big as his mother. This is not unusual because zebra foal suckle for 8 to 12 months. So by next month, Pili should no longer be suckling.


This is one of the best areas to climb/hike. One's advised to leave the hotel at 6:00 am so as to arrive at  the gate by 7:00 am. Once done with the formalities of paying, by 7:30am you are good to start climbing.

A walking stick helps with the trek, and be ready to get dusty. 

You will appreciate the sweat when you get to the top. Once up there, you have the option to walk around the rim.  If you do, try going anti-clockwise.

 Report by Daniel Kilonzo, Resident Naturalist at Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort. 

Heritage Hotels (Kenya) manages The Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf resort in Naivasha, just an hour an a half's drive from Nairobi. The lodge is famous for one the longest holes in Kenya - the par 5 -  17th ‘signature’ at 598 metres (654 yards)!
 ©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya.

26 November, 2013

Baby Dik Dik Saved From Swimming Pool

Recently, as our guests were checking out in the morning, we heard loud noises around the pool followed by a big splash. Everyone ran to the pool to see what was happening.

To our astonishment, it was a baby dik dik in the pool. It had run this way to escape a troop of hungry baboons. Now in the swimming pool, it was drowning. Everyone was startled by the scene and some clients were actually in tears.

At that moment Lkaana Letipo, the Ostrich attendant sprung into action. He grabbed the pool sieve and managed to fish the dik dik out of the pool. The animal was not breathing because it had swallowed a lot of water.

Our remarkable Ostrich attendant immediately sucked the water out of the dik diks’ lungs – mouth to mouth - and resuscitated the animal.

The guests were impressed by the Ostrich attendant’s heroic actions that saved a tiny animal.

As the animal was very weak, our Ostrich man put it in the ostrich cage for a day to recuperate – and at night took the animal with him to bed to feed and keep it warm. The following morning the animal had recovered from its ordeal and was ready to be released.

 Heritage Hotels (Kenya) manages one luxury camp in Samburu National Reserve, the Samburu Intrepids Camp. A lush oasis on the banks of the great Uaso Nyiro River, this tented lodge is a delight to be in – deliciously cooled by the river breeze and the forest. Report and pictures by Richard Yoga (KSPGA Bronze Level Guide), Manager Samburu Intrepids Camp.  

©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya. http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/