29 May, 2018

Run Free Lipstick!


Lipstick was one of the pride males of the famous ridge pride that live north of Mara Intrepids/Explorer camps between rhino ridge and double cross area.

Born around 2006 in the Mara triangle area, Lipstick and his brothers have managed to move and conquer many territories, they have also lost more territories to other rival males in the Masai Mara ecosystem.

Lipstick and his brother Blackie took over the ridge pride sometime in 2015 and that is the same pride that he ruled until his death.



On the 19 July 2018 the guides found him dead in his territory. He has been involved in many fights while trying to defend the prides territory and also sometimes when trying to expand their current territory and this often leads to conflicts with other lions.

Lipstick got into a fight with other lions probably from the Enkoyanai pride males and has been injured and limping badly for the last couple of months. With his injury, he couldn’t keep up with the pride when they went hunting and so he got very weak as he would get to the kill mostly when there was not much left. With his age catching up with him there wasn’t much chance of him recovering in the wild.

Lipstick sired many cubs in the Masai Mara and his genes have been spread across the Mara. He lived a great wild and free life that many other lions don’t usually live. He was about 13-14 years old.



Blackie his brother now has the sole responsibility to protect the pride which is a big challenge as there is always other younger and stronger males trying to challenge and take over the pride.

RIP Lipstick, You brought so much joy to us and all around the world and will surely be missed. You surely left a great legacy.

Run free Mighty warrior.



Compiled by Kang’ethe Mugwe.

25 May, 2018

Chef George’s Haute Cuisine



Ravioli of Lake Naivasha Crayfish, Served with Leek and Asparagus Vinaigrette

Ingredients

Fresh Ravioli Pasta [standard recipe]
Crayfish tails –
Chopped dill and parsley for Herb oil
Common cap mousse
Blanched and refreshed asparagus and leek
Herb oiL, Chilli oil
Balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Method

Make the pasta dough as per the standard [100g flour to one whole egg and tsp. olive oil]
Make some Naivasha Common Cap Mousse – by using Boneless, Skinless Fish Flesh.
Dice the fish flesh well – add in the blender and blend with egg white til totally smooth then add a little cream. Do not  over blend  the cream
Season well and put to one side.
Marinate the crayfish tails in garlic, fish sauce and grated lemon zest, and fresh parsley.
Blanch the crayfish tails and Refresh  and then mix with a little common Cap Mousse , add a little more fresh chopped parsley– this is your filling for the ravioli.
Make the pasta using the standard recipe and roll out into circles.
Place the filing on the circle, brush with egg white and Place another circle on top – seal blanch and refresh.
Ensure the pasta sheet is very thin
Trim the baby leeks and prep the asparagus – boil in salted water – refresh in cold water once cooked, marinate in olive oil and balsamic once cold, season well.
Make the herb and the chilli oils.



22 May, 2018

Masai Mara Occurrence 2


Weather

Very wet, heavy rains.  It gets sunny in the morning followed by thunderstorms in the afternoon. Nevertheless there have been some spectacular sunsets and sunrises and on some clear nights, the moon rise.

Temperature:  12ºc -18ºc.



Wildlife

Fantastic.

The park is lush with grass and all the watering holes are full. The elephants are having a great time with big herds that have never been seen before including the big bulls with big tuskers who we believe are not resident in the park but come from the Nyakweri forest on top of the Oloololo escarpment north-west of Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer Camps.

There are also many female elephants with some very young calves.


Buffalos are also having a great time and most of them are with calves. There are hundreds of them around.



The smaller antelopes like the Thompson gazelles, Grants gazelle, impalas, and the topi have moved to higher grounds where the grass is a bit shorter. It’s safer for them.
For bird watchers this is a very good time.  The Widow birds are in breeding plumage. Easily seen are Pin tailed whydahs, European white storks, White-faced whistling ducks with ducklings, Saddle-billed storks, and Secretary birds.


Predators

Lions

Olkiombo Pride
It is slowly falling back to its original territory along the Talek River. The pride has been moving to the north where the grass is shorter and easier to hunt. The lions have attacked some cows from the herders in the park. The dominant males, Maridadi and Kaka are still in charge of the pride.



Ridge Pride
Intact with Blacky and Lipstick in charge.
The pride is still at Topi Plains on the northern side of Rhino Ridge.
The grass is taller here so the lions are having a difficult time hunting. But they have had some success with warthogs and topis.


Enkuyanai Pride with Oloolpapit and Olbarnoti are doing okay. It killed a buffalo on the eastern side of Ntiakitiak River and devoured it in three days.
It then moved back across Ntiakitiak River and is now at Kaboso trying to hunt zebras.

Leopards
Bahati seems to have separated from her cubs. She was last seen mating with one of the resident males along the Olare Orok River. She may have another litter sometime in August.


Bahati’s cubs Hatari (male) and Bella2 (female) named after her great grandmother Bella are doing very well, hunting smaller prey like baby impala.

The Kaboso female is also doing great with her cubs in their territory along Kaboso River and Nkorbob. The river is very high and impassable but when we managed to cross the river, we saw them with a warthog up on a tree.



Cheetahs
The five male cheetahs are at Maji ya Fisi. They were last seen with a female cheetah named Nora after which they separated from the female.

They moved across the Talek River into Olare Orok Conservancy but didn’t stay long there because of the number of domestic cows that have been allowed to graze in the conservancy.

Imani has lost three of her four cubs. She is trying very hard to protect the surviving cub. They crossed the Talek River in late April and are around Murram ya Fig Tree and Lugga ya Njoroge.  Imani has been successful in hunting on several occasions.


Malaika’s male cubs are around Rekero and Lugga ya Ndege, trying to hunt, getting better by the day.

Sightings by Raphael Koikai, head driver-guide

27 March, 2018

Hunting Independently



Weather

March began with heavy rains which washed away some camps, flooded the rivers and made the bridges impassable.


However the rains brought a sigh of relieve for the wildlife and the communities that were desperately looking to the rainy season. The livestock belonging to the Masai communities had been ravaged by the drought.



It’s cool most of the time with temperatures ranging between 16ºc in the mornings and evenings to 24ºc during the day.

Wildebeest Phenomena in the Mara

The wildebeest began to drop their young in the Mara in February and are still giving birth in large numbers. This is a phenomenon because wildebeest give birth in the Serengeti and in the Loita Plains but not in the Mara.



The Loita herds of wildebeest and zebra are back in the park heading south towards the Talek River. Some have crossed to Possee Plains.



General game
Game viewing has been good with lots of plains wildlife feasting on the green pastures and water.


The topi continue to rut. Males display their dominance in the breeding grounds (leks) with females moving in and out of them.

Warthogs, buffalos, Maasai giraffes are well fed and calving. Herds of eland are common around the Mara Intrepids camps where they are marooned between the Olare Orok and Ntiakitiak Rivers.



On a recent early morning game drive we saw a python strangle and swallow a dikdik.  






Predators

Lions
The Olkiombo Pride

It is reclaiming its former territory along the Talek River. The pride has two big, dominant males named Maridadi and Kaka including four females and nine cubs.
Maridadi seems to be a bit bigger than his coalition mate and has been crossing the Talek River but does not venture far from it. He may be looking for new territory.



The Ridge Pride
It’s in its territory at the Topi Plains. The pride was seen feasting on a cow and a hippo. Blacky and Lipstick are still the dominant males. There are also three young males in the pride who may be kicked out soon as they are almost sexually mature.




The Enkuyanai Pride
It’s along Ntiakitiak River, crossing the river every time the water goes down. The lions killed a buffalo and they feasted on it for three days. The dominant males - Oloolpapit and Olbarnoti – then started to mate.



Leopards
Bahati
She and her cubs are roaming around the Mara Intrepids.  We have named the two cubs Hatari (the male cub) and Bella 2 (the female). They seem to be separating from their mother at a very early age as they are barely one year old. However the cubs are already independent and hunt for themselves. On several occasions, they have been seen with kills of young impala and scrub hares up in the trees.


Recently, Bahati killed a big male impala but didn’t bother to call the cubs. She ate for two days and left without looking for the cubs.



Kaboso
She and her two cubs are also doing well. Kaboso with the help of her older male cub Blue Eyes is keeping a serious watch over the cubs as there are many baboons and hyenas around. Blue Eyes helps his mother to hunt gazelles and warthogs.

Luluka
She’s at Olkeju Rongai and has been seen with gazelle and impala kills up on a tree on different occasions.



Cheetahs

Malaika
She and her two male cubs were on the western side of Olare Orok River when the water level was at its highest.  There are unconfirmed reports that Malaika may have tried to cross the flooded river and drowned.



Other reports are that she may have left her cubs who are now old enough to hunt.
Malaika had shown some signs of coming on heat and we our keeping our fingers crossed that she is fine. Her cubs are still searching for her.

Imani
She had a new litter of four cubs around the Lookout Hill.  She has lost one and we hope the remaining three will survive as she seems to be taking very good care of them.


By R. Koikai

Senior driver-guide at Mara Intrepids/Explorer Camps

05 February, 2018

Ziwani Escapades 2

Weather
Very hot.
Temperature

18’c morning
35’c at midday
25’c at sunset
Landscape
Everything is drying up with the many trees shedding their leaves. Some places are still green and lush like the Serengeti (not to be confused with Tanzania’s Serengeti) and Mbuyuni plains where most wildlife is.
In the Sanctuary wildlife numbers have doubled due to the scarcity of water in the adjoining Tsavo West National Park where almost all the natural dams have dried up.
In the Sanctuary and around the Camp there are many zebras, impalas, Fringed-eared oryx, elands, warthogs, buffalos including hippos and crocodiles.





Lake Jipe Jumbos
During the festive season we visited Lake Jipe in Tsavo West to look for elephants.
The elephants spend time in the lake until 9 a.m. and then wander away into the plains to browse. They return at around lunch time. During the dry season, they can even spend the whole day in the lake feeding on reeds.

We visited the lake thrice during the festive season and watched the elephants feeding along the lake. Our guests enjoyed take beautiful pictures of the elephants at the lake with the Pare Mountains in Tanzania as a backdrop.





Predators

Lions
One lioness with two cubs seen this week near signage number 43. Two lions were also seen at Mbuyuni gate.

Cheetah
A collision of three cheetahs along Salaita road during evening game drives. On the daily night game drives we have seen cheetahs on four consecutive days at the airstrip hunting impalas.



Photo credit: Lisa Gebetsroither and Florian from Austria.

Leopard

 One leopard seen near signage number 38 twice a day.

Written by Stephen Lekatoo.

19 December, 2017

Masai Mara Occurence

Masai Mara look green the herbivore are all spread out but as the crass get taller in some parts of the park antelopes tend to maintain the level in in some areas. The migration from loita plain are still around as the north part of Mara is still dry and  owners have decide to fence making hard for residents migration.



BIRDS
Birds are enjoying allot of insects around, The wet ground make many worms and other insects come out of the soil to get sun and breath. The migrant are not left out white storks are all over the Mara.

LIONS
Lions are doing very well many of them have cubs some are breeding we hope there will be more lions in the next few months as the north migration will be staying around.

Ridge pride;  This is a famous pride because of their dominant males Blacky & lipstick, They are wondering from the ridge, Topi plain and Olare-orok river they have skilfully female hence make kill almost every night. They are very healthy at moment.



Nguyanai pride; This is another growing pride they have been very busy breeding for the last three months some of their female have cubs along Ntiakitiak river and Olorpabit was seen breeding yesterday with another female. Their territory goes to Olare conservancy.



Paradise pride; This is another happy pride as many times there is zebras and Topis at main crossing, they have been making kill after few days Buffaloes are in big herds in their territory making them gain skills of hunting them.

Rongai pride; in South of Mara Intrepids  are doing good kill almost every night they patrol all way to survey area, Their young ones are growing faster due to availability of food.


Mash pride; They are still apart but we hope they will be back together in their territory as the cows are no longer allowed in the mash as use to be, Their six male are seen patrolling towards the Topi plain and paradise plains.

ELEPHANTS
Since the migration from Tanzania left there have been big herds of Elephant around some having calf and some big male seem to be breeding. They are beautiful creatures to watch especially when wallowing in the mud, Availability of newly growing trees make them happy as compared to dry spell when they struggle to get the required kilos of food.



ELAND
This are the largest antelopes and used to be very few and shy because they were hunted for their game meet but as they are protected in the park there number is growing up in number they have many calf and no longer shy.



THOMSON GAZELLES
They are in group of small antelopes and now they are in big herds because they feed on the new shoots of the green crass, some are breeding while some have young ones they breed all year round depending on availability of food. There close Cousin Grant are fewer as they breed after two years but they co-exist together.



LEOPARDS
As the bushes become green it become more hard to get this elusive creatures but because of our professional guides all our client at  Mara intrepids have been following this famous leopards

Bahati -She is famous and she has been showing up at smelly crossing west of intrepids camp and going along the Talek to where Olare orok meet Talek she has been alone and we think that she might be on her way to leave the cubs on their own.



Kaboso female. She has been showing up after two or three days while she go for a hunt, the clubs are still very young and that why she has not brought out from her dent.
Lorian & luluka This are famous two which you would not miss by trying two or three days unless when they kill big antelope in the ticket they always wonder around Rongai river south of Intrepids camp.




CHEETAH
They are day time and they are happy due to presence of many small antelopes, they are mostly solitary but many times male get together to form a coalition.

Malaika our famous cheetah with her two sons are still around Mara intrepids camp eastern side along Talek river, She is a very successful hunter and now happy because of many gazelles along Talek river.



Rani (musira female ) she is on western side of Mara intrepids across smelly crossing enjoying after leaving her daughters.

Five male coalitions This cheetahs have now enjoy staying in a short crass area South east Mara intrepids at hammercop area where there are also big antelopes wildebeest, Coke hartebeests and Topis, They are very successful hunters.



   Compiled & written by Silas