Tuesday, 10 November 2015

LIONS ON THE ROCK IN SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK




Last week, I spent 6 days in South Serengeti, following up on the calving wildebeest. We arrived when the active calving had ended. The wildebeests had moved from Ndutu area to the plains around Naabi hill. We encountered eh herds around here and we spent most of the time in this location. However, once we were “wildebeestsed-out” we shifted to looking four cats, especially lions and cheetahs.
The following 3 days was spent among these rock-loving prides of lions. We followed two different prides, who would go hunting at night but in the morning comes back to the same kopje or an adjacent one in same territory. We were rewarded with a great sighting of them on rocks posing nicely for us in different light conditions and event some, mating on the rock (this was not on our shopping list!)
I have come to like this location in Serengeti, for such photo opportunities. I visit Serengeti almost 15 times a year, but I usually do not go to this particular spot due to tight program and limited time. You need amble time to access this place. I have been to this location before, in 1998, but I must have come a little too late that day, as the lions had come down the rocks. But this time round my guests and I had plenty of hours to burn scouring the area, and patiently sitting, waiting for photo opportunity.
One afternoon we realized a photo opportunity. We wanted to take a shot of the moon and a lion on the rock in perfect light. But this was a photo that was never to be. Our subject, the lion on the rock kept its head down until we lost the moon! However, it was worth the wait, otherwise, we would have thought we missed the opportunity. That is the game in photography.
I will be camping again next year in the same location to cover the calving wildebeests and visit my cats once more. If you are interested in joining a safari I will lead the please get in touch not eh following link;

www.soinafricasafaris.com

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Amazing how the Giraffes finds food in the middle of nowhere



Posted: 09 May 2015 07:57 AM PDT
On a recent safari in Serengeti, i spent a great time in solitude around the Gol Kopjes. Beside watching prides of lions in this area all on ourselves, i was amazed when i saw some 3 Giraffes who had trekked for kilometres across the endless plains to come to the Kopjies. It was a time when most of Serengeti was very dry and off course all animals were looking for food. What was amazing is how they got to know of the Kopjes even though they were out of sight from anywhere. Having spent almost a week in this area, i could see that Elephants had been here at some point as can be seen from broken trees. How they were able to find this place too was another guess.
It just got to show how intelligent the animals are and using natural instinct to find food.

Trekking across the plains. Naabi hill in the background

With no landmark as a bearing, these animals just followed their instinct 


They ended up at the Kopjes where they spent some days

There was plenty to eat once they got here.









Tuesday, 28 April 2015

ENJOYING MASAI MARA DURING THE LOW SEASON

I just completed a great safari in what most would expect would be a very wet and boring season to be in the Mara. I also had some doubt of a memorable experience over the this period, basing it on past experience. However, my guest, who have made regular visit to Kenya and Tanzania over the past few years during the month of April, had another memorable experience into the Mara that was bereft of tourists at that time. We arrived int eh Mara over Easter, and as usual was busy over that  weekend, then come Monday and the Mara was left to us. We had sighting all to ourselves and even watched wildebeests and zebras crossing the Mara over a couple of days at the same spot that is usually packed with cars in August, but this time all on our own.
We had an excellent share of leopard sightings with kills. Siri, Kijana and Bahati and another un-named leopard near Kichwa Tembo airstrip, gave us more sightings than we expected of leopards. 
during this trip too, i spent a week not eh Mara triangle, which was my base 16 years ago, and i must say i enjoyed every bit of my stay on that side of the Mara. General the trip was good, and my guests, Kym and Tonya, who are writing a book to be launched in Oct, managed to get more than enough shots to fill the spaces left to complete the book. You may see some of their images at;

 http://paul-kirui.blogspot.com/
www.soinafricasafaris.com




Sunday, 1 March 2015

MASAI MARA UPDATES.



This year has seen the resident herds of wildebeests calving in the Mara. The birth of wildebeest calves is meant to happen en-masse as a way to counter predation. while this happened in the Mara over the last couple of weeks, the masses in south Serengeti (Ndutu area) are also giving birth. thousands of calves are born with a period of 2 weeks. about 80% of the female population (±400,000) will give birth around that period. this ensures that the predators are overcome by the number of prey and that will see many young ones live through to adulthood. what we are witnessing in the Mara currently is not different form that witnessed in South Serengeti. It has really been a treat for those who have never been down south to witness the mass births.
what is unique about the Mara situation this year is that we had so many young born than previous records.  Over the last 15yrs in the Mara, this is the second time we have witnessed such birth. The  local migration, commonly referred to as the Loita migration, used to go to the Loita plains east of the Mara. however, over the past few years, a change in the land use in the Loita area has seen the original group ranches sub-divided into individual parcel. what followed were fences coming up as families and individuals erect fenced off their own parcels. this has now prevented the wildebeest from accessing their traditional calving ground, hence their high concentration in the reserve at the moment. The neighbouring conservancies has brought a relieve to these wildebeests, as they provide a safe ground after the loss of the Loita plains.



Whereas the earlier birth records in the Mara was attributed to drought, which made the wildebeests, including some from Serengeti to overstay, the current is due to the land use change and partly due to a dry spell currently experienced in the region. The Mara predators who would otherwise be on lean feeding at the moment, are now in a season of 'surprise' plenty.
www.soinafricasafaris.com

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Three Ivory smugglers arrested in Nairobi- say ivory belongs to elephants

hree smugglers were early Tuesday (December 30th 2014) nabbed by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Security personnel ferrying four pieces of ivory weighing fourteen kilogrammes. The three, John  Waweru, John Waigwa, and Roseline Kimani were  arrested at Kayole junction along Nairobi’s kangundo road ferrying the contraband ivory on a motorbike.
The suspects were remanded at the Langata police station awaiting appearance in court to answer to charges of illegal possession and trafficking of wildlife trophy.
Meanwhile KWS security operation team in Tsavo West National Park has arrested eighteen herdsmen for illegal livestock grazing in the park. The herdsmen have been remanded at the Taita Taveta police station and are due to be aligned in court for illegal grazing in a protected.
http://www.kws.org/info/news/2014/30decsmaggle2014.html