Heritage Hotels Big Cat and Migration Updates

Mara: Saturday 28th August 2004

by Heritage

30 August 2004

The rains continued in the Mara this week, though it was drier earlier, the rains that came a couple of days ago brought some relief to the wildebeest and zebra. Whereas a higher concentration is still found on the recently burnt areas, most herds are now moving into the long grass section mainly to the east of the Mara River and to the north of the Mara triangle. This is because the grass in these areas in now soft after the rains. The majority of the animals here however are the zebra because naturally they prefer longer grass due to their strong digestive system. Other animals, i.e. Topi, Impala and Thomson gazelles are trailing behind feeding on the short nutritious shoots of the mainly red oat grass.
There have been intermitent crossings at the paradise and look out crossing points. The crossings at paradise have been bi-directional with the herds moving back and forth. At least a couple hundreds were counted drowned. Though the water level is not high, the main cause of most casualties is the stampede.
The predators are also hanging around the herds and seizing any available moments to get themselves meals. To the east of Mara Explorer, about a kilometre, Bella the female leopard has been mking a kill almost regularly around her hideout. She has established herself a perfect spot where the herds cross often on the Talek river.
Not far from there are two prides of lions using the same
techniques to hunt. They are now permanently based here, just moving around the one kilometre radius ( of course why would anybody move far away from the food resource).




Mara: Monday 23rd August 2004

by Heritage

24 August 2004

August 23, 2004
The migration patterns in the Mara continue to change by day. After the one and a half week long rain, most herds headed to the recently burnt grounds because of the new lush grass that shot up after the rain. You understand why it is so when you look at these plains now with a striking green. Most herds are now concentrated on the western part of the Mara triangle along the foot of the Oloololo escarpment. A visit to the area two days ago showed that the herds have retreated from the long grass areas near Oloololo gate and along the Mara River. On the eastern side of the Mara River there are still quite a few herds on Paradise plains, rhino ridge, central and Burrungat plains. However, they are so scattered unlike earlier when they were concentrated. There have been crossings at the paradise crossing point every day with few animals
crossing back over to the Mara conservancy, and a few herds heading back to the northwestern Serengeti.
We have in the past seen similar situations where the wildebeest would come into the Mara then in a month disappear back into the Serengeti only to reappear a month later. We think it may be the same this year.
In the accompanying map you will notice how the
distribution has changed after the rain.

We will keep you updated from the migration frontline.


Mara:Monday 16th August 2004

by Heritage

16 August 2004


August 16, 2004
The wildebeest and zebra herds continue to move randomly throughout the reserve in the past week. However, the rain that swept through the park for the last four days has now changed the movement pattern. Most animals are now headed to recently burnt grasslands in anticipation of lush grazing on the fast growing red oat grass (Themeda triandra). If the rain that came last week is anything to last another week, then these plains will be the center of activities in the coming month, as most herbivores will flock here and so will the predators.

The migratory herds on the Mara triangle continued to amass in the pass week and since most of the plains here were recently burnt, then we expect the most animals to stick here for sometimes. The two herds on the eastern side of the Mara River, one at rhino ridge and the other on the central plains are all drifting westward towards the river and possibly cross onto the triangle. While they are doing this some herds are crossing over from the triangle east onto paradise plains.

The predators have now established their territories where they continue to feed on the transient food. At least four prides of lions of individuals ranging from 17 to 20 have camped between the Talek River to the east of Mara Intrepids and paradise plains.
A female cheetah with three cubs continues to roam around rhino ridge and Bella the female leopard is now seen every day a kilometer to the east of Mara Explorer along the Talek river where was seen killing a grant gazelle last week. This is her favorite spot since some wildebeest come to drink and cross here giving her ample opportunity to feed herself and her one year old son kiayoni

We expect lots of activities in the coming week due to the rains. Please check for our update from the front line again next Friday.