Heritage Hotels Big Cat and Migration Updates

News from Maasai Mara, Kenya July 31st 2008

by Heritage

31 July 2008

The wildebeest migration continues to thrill guests to the Mara. For the past week the herds of wildebeest and zebra continued in their traditional migratory routes into the Mara. The herds which have been crossing the Mara river near the lower Mara bridge are now massed up on the recently burnt section on the south Mara triangle. More herds have kept crossing over from Serengeti into the Mara and these are still near Look Out Hill and some have spread out on the central and Burrungat plains.

The animals continued crossing near the lower Mara bridge onto the Mara triangle in the past week, though in reduced numbers. In contrast, there were many wildebeest and zebra crossing at the Paradise Point, where there has been a lot of action with crossings in both directions.

The crocodiles at the Mara River have increased slightly, but the crocodiles have never ceased taking the opportunity. There are many animals snapped by the ever-hungry reptiles during the crossings, with our guide once counting upwards of 30 crocodiles in a feeding frenzy on one wildebeest carcass! With more animals on the Mara triangle now moving east, there are now more than one crossing points at the river - which increases chances of one seeing a crossing while reducing over-crowding.

Predators
The lion prides in areas where the migrating animals have reached are now hunting daily. So much so, that when there are easy pickings, even full-bellied lions will hunt just for the fun of it! This has heightened the excitement during the game drives.

There were good leopard sightings over the past week. Even in areas where leopards are known to be shy, there was evidence from carcasses in trees. A young female - christened Penda by Mara Intrepids guides - can still be found at Olkeju-Rongai area. In the past two days, she has been seen actively hunting in the middle of the day.

Paul Kirui, Lead Safari Guide, Heritage Hotels

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Sighting of the year!

by Heritage

31 July 2008


There was a rare sighing in the Mara yesterday of an unusual visitor - a rare lesser Kudu! Spotted by our guide, Aggrey Angogo at around 4.00pm yesterday (29/7/08) just east of Mara Explorer, it was excitement all around. He generously shared this information with other tour guides, and in one hour almost a quarter of the Mara guests were here to see for themselves. Though commonly seen in other areas like Tsavo east and west, and other parks in eastern Kenya, the lesser Kudu is scarce in the Mara. It is believed a few of these animals occurred in these parts before the1940s, and nobody remembers ever seeing one in the past few decades.


Paul Kirui, Lead Safari Guide, Heritage Hotels

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News from Maasai Mara, Kenya July 24th 2008

by Heritage

24 July 2008

The Mara River has been active in the past week, with many wildebeests and zebra crossing the river near Look Out Hill onto the Mara triangle. As reported last week, the herds then head west and northwards, settling on Burrungat plains across the river from Mara Intrepids. The main crossing at Paradise point was not very active, but our guides expect it to be the highlight of activities in the coming weeks when the herds will cross at this traditional point over to Paradise plains.

The water in the river is still low, making the crossing for the wildebeest just an easy walk across, with the crocs snapping at every opportunity for a meal. The herds have now seemingly settled down, especially along the lower side of the Mara River. The Loita herds have now joined with the Serengeti ones south of Mara triangle, where the grass is sufficient to sustain them through the migration season.

Looking down into Serengeti, herds of wildebeests and zebra on the recently burnt areas along the border can be seen nibbling on new shoots of grass growing in these area after some light rains swept through there the previous week.

Predators:
For the predators, the season of plenty has finally arrived! Lion prides south of the Talek are now very active, responding to the herbivores moving into their territories. The same is to cheetah and leopards in the area.

Our guests at Mara Intrepids witnessed a few kills by lions at Olkeju-Rongai and Look Out Hill area. There have been a lot of attempted and successful hunts by the Shonko pride between Mara Intrepids and Olkeju-Rongai stream.

Other notable predators have also been on the prowl. The hyaena clan living on Burrungat plains ”“ traditional scavengers - took to an active hunting when the herds got to their territory. The vultures that accompany the migrating animals are now a common sight in the lower Mara section. They are the clean-up gangs that clear the mess left by the predators or carcasses of animals succumbing to diseases/injuries.


Paul Kirui, Lead Safari Guide, Heritage Hotels
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