Heritage Hotels Big Cat and Migration Updates

Wildlfe Update April 14, 2009

by Heritage

27 April 2009

General Overview
Since our last wildlife update, on the cats and general info from the Mara, not much has changed in terms of the amount of game present in the reserve. The wildebeest are still in the Mara, which is quite unusual for this time of the year. Seeing the wildebeest with newly born calves is the most unusual thing, since calving normally happens in southern Serengeti and on the Loita plains for the resident herds. There is still a reasonable concentration on the North Mara, and areas immediately bordering the reserve to the east. Over the past one month, we have witnessed predators, hyaena, jackals, cheetahs and lions go after the helpless calves. The terrain in the Mara makes them very vulnerable, especially when they go to the river to drink.

The month of April is normally a little quiet bit in terms of game viewing. With the usual long rains, the grass grows tall and as is the case always at this time of the year, most animals would move to areas where the grass is shorter. This is mainly for one, to avoid predation and secondly look for more nutritious shoots.

Lion sighting has been very good, especially with the arrival of the Pump-house pride into our game viewing areas, between the camps and the Mara River. This pride consisting of females, their young and two male, totals sixteen in number. Usually they are found around Maternity area south of Rhino Ridge, but over last month, their territory has extended to encompass the area just south of the Talek river, all the way south of Mara Intrepids/Explorer. So expansive is their territory now that they have displaced the Olkiombo pride, which usually resides along the Talek River east of Mara Intrepids/Explorer. The later have now moved towards Olare-Orok conservancy.

Leopard sightings are very scanty. They have been reported only a handful times over the month. The long grass along the river banks and on the plains makes it quite difficult to spot. You can easily drive past a leopard 2 metres from the road. However Olive is still in her territory now shared with her almost independent daughter, Binti and Ayah.

Cheetah sightings have been very good. Shakira has settled near our camps lately. She is seen regularly hinging on the plains to the east of Mara Explorer. Her three cubs are growing very well. The three brothers are never far from her and have been giving us exciting sightings of great hunts.

Paul Kirui, Chief Safari Guide
Kindly contact: safariguide@mara-intrepids.co.ke for comments or inquiry on the migration and other interesting wildlifel sightings in the Mara, Rift Valley, Samburu and Tsavo West National Park