22 July 2010
One herd of wildebeest is re-entering the Mara from the southern part of Lookout Hill via Sand River after visiting the western corridor through Engiro. The wildebeest are around Talek Gate, Lookout Hill, Central Plains, Meta Plains and Olmisigiyio feasting on the succulent grass. The herds that are grazing in Central and Meta Plains are moving towards Lookout Hill, crossing every morning towards Mara Triangle. There’s not much drama in the river between the crocodiles and the wildebeest. However the wildebeest raise a lot of dust by the banks of the Mara River. All the herds that are in Posse Plains are crossing Talek River, west of Fig Tree Camp to Olkiombo Plains where they have never been before. The grass here is fresh and palatable. Herds of zebras are streaming in from Topi Plains because of the one-day rain that refreshed the plains. The Olkiombo Plains are becoming a meeting point for the zebras and the wildebeest.
The other herds of wildebeest, which have branched off from the herds crossing between Fig Tree and Intrepids are crossing between Rekero Camp and Naibor. There’s not much left to graze on this route because the earlier herds have grazed away most of the grass. Walking in single files, the wildebeest walk slowly at first but increase their momentum as they reach Paradise Crossing. It is a traditional crossing used during the migration with lots of action taking place. On 17 July, a lioness in the Mara Triangle made six kills in 45 minutes. The cr
ocodiles are also making successful kills. The plains from Olkiombo to Topi and from Musiara to Mara-Rianda are full of wildebeest. At this point, all the grazers are crossing into Mara Conservancy expecting fresh pasture because of the rains.
Lions The Olkiombo Pride of three males has taken over the neighboring pride at Maji ya Fisi because there are no dominant males in the pride. Many females in the pride are in estrus. The Paradise Pride is also divided after Notch and his son went to the Ridge Pride females. The Ridge Pride has had no dominant male for two years. All the lioness hunt almost daily to provide for their cubs. Leopards Olive the leopard is still with Pacha and Kayoni, her two sons aged 13 months. They are around Take River, east of Mara Explorer, recently seen with a young wildebeest kill.
The three cheetah brothers are at Topi Plains hunting the young of the zebra and the wildebeest.
Paul Kirui, Chief Safari Guide, Heritage Hotels (Pictures © Paul Kirui)
You can read more on Mara Explorer and Mara Intrepids at http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/tented-camps/ Book and pay for two nights at this property and get the third free! http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/specials/3-for-2-safari-special/
12 July 2010
With the biggest global event just coming to a close in South Africa, Voyager Beach Resort held a six-a-side mini world cup recently which involved guests as well as the animation team. We had a total of three teams (aptly christened Ghana, Bafana Bafana and Kenya) that took on each other on a league basis with the two top teams engaging in a final.
[The games were so captivating that the fans could not stick to their seats.]
[Part of the action during the finals]
[Bafana Bafana fans urge their team on with you guessed it - vuvuzelas!] The results were as follows: Game 1. Ghana 2 - Bafana 1 Game 2. Ghana 1 - Kenya 3 Game 3. Kenya 1 - Bafana 2 The pulsating final was between Ghana and Kenya. Ghana drew first blood after just two minutes, with Kenya replying after the restart to bring the game level. Ghana were again the first to score in the second half, with Kenya squeezing in an equaliser in the last minute of the game to send the game into extra time.
[The Mexican waves as the fans urged their teams on]
[Attendance: many thousands. Fans turned out in large numbers for this once-in-a-lifetime 'tournament'!]
[Tense moments at the Ghanaian technical area during the finals] After some serious exchanges between the two teams, the game ended in a stalemate. The game was decided on penalties with Ghana carrying the day after burying two of their three penalties as opposed to Kenya who missed all of their three penalties.
[Yes we are the champions! Ghanaian fans celebrate their epic win.]
[And the moment all Africans have been waiting for: Ghana’s captain lifts the trophy high]
[While runners-up Kenya get the wooden spoon. Next time boys.] The guest of honor was the Cruise Commander, Yusuf who congratulated the winning team while presenting them with the world cup trophy as well as animation t/shirts.
[A group picture of the participating teams after the tournament]
[No major world event is worth it's salt if the closing ceremony is not awesome! The diski dance, no less!] Now who says life on board a cruiser is not all fun! At last, an African team gets to lift the winning trophy in a major event - on home soil!
Book and pay for 2011 early-bird specials at this property and get the third free! http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/beach-holiday/voyager-beach-resort/
9 July 2010
It’s hot and sunny in the Mara following a bout of rain five days ago. The grass is green with new shoots along the edges of the reserve. This has triggered the grazers to move here from the middle of the reserve, which has not received any rain. The grass here is aged and dry and not palatable for the animals. Dry grass also needs a lot of water to digest. The herds therefore find it easier to move to greener pastures.
Large herds of wildebeest and zebras have crossed Talek River from Rekero camp west of the Mara Intrepids Camp trekking across Rhino Ridge towards Bila Shaka near the Musiara Gate.
It is raining in some areas in the reserve attracting the wildebeest, zebras and gazelles. Many herds are moving towards the Mara River and crossing into the Mara Triangle for the succulent grass. Large herds of zebra are crossing the river. They are well fed and so strong that the crocodiles are finding it difficult to hunt them. Delivering powerful kicks, they are able to make their escape and very few zebra carcasses have been spotted in the river this year. The wildebeest however prefer to stay dry and grazing. The rutting season is coming to an end though some bulls are still gathering females in their territories. This leads to brief but intense fights between the dominant bulls. Last week we saw two battling males locked in combat with their horns unable to break loose. Finally, the day was saved when the horn of one wildebeest broke.
Big cats sightings Lions The Olkiombo Pride is back at its favorite migration corridor that links Topi Plains to Paradise Crossing. There is a lot of action here with the lions easily hunting the wildebeest and zebras.
The three males of the Olkiombo Pride are still together and have taken over the Maji ya Fisi Pride. This pride has cubs of different ages ranging between six and 14 months. The Olkeju-Ronkai Pride is also together with its two males, five females and seven cubs occupying the plains between Lookout Hill and Intrepid Camp. The Paradise Pride is in the Chemorta area that is between the Mara River and Paradise Plains where the big herds are moving. The pride is very busy with lots of prey to hunt. One female is mating with the male called Notch. Leopards
Olive's sons, Pacha and Kayioni, are 13 months old. The Ridge male who is the father of the cubs, is with them. Pacha was seen devouring a wildebeest under the croton bush. He is shy of the Ridge male. Olive, perched on the leopard tree just watches the two eyeing each other.
On the other hand, a Lerai cub has being seen for more than two days without its mother at Ntiakitiak River. Cheetahs The three cheetah brothers are roaming between Ntiakitiak River and Talek River waiting for the wildebeest that will be crossing Talek River on their way to the Topi Plains. A female cheetah with two male cubs’ aged nine months is in the same area with the three brothers. Hopefully they will be no territorial disputes.
Paul Kirui, Chief Safari Guide, Heritage Hotels
You can read more on Mara Explorer and Mara Intrepids at http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/tented-camps/
Book and pay for two nights at this property and get the third free! http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/specials/3-for-2-safari-special/