31 August 2010
It's a drought season at Tsavo West National Park. Located on a 30,000-acre private farm on the western edge of Tsavo West National Park, Voyager Ziwani sits on the edge of a small, secluded dam on the Sante River. The camp affords guest close encounters with wildlife, as these pictures below show.
The jumbos came for a drink, and decided to nibble at the soft shoots at the edge of thedam.
This gave our guests a chance to take pictures uninhibited.
Notice the hippos in the middle of the dam. The dam is home to a bloat of hippopotamus that comes out to feed at night.
Stephen Lekatoo, Resident Naturalist, Voyager Ziwani Tsavo
31 August 2010
The Wildebeest Migration
The rain in the four areas of the Mara has led to the distribution of the wildebeest and the zebra in them.
The group southeast of Keekorok is now heading west towards the Mara Bridge along Sand River.
Another herd in the Mara Triangle is starting to cross Paradise Crossing and Shamarta and in to the eastern side. A big section of the Mara Triangle has been burnt leaving only a small section with grass for the wildebeest. This has forced the wildebeest to look for greener pastures. The wildebeest crossing to the eastern side are congregating on Topi hill.
There are wildebeest along the border of the Reserve and the Mara West Conservancy, northwest of Mara Intrepids Camp.
A herd of zebras and wildebeest has covered the Olkiombo Plains, and the Talek Olare-orok Rivers. It is moving towards Rhino Ridge and Paradise Plains. The grass is still tall here for the zebra.
The Olkiombo Pride is camping on the southern side of Talek River, east of Mara Intrepids, with the three males still with the Maji ya Fisi pride.
Some of the Ridge Pride lions – the three females, three cubs of different ages and two males are between Intiak
itiak and Olare Orok rivers. The Olkeju-Ronkai Pride is very much along Olkeju-Ronkai River.
Notch’s four sons are at Shamarta near the crossing with two lionesses from the Ridge Pride. Leopards Olive with her two male cubs was seen looking for prey at the Smelly Crossing.
Saba with her cub was at the crossing point at Shamarta not far from Notch’s sons.
John Parmasau, Safari Guide, Mara Intrepids Camp (Pictures © John Parmasau)
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31 August 2010
It’s hot and dry in the Mara. The grass on the plains is like the color of mature red oat grass – gold - and still palatable for the herbivores.
The big herds of wildebeest and zebras have divided themselves into three groups. Each group has taken a different direction, dictated by the availability of fresh grass and water. The rains have been falling on the outskirts of the Mara and also where it has not previously rained.
A big herd from Lookout Hill has drifted to the Meta Plains towards Keekorok and some moving north towards the Posse Plains.
A herd that covered a big area from Milima Tatu in the Mara Triangle around Serena Mara and the Olpunyata Swamp, make numerous crossings from morning till late afternoon along the Mara River, in search of greener pastures on the eastern side of the Mara around Rhino Ridge and the Paradise Plain west of the Mara Intrepids Camp.
In the Mara River a lot of wildebeest were killed in the stampede as they tried to climb over the steep walls of the river. It is a feast for the vultures and the marabou storks while the crocodiles have no need to hunt – there are carcasses all around them.
Another big herd mixed with zebras is in the plains stretching from Bila Shaka, along the border of Mara National Game Reserve and the Mara West Conservancy and the OOC coming down south, towards Mara Intrepids Camp and the Olkiombo Plains.
The Big Cats Diary
The Ridge Pride has moved from Topi Plains following the wildebeest herds. The pride of nine is now 10 because of a new cub that’s one month old.
The Olkiombo Pride is still in three groups along the Talek River.
The Olkeju Ronkai Pride is still together with Junior and the two step-brothers called Cheza and Sala. They are the dominant males from the Olkiombo and Maji-ya Fisi prides.
The Paradise Pride has moved to Paradise Crossing where the wildebeest are crossing the river.
Olive and her two male cubs are along Talek River. She made two unsuccessful attempts to get to the carcass of a wildebeest calf, but was kept off by the female wildebeests four kilometers from the Mara Intrepids Camp.
Saba the female cheetah with her male cub is at Olare-Orok, east of Rhino Ridge.
The three brothers are at Ntiaki-tiak River which is north of Mara Intrepids Camp.