Heritage Hotels Big Cat and Migration Updates

MOJA (NYOTA’S SUB-ADULT, MALE LION CUB)

by sales@heritagehotels.co.ke

26 June 2014

Life of Moja.

This male lion cub is part of the Rhino Ridge pride, west of Mara Intrepids Camp, with Mohican & Romeo2 as the two male dominant lions of the pride.

When Moja was three months old, he was cornered by a herd of six hundred buffaloes.

Moja sought refuge in a cave while Nyota, his mother played decoy and lead the herd away from Moja. When they reached Rhino Ridge, the buffalo lost interest and started grazing in a different direction. Nyota came back for Moja and led her cub up to the ridge to join Mohican and Romeo2.

Now Moja is making his own kills. Since it is the migration season, there is plenty of prey and he might not be solitary for long. He will probably team up with other nomadic males and form a coalition – which gives him a better chance of survival.

Les and Linda Nicol from the Isle of Man in the U.K and regular guests at Mara Explorer Camp are presenting a great coverage of the migration and the life of Moja.
Moja

 

Moja at topi plains looking miserable after being separated from the mother

 

Mohican the father of Moja listening to terrifying sounds made by rival lions in the distance. 

 

Romeo2
Nyota mating at Topi plain
Other Ridge pride lion, Blacky mating with the ridge lioness
Other Ridge pride lion Lip-stick takes a nap 
Report and pictures by John Parmasau – Head Safari Guide, Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer Camps.
©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya. http://www.heritage-

Wildebeest Migration Sightings - Update

by sales@heritagehotels.co.ke

16 June 2014

Weather
It gets cloudy with showers of rain after sunset. During the day there is some drizzle.  We have clear views of the sunset and sunrise.  The grass is green and short in many areas.


Temperature
17c in the morning
27c at midday
25c after sunset.


MIGRATION OF WILDEBEEST AND ZEBRAS
The wildebeest and zebras migration is taking its traditional route which is south of Mara Intrepids Camp via Maji ya Fisi, to the Olkiombo plain and then to Topi plain and onto Musiara Marsh.

There is rain along the riverine forests of the Talek, Intiakitiak, Olare Orok and the Marsh. The new fresh shoots and fresh water in natural water holes dictates the direction of the migration.

The herds are moving to Paradise Crossing along the tree line of Mara River which is west of Mara Intrepids Camp. In the next two days we expect a massive crossing at Paradise Crossing towards Mara Triangle.

There is rain, storm and thunder in north Serengeti (which adjoins Mara). This might get the migration to return faster to the Serengeti. The rain in Serengeti might also keep the remaining herds from migrating which means we will experience another migration in July-August.   

Wildebeest spread across Topi plain all the way to the Marsh North West of Mara Intrepids Camp, heading to Mara river Paradise Crossing.

 

 

Beautiful sun set across the Mara over Oloololo escarpment.


Report and pictures by John Parmasau – Head Safari Guide, Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer Camps.
©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya. http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/

The 2014 Wildebeest Migration Is Here!

by sales@heritagehotels.co.ke

12 June 2014

Weather 

It’s drizzling in the Mara. The grass on some plains is green and short and in other parts it’s tall with the red-oat grass.
The sunsets and sunrise are great. After sunset, it’s cloudy with showers of rain.


Temperature 

17c morning
27c at midday
25c after sunset.

Migration of Wildebeest and Zebras

The annual migration of the wildebeest and zebras from the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Loita plains in Kenya has arrived.
After the prolonged drought in the country, the Mara region was greatly affected with no grass for the cattle to graze. For the herds to survive, nocturnal grazing was allowed in the eastern part of the Mara reserve, where they have consumed three quarters of the grass.
Hence, the migrating wildebeest and zebra do not have enough to browse on in this part of the reserve. This has affected the usual grazing pattern where the zebras come first followed by the wildebeest and gazelles.

This has also affected their movement pattern. The herds are moving faster in search of grass. This means that the spectacular Mara River crossing to the west of the Mara to join the Mara Triangle conservancy may happen in the next few days. The most likely places for the crossing could be at the Lookout Crossing and Paradise Crossing which is west of Mara Intrepids Camp at Mara River.

The Talek River crossing will likely be between Mara Intrepids Camp and the junction of Talek and Mara River.

The Posse and Meta plains south of Mara Intrepids Camp are full of wildebeest and zebra.

The wildebeest male are busy trying to establish their dominancy and mating rites.

Predators 

Predators’ sightings have been good because of the abundant food.


Lions 

The prides of lions have started grouping themselves after a long period of separation due to lack of prey. It’s a survival strategy to avoid competition where the prides break into smaller family units of three or four depending on the size of the litter.

The Ridge pride now consists of three groups - one of eight individuals, another with seven members and another one of nine with Blacky and Lipstick. The males in the pride are converging between Rekero and Mara Intrepids Camp.

Double-cross pride went through a lot of hardship due to no food and dominance from the new male lions from Olare Orok pride. They came in and kicked out Mohican and Romeo2 from the Double-cross pride.
The old lioness with two cubs who had a deep cut on her back leg caused by a warthog managed to escape with her cubs from the sub-adult male lions of the Ridge pride – who most likely would have killed her cubs.
The Double-cross pride had nine cubs. Six were killed by the new two new males who came from Olare Orok conservancy (the same ones who chased away Mohican and Romeo2).
Notch’s four bully boys - Roan, Ciza, Crimes and Notch2 are at Olkejuronkai with the Shonko pride south of Mara Intrepids Camp.

Cheetahs 

Amani and her four-month-old cub are at Survey, south of Mara Intrepids Camp by the Olkiombo airstrip.
Cheetahs tend to pave way for the wildebeest migration and rally behind them where the grass has been crop down. This attracts the small antelopes like Thomson gazelle which is the cheetah’s favorite prey.    

Leopards 

Leopard sightings are more than cheetah ones especially along Olare Orok and Intiakitiak Rivers. Saba and Jicho, the male leopard are at Olare Orok and Lerai. Another female leopard is at Intiakitiak.


Saba, the last borne of (late)Olive, the famous female leopard at the junction of Intiakitiak and Olare Orok river


Double Cross lioness with cubs of different ages cross suckling.


Blacky, the Ridge pride male with a wildebeest kill at Shamarta west of Mara intrepids camp.


Wildebeest crossing Talek River east of Mara Explorer Camp


Romeo2 at Double Cross during his last visit after he was chased out of the Double Cross pride and territory.

Report and pictures by John Parmasau – Head Safari Guide, Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer Camps.
©Heritage Hotels Ltd, Kenya. http://www.heritage-eastafrica.com/