19 November 2014
It’s fantastic – sunny days and cool nights.
28c at midday
25c after sunset
LOITA WILDEBEEST AND ZEBRAS MIGRATION (DOMESTIC)
The great migration from Serengeti left earlier than expected this year - in mid October. The migrating herds left the grass chewed to the bottom. Now after the short rains, new shoots are springing up and everywhere it’s green with colorful flowers that the baboons and leopard tortoise relish. Now with no rains in the Loita plains, the Loita herbivores are moving to the Olkiombo plains and on to Paradise plains, west of Mara Intrepids Camp. The waterholes are full and the herbivores are finding it safe instead of trekking to the rivers for water where predators can easily hunt them. With plenty of food and water available, the herbivores are looking strong and healthy – giving the predators a tough time. The predators are therefore targeting young and weak prey in the wild. There is plenty of game north and west of the Talek River with more zebras than wildebeest.
OTHER INTERESTING SIGHTINGS AROUND MARA INTREPIDS CAMP
Every November after the end of the migration, there are a lot of births because of the food available. The herbivores have enough grass to feed on and produce milk for the young while the predators prey on the young and adult herbivores. The young of warthogs and Thomson gazelle are favourite prey.
Almost all prides have cubs of different ages.The Ridge pride has thirteen cubs, five lionesses and two males – that’s Blacky and Lipstick. Another sub-pride of the Ridge pride has two lionesses with five sub-adult cubs aged one-and-a-half years old. This pride is in between the territory of the Ridge pride and Paradise pride. The four musketeers who own the Marsh and Paradise pride sometimes get together with the sub–Ridge pride.
This pride operates on both sides of the Mara River. The two lionesses that did not cross the Mara Triangle have five cubs aged four months old. They are at Paradise plains along Mara River.
Double Cross Pride
The Double Cross pride has moved towards Olkiombo following the wildebeest and zebra. This pride has two males called Mohican and Romeo2, six lionesses and five cubs. Oloolpapit, a male lion from Olare Orok Conservancy has teamed up with two females from the Ridge pride. They are still within the Ridge pride territory and we suspect there might be a coalition soon.
Olkeju Ronkai Pride
This pride under Notch’s sons is to the south of Mara Intrepids Camp. It has seven lionesses and seven cubs. Four are aged three months; two are six months old and one sub-adult male aged two years. Two lionesses have left the seven female group and teamed up with Notch’s grandsons. One of the females is Napejo or Scarface.
The Olkiombo pride has two sub-prides. One has eleven cubs, four lionesses and four males who are Notch’s boys. They are found at Survey Hill south of Mara Intrepids Camp.
Bahati is with a male from Rhino Ridge who is still too shy. We still have not been able to identify him. Siri is at Shamarta on the rocky hills with her cub. Shujaa is at Paradise Crossing. Lorien is south of Mara Intrepids Camp along Olkeju Ronkai with her cub.
Malaika is the star in the Mara with her five cubs aged four months old. She’s a tough mother who has survived the lion and hyena attacks including her kills but she is a very active female who makes than one kill in a day to feed her family. The cubs look well fed and healthy, two males and three females. At the same area where Malaika is residing, there is another female with her cubs who are still under cover. So far there are a good number of female cheetahs who have not yet brought out their cubs. All of them are south of Mara Intrepids Camp.
Report and pictures by John Parmasau – Head Safari Guide, Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer Camps.