Heritage Hotels Big Cat and Migration Updates

Wildlfe Update: May 2nd, 2009

by Heritage

2 May 2009

The just ended month of April, has been very good in terms of game viewing in our units. The anticipated long rains across the country was erratic and less than anticipated, leaving most of the country still dry.

In the Mara, the rainfall was sufficient to quench the ground and grass the plains across the recently burnt areas. In some areas the grass has now grown very tall and most herbivores are avoiding them because predators take advantage to prey on them. Because most animals have moved to areas where the grass is short, it has now created a wilderness concept in the Mara which is a total contrast to what we see from July onwards. For those guests who want to have great moments of solitude, this is the best time to visit.

In the closing week of the month of April we enjoyed great sightings. All the lions prides in our game viewing areas were seen regularly, so were cheetahs including Shakira who has been on the Topi
plains for sometimes now. Leopards were seen often in their usual place, most of the time hunting impala and Thomson's gazelles along the Talek river just south of Mara Intrepids. Big boy was seen killing a big warthog near Mara Explorer on 30th April.

Up north in the Samburu National Reserve, it has been dry for a long time now. During the dry seasons, it is not uncommon for these master predators to combine efforts in order to survive. A few weeks ago, our guides reported seeing a coalition of two male lions combining to kill an adult buffalo. They have been seen together ever since.

The sightings over the month have been fabulous. The reserve boasts a pride of lions with cubs which are mainly sighted at Koitogo region. Our guests at Samburu Intrepids were on hand to see two male lions being chased by a herd of buffaloes up Koitogo Mountains a couple of weeks ago. Four lion cubs were sighted at Daraja ya Wire where their mother had left them to go hunting.

Plenty of other game have been seen, including dozens of Oryx, a lioness crossing the river to the Buffalo Springs area of the reserve, just opposite Daraja ya Wire, dozens of crocodiles at Isiolo River and hundreds of resident and migratory birds all over the reserve.

A female leopard was seen with a cub at Choo ya block, while another with two cubs and a gerenuk kill was sighted one morning. In the evening the same female was seen with her two cubs and the male leopard with two kills hanged up in the same tree. These cats have become super hunters.

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

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