29 June 2016
The Great Migration Is On!
Last two weeks: Chilly mornings and hot afternoons coupled with heavy rains - an average of 10mm per day.
Most of the crossing points are quite impassable. The Olare Orok River crossing is ok because there isn’t much rain on the northern side of the park.
The Mara River is higher than in previous years meaning there will be spectacular crossings of the wildebeest this year.
260c at midday
150c after sunset
THE GREAT MIGRATION
The first batch of wildebeest and zebras arrived in their thousands, around Zacharia, Pololet hills, Murram ya Ashnil and Sand River.
With the migration we are also seeing lots of vultures– like the Ruppell’s, African white-backed and Lappet-faced vultures.
The Loita herds are spread out around Billa Shaka and Milima Tatu and another bigger herd around Kilomita Tisa east heading south to meet with the migratory herds from the Serengeti.
We are waiting for these herds to make the famous crossing across the Talek River into Possee Plains any time now.
The last two weeks the impala have been breeding close to our football pitch and around the landing strip. Occasionally a big bull elephant comes around Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer including a small family of several females and young ones. There’s a herd of fifty elands and their calves, giraffes and the Loita wildebeest and zebra.
The Ridge pride is still at the Topi plains and seems to have established a permanent home there. The pride is expanding its territory towards Billa Shaka because the four musketeers are not around. Lipstick and Blacky are taking advantage of their absence.
It will be interesting to see what happens when the musketeers get back to reclaim their territory.
Two females from the Ridge pride who had crossed the Mara River over to Mara Triangle are back with a cub aged about six months. They killed a wildebeest calf a week ago and seem to be doing fine.
Lipstick has been seen with two females from the Double Cross pride that had disappeared.
One of the males left after having a feast from the wildebeest kill that the females had made by Mara Explorer Camp. The following day during the morning drive he was at Billa Shaka with his mate Blacky – meaning that he travelled 15 kilometers that night.
Olkeju Ronkai Pride
This pride has been at Burrungat plains because of the huge herds of plains game -wildebeest, topis, zebras, warthogs and gazelles.
The five cubs are doing great and we have another female that has given birth to two cubs although they are still hidden.
The only male is still holding on to the pride but Earless and Boxer Nose - the other two big males around Kivuko ya Pussy are in that area as this is their territory.
With the onset of the migration, the pride is headed towards Maji Mbili in readiness of the wildebeest that are already headed towards Olmisigiyioi area.
The pride has been elusive but is seen around the Talek River.
Bahati has been spotted on several occasions by guests on the opposite side of the Talek River by the swimming pool at Mara Intrepids with her two cubs.
Siri the pump house leopard has been seen in Shamarta area. She had been missing for some time. There are reports that she has three cubs which we are yet to confirm.
Lorrian along Olkeju Rongai has been a common sighting. She was seen with a kill near Kivuko ya Pussy and on the following day with her cub near Maji ya Fisi. She seems to be expanding her territory.
Malaika has said goodbye to her two cubs. We are expecting a new litter from her any time before the end of June.
The two cubs have been named Malkia (female) and Mfalme (male). They are still together and are seen around Kananga and Murram ya Fig Tree.
Nora on the other hand has been around Maji ya Fisi and crossed Talek River with her sub adult cub. They are doing well.
We have two new males in the area though not together who go by the names Leomom and Martin. They have crossed over from the Mara Triangle and have of late been hanging around Double Crossing.
Report and pictures By Raphael Ole Koikai – Head Driver Guide, Mara Intrepids and Mara Explorer Camps.