Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Migration Report from Governor's Camp

Report from Governor's Camp in the Masai Mara:

On the 1st July 2011 many wildebeest took the plunge and crossed the Mara River at the Sand River area of the Mara. The zebra are not far behind and could be with us very soon.

The elephant families and their calves have spread out within the Musiara Marsh, Bila Shaka and riverine woodlands of the Mara River. Good numbers have been spending their time in the Acacia woodlands in the Koiyaki conservancy, close to where we do our walking safaris. The swamp is still a good place to see elephant feeding and bathing and there are two large bull elephant that frequent in the Marsh and Bila Shaka areas close to Governors' Camp. But we expect that as the wildebeest migration begins to arrive the elephant will move away to quiter areas.

Most of the herbivores are staying in the short grass areas of Bila Shaka and Topi Plains, here the grass is green and they can see predators approaching. The woodlands close to our camps are home to giraffe, and there are also lots of giraffe in the acacia woodlands bordering the reserve. Good numbers of Cokes Hartebeest graze on the plains and many of the resident zebra are in the southern Koiyaki areas where grasses are still short and green due to the little rain they have had.

Warthog and their eight month old piglets are abundant all over the short grass plains, close to our camps. A few of them have been seen being chased into their bolt holes by lion and then often get they get dug out and eaten; the Marsh Pride have been eating many adults and piglets.

The large breeding herd of Cape Buffalo estimated at over 500 animals is still on the Eastern grassland plains of Rhino Ridge and Bila Shaka; grasses here are a little longer and well suited for buffalo. We have had excellent sightings of black rhino; a large male, and a younger male have been in the Paradise area and there are good numbers of eland on Paradise Plains and in the conservation areas of Koiyaki.

Topi, with their seven/eight month old calves, are on Topi plains and Emarti which is the southern end of Rhino Ridge.

Spotted hyena are frequently near to lion kills, or it is the other way around? On the Paradise plains as many as 40 Hyena have been seen at a time, with numbers like these the hyena clans will compete strongly with the resident lion.

We have also enjoyed some sightings this month of an Egyptian Mongoose. Officially named Serpentine Herpestrines, because their long tails drag along the ground giving them a serpentine look they are generally very nocturnal in their feeding habits, so it is a fairly rare treat to see them during the day.

Report courtesy of Governor's Camp

Friday, July 1, 2011

Migration report from Lemala Camps

Lemala Ewanjan and Lemala Mara - migration
The migration is currently split 3 ways. The lead herd is in the Bologonja and Kleins area (northern Serengeti), heading rapidly towards Wogakuria and Kogatende. Another herd is between Grumeti and Iloma areas slowly starting to move up north. The trailing herd is still between Makoma Hills near Lemala Ewanjan and Seronera area.

There is excellent plains game around Lemala Ewanjan and as a result there is lots of predator activity. Lions and leopards can be heard almost daily near the camp. On Monday, a cheetah in a hunting mode was spotted about 0.5km from the camp and suddenly exploded into a full sprint, bringing down a wildebeest foal right in front of the Lemala vehicle. The next day a male lion was spotted by guests around the dining tent having a good whiff of the delicious Lemala food, eventually trotting off towards Ewanjan's seasonal waterhole. A leopard with 2 cubs are now a common sight near the staff tents at night when the guests are asleep. The cubs are still very shy but the mother feels very comfortable around the camp.

Meanwhile, Lemala Mara guests who have had game drives in the Lamai Wedge and around Wogakuria kopjes have had excellent sightings of resident wildebeest, several large prides of lions, a group of cheetahs, hippos and crocs. Guests have enjoyed watching ellies while having outdoor lunches. Groups of zebras have started arriving and within a few days we are expecting the wildebeest to thunder past the camp and across the river a few hundred meters away. One can literally feel the tension in the air as we wait for the drama to unfold.

Report courtesy of Lemala Camps