The story of a rock kopje in the northern Serengeti, and daily life in the Serengeti's best new camp hidden within it.
Tue, Mar 25, 2014
We arrived up here late October 2013 and set about exploring whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Here are a few of our favourite moments on Safari in the Northern Serengeti.
Nic, learning how to use a "grownups" camera - with varying results!
The beasts remained on the doorstep right up until early December last year - not a view that you can take for granted.
Our resident lion pride still have 14 healthy cubs - the "mammas" brought down this Zebra in front of our car.
The Buffalo here are huge - must be all that fantastic grass they're constantly munching!
What a beauty, this huge female leopard is incredibly relaxed around the cars.
You can imagine how delighted we were to be introduced to her two cubs.
Meeting the camp residents has to include an interview with a Dwarf Mongoose or two.
The camp Klipspringers pop up here and there.
A family shot of Elephants wondering past the camp.
Our first Roan Antelope sighting will not be forgotten.....
....and a Serval makes for another special tick in the box.
More new arrivals from the Cheetah fraternity......
...and Black Rhino's to boot!!
Moonrise with a cold beer in hand to finish, forgive the montage guys - we'll catch up in June.
Nic and Jana xx
Fri, Mar 14, 2014
A large, striking butterfly - the Green Veined Emporer.
Jana's quick reactions and a macro lens allow us to see in fabulous detail where this creature gets it's name. The splash colouration on the underside of the wings blend in marvelously to dead foliage and tree bark.
When the light hits the upper side we can see a bright gold patterning blending to burning oranges and reds. The twin tails are a deflection defense causing a predator to bite the wrong end having mistaken them for antennae - the butterfly flies off short a tail but alive.
Sat, Mar 8, 2014
An early morning game drive "came up trumps" this week as we came accross this stunning Serval!
We've had high hopes of ticking this box since we moved up to the Serengeti, one of the best possible habitats in which to view them.
Although chances here are better than in other places Servals are extremely elusive creatures, prefering the long grass in which they hunt rodents and birds with their famous "pounce and swat" tactics. This male has been observed between Lamai and the little stream to our East that the guides refer to as "Mama Kent". He has even delighted guests by occasionally appearing in the early mornings between rooms eight and nine looking for his breakfast no doubt.
Mon, Mar 3, 2014
Once again, for Jana and I, luck and timing far outweighed spotting ability on the plains to the east of Lamai last week. By happy chance we can share these Rhino photographs with you all!
This young bull is notoriously shy of vehicles but with the area so undisturbed at this time of year he seems more willing to relax in the shade of a tree, once we switch off the engine.
Dominant and imposing he is reaching his prime. The Serengeti is one of the few places one can view these creatures in such an open habitat, until now all of our previous Black Rhino sightings have been in very dense bush.
Of recent this bull has been seen following a female and her calf, born without ear pinnae (the outer ear structure). You may remember the pair featured in a previous blog (see October). The bulls presence could signify that the calf is beginning to wean and that his mother is showing signs of reaching breeding condition. Alternatively, as our guides believe, the young bull is in fact the calf's older brother and he is reluctent to stray too far from his own kind. Typically the books state that the Black Rhino is in general a solitary creature. However, recent filming and research has painted them in a far more gregorious light.
Having had the chance to observe him, the little calf seems to react to the sounds of the engine and the people in our vehicle. We think his hearing is there but it is almost certainly impaired by the lack of the outer ear structure (particularly in the ability to listen in specific directions). It is likely he'll develop a more finely honed sense of smell with which he can compensate for this and although his journey to adulthood may be more difficult than that of others, there is no reason that a creature this adaptable - left undisturbed by man - shouldn't lead a normal "rhino life".
With the current global awareness campaigns highlighting the plight of the Rhino's, it should come as no suprise to hear that they are becoming rarer every day. The Black Rhino population is the Serengeti National Park is small and vulnerable. If, however, they remain protected then they have a habitat in which their population can recover and in time flourish. Enjoy these photographs of our Rhino's - let's not forget how precious they are.
Sat, Feb 15, 2014
Our local legion of leo is keeping us well entertained.
Since the end of last year we've been treated to numerous sightings of these multitudinous kittens.
They've been rarely more than a kilometre from camp - you can make out our kopjie home in the background above!
A pile of snoozing lions is a difficult thing to count........
.......but this week they crossed the road in front of Ian (guide) and his guests, 14 little ones were sighted!!!
That's a lot of mouths to feed!
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