The story of a rock kopje in the northern Serengeti, and daily life in the Serengeti's best new camp hidden within it.
Fri, Dec 19, 2014
We were passing the site where Serengeti Safari Camp (Nomads wonderful tented camp that migrates with the wildebeest) was based during its time up north this season. I remember speaking to the manager Issa about the Black Backed Jackal family, with four pups, that were denning next to the camp this season - it seems they are still there.
There are three species of Jackal found in Tanzania; Side Striped, Golden and Black Backed (most comon). If you're lucky then all three can be found on a visit to the Serengeti.
Jackals are lightening fast, although the hunt plenty for themselves they frequently employ their speed to snatch scraps of meat from other predator kills - including lions!! As a Black Backed Jackal is unlikely to exceed ten kilograms its vital they don't get on the wrong side of the cats. In our previous experience we've remarked on them using the same agility that they use avoiding the jaws and claws to get away from the lens before the shutter snaps down.
As the pups below grew up next to the enterance road into SSC it seems they are a little more habituated to the vehicles than usual - this gave us a fighting chance to photograph them and to profile the little canids with a blog.
Tue, Dec 9, 2014
For those of us that grew up with older brothers this story is all too familiar.
A honeymooning pair of lions was spotted on the plains of the Lamai Wedge, just south of the Kenyan border.
They had been seen mating earlier in the morning and we were watching the ritual from a distance.
Ignoring her mate we could see that something in the distance was bothering the lioness, the telescopic lens revealed another male.
Seeing trouble afoot, as soon as the second male started his vocalisations the lioness chose to retreat to a quieter spot on the plain with her suitor in tow.
There are actually four magnificent males that run the show on the northern side of the river, they seemingly share equal mating rights but this can get a little complicated at times, as you can well imagine.
The brother's success had drawn the others out of the shade and into the open, these two treated us by walking straight towards and then right past our vehicle in pursuit of the couple.
In their prime, around seven years of age, they are really something to behold.
We spotted the fourth while driving away from the sighting watching from a distance and not looking too happy about any of this business.
What a fantastic day in the bush!!
Fri, Dec 5, 2014
We know they look more like pups but apparently the correct term is cubs when discussing baby Hyaenas.
We came across part of a very large clan near to the Bologonja River last week and were lucky enough to see two females warming up in the morning while their cubs wrestled out some early start energy.
Spotted Hyaena cubs develop their spots between two and three months of age like the little one in the middle below.
Before that they are a dark, chocolaty brown and extremely cute - like this little chap.
The size difference is far greater than the age gap, these two are only around three months apart.
They will chew on anything, even a cousins ear!
I've met more than one member of the Nomad team that has lost a boot or a flip flop having left them outside the tent while flycamping only to relocate them again, in tatters, outside a Hyaena den. They make the perfect chewing aid and assist in developing that massive jaw - one of the most powerful bite forces in the world.
The rough and tumble looks fairly harmless but, for Spotted Hyaenas, developing hierarchy begins very early. One of the few mammals that regularly exhibit siblicide (killing one`s brother or sister) this particularly occurs with twin females - as for them the stakes are higher, there will only be one matriachal position in the clan.
For this reason Spotted Hyaenas are born with a fully functioning set of teeth.
It was a brilliant sighting in the beginning of our morning drive, we watched them for over an hour.
Sun, Nov 16, 2014
The kitchen is the engine room of a lodge and we have a fantastic team of chefs - they work hard and they are always smiling.
This week Jana challenged Yassin to bake a bread a day for the next blog and the results are outstanding.
The creativity that flows out of this little bush kitchen amazes me every day - here's a taste of what I'm talking about.
The man himself - posing with Monday's creation.
Monday: The Black Rhino - in honour of the recent sightings in the sand river area.
Tuesday: The Puff Adder - just fantastic!!
Wednesday: The African Elephant - we've seen herds of over 100 around Lamai this past week.
Thursday: The Scorpion - impressive!
Friday: The Marsh Terrapin - Love the detail on the Carapace using different seeds to colour the shell.
Saturday: The Tick - hmmmmm interesting subject matter, not one of the cute and cuddlies but hey - it was a challenge!
Saturday: The Baobab Tree - this is Africa!!
Sunday: The Millipede - really amazing!!
We had to get in there quick to snap these little creations - it doesn't take long to reduce a freshly baked masterpiece (even the tick!!) to crumbs on a bread board.
With thanks to Yassin, Pendaeli, Jacob, Sylvester, Marco and Ezikiel - you've been fantastic this season and we're incredibly proud of all you achieve at Lamai!!
Mon, Oct 27, 2014
An afternoon storm rolled over us last week.
Pretty grim weather made for a slight lack of enthusiasm for the drive - but we managed to convince everyone to get out in the bush for a slippery adventure - including ourselves.
We were well rewarded by this fantastic sighting of a juvenile male leopard venturing out from his shelter beneath a Grewia bush.
Enjoy this....we did!!
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