The story of a rock kopje in the northern Serengeti, and daily life in the Serengeti's best new camp hidden within it.
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!
Wed, Feb 12, 2014
One of three species found in the region, the Leopard Tortoise -
at 7:40 am Wed, Feb 12, 2014
Fri, Jan 24, 2014
No need to be bold, brave strong and the rest - when you have the oportunity to view wildlife, take your time!
Enjoy the little Thomson's Gazelle, grazing in the morning sunshine........
.....and that Cheetah sneaking up on it!
For over an hour she just watched......so did we.
Her focus set fast on her quarry, set she makes her move.
Hell for leather!
It's a wonderful sight but really difficult to photograph!
A Cheetah's ability to change direction at full speed is remarkable to say the least.
The desperate little Thomson's puts it all into a sudden bound to the right, there can only have been two metres between them but the cat missed her target...this time.
She looks back beyond where she started and begins to call, sure enough her gentle mewing is responded to by her two cubs.
We had no idea they were there.
Running to catch up with mum they are already showing of the moves!
They follow her beyond the ridgline and we leave them in peace.
Sun, Jan 19, 2014
Never be afraid to stop the vehicle and check.
Countless times we've reversed back only to confirm that "that rock" is not the lazy lion it so aptly impersonates...
or to make certain that the inquisitive cheetah poking his head up out of the grass is in fact a rather splendid bit of tree trunk.
On this occasion after a seemingly endless run of false alarms we were rewarded with a remarkable sight...
A lone male Roan Antalope making his way accross the rigdgline between Lamai and the Mara River.
An extremely elusive creature, many a safari veteran has an empty Roan box that awaits a tick -
having spoken to the Lamai guides we have since confirmed that there were a few fragmented reports of a Roan sighted in the northern Serengeti last seson but nothing since early 2013 .
Predominantly a grazer Roan seek out areas with medium to high grasses, they need constant standing water sources and avoid the competition of larger numbers of herbivores.
Lamai is a brilliant habitat match but only at this time of year, the wildebeest would certainly be enough to convince even the most stuborn of terratrial bulls to move with the times.
This was our first ever sighting and although he was shy of the vehicle we were close enough to see how magnificent a Roan Bull really is.
Massive at the shoulder only the Eland can look down on the Roan bull within the antelope fraternity.
As to why this male was alone on the plain, we can only theorise.
Perhaps he's a bachelour looking for a dominant male to usurp.
Perhaps his own herd were just beyond our horizon and we'll manage to catch up with them all in the next few weeks.
Either way, this was a treat!
Fri, Jan 3, 2014
"I don't know, what is the connection between The Lion King and Arsenal FC?"
"Its obvious! Remember the first line of the movie........the sun rises over the African Plain and..................."Arsen Wenger!!!!!"
"Oh come on it's not that bad"
Wed, Jan 1, 2014
COMMON CHAPS OUT OF BED WITH YOU! IT`S A NEW YEAR!
NO IT ISN'T, GO AWAY.
OH COMMON GRUMPY, IT MOST CERTAINLY IS! HENCE THE SLIGHT HEADACHE... REMEMBER?
LAST NIGHT? ALL THOSE BEERS, GIN TONICS, WINE AND BUBBLES?
THOSE CHARMING HOSTS THAT CONVINCED YOU A NIGHT CAP WAS IN FACT A GOOD IDEA. (SORRY!)
THAT'S IT, STRETCH OFF AND OUT OF BED!
WELCOME TO 2014 - IT'S GAME DRIVE TIME!
Thu, Dec 19, 2013
Without doubt one of the most ornate and memorable birds in the Serengeti National Park, a Grey Crowned Crane has to work for the image.
Preening is an essential part of the morning routine, re-aligning feathers and coating them with an oily secretion from a gland near the base of the tail helps keep things subtle and shiny.
Turn into the wind to blow dry and add a little "bounce" to the coiffure.
Have a partner double check the back......
....and I'm ready for my profile.
Wed, Dec 11, 2013
Nature's landscape architects - no job is too big for a heard peckish Elephants.
Attention to detail is a signature of the firm - no pot goes un checked (or tasted)......
and they'll make certain that your archways and pathways....
meet with the Loxidonta standards of strength and measure.
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