Lamai Serengeti

If you were to visit only one place in the Serengeti, it should be here.

The story of a rock kopje in the northern Serengeti, and daily life in the Serengeti's best new camp hidden within it.

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Fri, Nov 13, 2015

No time like family time

We just had a wonderful family join us at Lamai at the end of an incredible safari with Nomad through Northern Tanzania. And, it certainly looks like these guys had a blast.  We love welcoming families to Lamai, there are so many to activities keep everyone entertained, from the most adventurous to the most chilled out. Some people just love lazing about out in their beautiful rooms (who could blame them?) or splash about in the pool like little ellies.  

But, lots of people just want to be out in there in the thick of it. Walking safaris up here are so exciting (remember they are for children over 12 only), and game drives and game viewing is amongst the best in the Serengeti. Finishing off a busy day exploring with glorious sundowners on top of the rock, shared with our resident troop of baboons, gives you a 360° view of the surrounding endless plains. So many magical memories are always made up here, we love it. 

Thank you for sharing your holiday time with us folks and we hope to welcome back to Nomad again sometime soon. 

Karibu sana! 

Mon, Sep 28, 2015

Our tails sure are wagging.

What a treat!! African wild dogs have not been seen in the Lamai area for over three years so the whole team was thrilled when this small pack decided to pay us a visit. 

The African wild dog (also known as the African painted dog or the Cape hunting dog (Lycon pictus – painted wolf) is a rare and endangered canid with population numbers estimated globally at just 6600 individuals. Main threats to the species include habitat loss and fragmentation, human conflict and disease – which are sadly the usual suspects.

Although this was a relatively small pack, pack totals can be as many as 50 dogs and are led by an alpha male and female pair. Male and female sub-hierarchies are prevalent within the pack, however only the alpha dogs will breed and can produce up to 19 pups in a litter – yowzer! Pups are raised by the entire pack and should another female fall pregnant and have a litter her pups are inevitably killed by the alpha female.

African wild dogs are medium sized (weighing up to 30kgs) intelligent and extremely social, having a number of recognised vocalisations and communication techniques; characteristics which partly explain why they are such effective hunters. Kill rates are at 80%, which is very high for a predator.

If you have been fortunate enough to visit the African wild you are most probably familiar with the saying, ‘whatever you do, do not run’… if you happen to find yourself face to face with a dangerous animal, if you run, you automatically become the next potential meal. The saying is particularly relevant to wild dogs as they can run at speeds up to 70km/h; they also have great stamina and will maintain a good pace for up to 5km, a trait which is useful when hunting as they literally run their prey into the ground. Wild dogs also have quite a ferocious reputation as they generally kill their prey by biting chunks of flesh out of it until it falls to the ground, followed by disembowelment. Eating is a fast and furious event, however quite civilised (everything considered) – no bickering amongst dogs, a pecking order is apparent with juveniles generally eating first. All necessary as prey is often stolen by lions and hyenas.

Nomad Lamai is literally a melting pot of all things wild, game viewing is fantastic at all times of the year and I am happy to add the African Wild dog to the already long list - let's hope they hang around for a while.

Fri, Sep 11, 2015

Meet Brandy and Coke

These two rather small ungulates are Klipspringers - locals in and around camp.  Klipspringer in Afrikaans literally translates into rock jumper.  Appropriate as they literally jump around on rocks, a unique ability due to anatomical adaptations (skeletal and hoof) which allows them to walk/jump on the tips of their hooves; they are so agile that the usual predators, lion and leopard are not a threat.  The thick hair on their coats stands on end, giving them a rock like speckled look (camouflage) and protects them from accidental bumps and scrapes against the rocks which they call home.  Another interesting adaptation is that they do not have to drink since the succulents they consume provide them with all the water they need.  Klipspringers are romantics at heart and pairs mate for life, always close together keeping a watchful eye over each other. 

We have named these two Brandy and Coke, inspired by a very popular South African drink – Klipdrift (brandy) and coke.  We often see these two lovers at our sundowner spot on of the Lamai kopje as we sip gin and tonics and take in the beautiful Serengeti.

Fri, Aug 28, 2015

Say hello to these beauties.

At Lamai we are fortunate to have a few male and female leopards in the area, these elusive and near threatened cats are wonderful to watch as they laze about on the rocks and in trees.  They remind me of house cats, however petting is unfortunately not allowed and generally not a good idea.  They are opportunistic predators, very strong and smart – males can weigh as much as 90kg, so beware!!

At Lamai on the Kopje we have two resident females and we often hear them in the evenings. Their grunts sounds like a carpenter sawing a big piece of wood, a way of letting everyone know they are around.  ‘Our’ two females are very shy and to date we have not actually seen them, just tracks on the paths in the mornings.  One large and the other considerably smaller, we assume it is a mother with her cub. 

Experiencing this part of Africa and its diverse and abundant wildlife is a real treat.

Tue, Aug 11, 2015

Beests everywhere…

The middle of August is approaching and the wildebeest are still wondering around the Serengeti in vast numbers, seemingly not knowing which way to go. The seasonal rains arrived early this year and with them the wildebeests, it seems they smell the rain and follow it around, looking for moist, tender and fresh grass shoots.  They are a crazy wild bunch and our guests at Lamai have enjoyed watching thousands of them migrate through the area, both on foot and in a vehicle – can you imagine walking through herd of 5000 Beests?

River crossings are a treat and always a spectacle: they tend to gather slowly at the bank of a river with the brave on the front line, hesitant to take the plunge into the turbulent water, knowing full well that death is a probability, if not by the teeth or claws of another, by their own devices – trampled and crushed as they all scramble for safety on the other side of the river.  The pastures are truly greener on the other side. 

All the predators are fat and healthy having had their fill of wildebeest - crocodiles lie in wait beneath the rivers water surface, cats tend to find a high vantage point allowing them to spot the weak and vulnerable, hyenas can’t believe their good fortune and tend to wait on the side-lines while everyone else does the hard work.  After a kill vultures, Marabou stalks, jackals all share in the bounty – no one has any manners and it is a free-for-all with every ‘man’ for himself.  Exciting times in our neck of the woods.

The migration is a natural wonder and we look forward to sharing this rather emotional experience with you at Lamai, Helen and I love welcoming guests back after a game drive, wide eyed and bushy tailed, filled with wonder and high on adrenaline. 

A special thank you goes out to Vicky for the spectacular photographs, one of the few female guides in Tanzania and our unofficial camp photographer.  She has 20 years of experience in the bush and is a wealth of knowledge.


The Lamai Team.


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