The story of a rock kopje in the northern Serengeti, and daily life in the Serengeti's best new camp hidden within it.
Fri, Jul 13, 2018
We have been very privileged and honored to have hosted 2 school trips over the last couple of weeks. The first was a group of 6 students from the Merenga school and the second was 6 lovely, young girls from the Hope for Girls and Women Center in Mugumu.
Nomad, and in particular the Nomad Trust, is currently working with both of these lovely organizations to better understand how to help. The Hope for Girls and Women Center is one of our newest partnerships, as the project was only started a year ago, and it helps protect young girls who are fleeing female genital mutilation; something that is illegal in Tanzania, but very hard to inforce.
The aim of the trips was to show the youth of Tanzania, particularly those who live in close proximity to a National Park, the benefits of tourism and long term conservation. None of the students that visited us had any family members who worked in tourism, and none had ever stepped into a National Park, so to have them all here and show them what is involved with running a lodge was absolutely amazing.
(It was amazing to see how interested these groups were about everything, their eyes were flying all over the lodge as there was so many new experiences)
After the briefing, we took both groups to one of the rooms where one of the housekeepers spoke about what it was like working in a lodge, and what the job entailed.
(They loved the rooms, especially the two-way coffee cupboards built into the wall… that’s my favorite part too!)
It is amazing how much a trip like this can change someone’s life and open their world and eyes to something new. Last year, this little girl was lucky enough to visit Denmark through the Hope for girls and women center and you can already see she is viewing the world from a different angle.
We then went to the kitchen, where all of the students got to speak to our chefs and find out about cooking.
After the tour of the lodge, one of our young trainees, Vicky, spoke to the girls about a life in tourism and her personal experiences in the field.
(Maybe a future Nomad Guide?)
It would personally like to thank all of the teachers and the students for being so amazing. I truly believe that these students’ lives will never be the same after these trips. It only takes one small moment, one thought, one experience to change someone’s life forever and set them on a course they had never previously imagined embarking on.
One of our cooks at Lamai started his career in a similar way. Emanuel lives in Katavi, and when he was a young boy, he got the chance to meet Roland Purcell and visit Greystoke in the Mahale Mountains. From that day, he knew what he wanted to do in life, and today, he is an amazing member of our team at Lamai Serengeti.
Fri, Jun 22, 2018
For people who love photography, Macro photography is MUST to get into. There are photographic opportunities all around, you just have to train your eyes to find them.
Starting out can be difficult, but the best way to start is to grab your camera, head outside, and walk around. That’s it! Within meters you should be able to find something to photograph, even a fly on a leaf. The macro lens completely blurs out the background, allowing your subject to stand out. Having other elements in the photo can be quite nice, like the texture of this leaf.
Shooting with a macro lens, doesn’t necessarily mean you always have to photograph bugs; look for flowers, seeds and textures too.
I have found that if you don’t have a macro ring flash (I don’t), you need to have plenty of natural light, and the more you have, the better and easier it will be. I started photographing this Robber fly on F2.8 and found that the depth of field was so narrow, that only parts of him were in focus. I ended up capturing this image at f9, but had to bump my ISO up to compensate for the drop in light, and the end result, was far better than my first.
There are different focal length macro lenses, and each one has its selling point. I opted for the Canon 100mm f2.8. This focal length allows me to stand slightly further back than I would if I were using a 60mm, and for photographing snakes and spiders, you want that!
Next, look at the composition of your image and ask yourself, what do you have in the foreground and background that can help compose and frame your image. Here, I decided to shoot through some leaves, which frame both the top and bottom of the image. This gives your final image much more depth.
After that, it’s up to you to see what you can find and photograph. For me, photography is a way to learn about subjects I am not familiar with. Before this image was taken, I could not have named this insect, but since I photographed it and looked it up in an insect book, I can now proudly say that it is Dropwing Dragonfly.
Enjoy yourself and photograph as many small and curious wonders that you can find!
Thu, Jun 14, 2018
We have all had an amazing time at home during the long rains and everyone has had some much needed time with their families. We are all charged up and are all so excited to be back in camp for this upcoming season. Smiles all around, energy over flowing and the lodge is looking amazing!
(The first seven sunrises of the new season, with many more to come)
(Lamai main mess in beautiful morning light)
(A view that stretches into Kenya)
(Our family have returned to the office since we have started up normal bush hours)
(Mkombe’s House looking as beautiful as ever)
(A pool with a view, a what a nice one it is!)
Stay posted for more as the season unfolds!
Sat, Mar 17, 2018
Since we started managing Lamai at the beginning of January, we have had such a magical time. This beautiful area, tucked away in far north Serengeti, has so many wonders and amazing creatures that make this place home. From the incredible team we have in camp, making everything run smoothly, to the small little Agama lizards that scurry along the paths, everyone and everything, makes the experience at Lamai wonderful. We couldn’t have asked or hoped for a better start to our time at Lamai.
The season has finally come to an end, and we are in the process of slowly packing up camp. We have an exciting two months ahead of us, full of maintenance and some exciting new ideas for the season to come. Can’t wait to see how it all goes!
From everyone here at Lamai, we say goodbye for now, and we will be back in May to open again for the new season. We leave you with some of our highlights from the last two and a half months.
(Dinner with a view)
(Our resident Mwanza Flat-headed Rock Agama, Peter Parker)
(Early morning light)
(Natasha making friends with the Hyrax)
(Cheeky selfie with one of the little ones)
I could stay here forever!
(The view from the main area)
(A very full Mara river, and a very wet day in the north)
(This is the biggest stick insect I have ever seen!!!)
(Leopard passing through camp in the night)
(The Mongoose family that stops by the office every morning to say hello)
(These babies have taken on Natasha as their mother)
We will miss everyone greatly over the next few months and cant wait to see everyone again soon. All the best from us here at Lamai!
Sat, Mar 10, 2018
It was a lovely morning watching two Leopards eat in a tree, unfortunatey, the big male kept to himself in the dense branches, but the younger Leopard was much more active.
A few minutes spent by this small termite mound, before a few chunks of bones and meat fell from the tree that needed to be investigated.
After spending a few minutes munching on some scraps, this Leopard decided to climb back up the tree
It's amazing how effortlessly they make climbing look
One last leap
You can now see the leg of an Oribi hanging in the tree. It was here the Leopard dissapeared into the branches and continued eating.
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