The story of a rock kopje in the northern Serengeti, and daily life in the Serengeti's best new camp hidden within it.
Sun, Jan 18, 2015
We were entertained for hours with this little breeding herd of Elephants.
It's fantastic to see such a lot of youngsters together and, as siblings and cousins so often are, they were full of nonsense in the cooling of the late afternoon.
Thu, Jan 8, 2015
On leaving the house yesterday morning a flash of pink caught the eye.
A closer inspection revealed an insect so intricately coloured, so psychedelically designed, that it is nearly impossible to imagine this could have occurred naturally.
The Eyed Flower Mantid.
Fact is stranger than fiction and this creature would fit on the cover of a Jimmy Hendrix record; even Dali would have found this painting weird!!
As the name suggests this design facilitates the ambush predator to stake out flowering plants awaiting the unsuspecting pollinators that make up most of its diet.
The eye on the back of the wings is most striking of all, it`s very unusual to see an asymmetric pattern like this in the natural world - I think that is why we find this thing so difficult to believe.
The triangular head and large, compound eyes are a signature characteristic of the order mantodea - an order containing nearly two and a half thousand species.
The forelegs, above and below, have developed into a fearsome, grasping apparatus - they lash out with lightning speed, digging vicious spikes into the insects on their menu and proceeding to eat them alive (often head first!).
Alert and calculating - the little predator pays close attention to Jana's camera.
Quite the poser - but as the saying goes; "if you've got it, flaunt it" - too right.
A close up of the eye design, if we'd have showed you this picture first and asked you what it was- what would you have guessed?
Sat, Jan 3, 2015
No need for a long introduction here - new arrivals on the kopje and we had one of those moments, the sighting couldn't have been better!
The perfect start to 2015, there are two leopard cubs being raised next door.
All our best wishes for your own New Year.
Mon, Dec 29, 2014
We are keeping up the Christmas spirit this year, here's a little blog to give you a taste of what that looks like.
A roaring fire is a must, especially as we've had a few chilly evenings this year - we even toasted marshmallows!
Dinner on Christmas eve with the Spring family - tremendous food and great company!!
Traditional German Christmas biscuits, you'd be right in thinking Jana had a hand in this.
Chocolate brownie father christmas cakes - wow Yasin (chef) you superstar!!
Our decorations were hand made by our ladies with recycled tin and massai beeds they're fantastic.
Another of Jana's creations avoiding the flashing, plastic snowman and keeping a natural vibe to the Serengeti Chrimbo!!
Well done Jana, Vicky, Maimuna and Esther - these look great!
Pendaeli (head chef) you have, once again, totally nailed it with the prawn bloody marys....
...and the fondant chololat.
In case you'd forgotten what we look like chaps here we are on top of the Serengeti.
Christmas day and a stroll up the rocks to the baboon bar with our guests; the Atkinsons, the Caseys, the Willises and the Castels!
Thank you all for sharing it with us guys, it was a blast.
Now we'd better get cracking on this New Year`s party!
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.
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