The story of a rock kopje in the northern Serengeti, and daily life in the Serengeti's best new camp hidden within it.
Sun, Mar 29, 2015
Right folks, the bit you've all been waiting for I'm sure.
We're at the end of the season, Jana and I are both a little frazzled for being in the bush for ten months - time to hop on a plane and find a city or two, buy some cheese, go to the theatre, go to the pub buy some wine and some more cheese! Woooohoooo!
Before that though......here are the highlights.
Romance with the Giraffes.
Followed by the Serengeti wedding of Karl-Fredrik and Johanna Granlund - amazing memories.
Masses of wildebeest at the Mara River.
...and more than just a few spectacular crossings!
A family of elephants kept us amused.....
...and the pride of Lamai didn't stray far from our rocks.
Yassin's "seven breadly sins" - our favorite was the Elephant.
Hyena cubs growing up in the school of hard knocks.
Mama cheetah saw off an inquisitive olive baboon.
Christmas at lamai with festive food and barrels of laughs.
The best kind of present, a pair of leopard cubs made an appearance in December.
We finally found our first Serengeti chameleon......
....and this stunning Eyed Flower Mantid arrived in our back garden.
It's been a blast chaps, we'll be back in May.
Wed, Mar 25, 2015
Here we are again at the end of the season. The final guests have departed and the hatches have been battened down to await the Northern Serengeti's "Big Rain Season". Most of the team have departed for a long awaited and well earned break, their families will be receiving them with much celebration over the next few days.
Jana and I are giving a little training course for a few members of the Nomad team over the next week and we've taken a gap in the schedule to introduce you the the Lamai Serengeti Employees of the month.
We introduced the monthly award at the beginning of the season, each month the team are asked to vote for a member that they respect and admire for the work they put in. We asked them to think about the folk that help them perform their own tasks successfully, the idea being that if we take the time to think about how the rest of the team affect us then we will bong together that much tighter. On each voting slip we asked them to give the reasons that they felt the candidate in question had earned the award.
The winner each month received a prize and a certificate along with the thanks and congratulations of all the Nomad people.
The winning list below have been submitted to the directors with the reasons that the team gave for their selection, we have chosen a grand prize winner of the Lamai Serengeti Employee of the year. The award comes with an "all in" trip for two to one of the other fantastic Nomad camps, we'll be following up on this with a photographic diary of the winner's trip in June. Scroll down to find out who got it!!
Without further ado, our portraits of the best of the best - Lamai Serengeti March 2015.
Maimuna Saidi - Housekeeping team
A very hard worker, passionate and driven.
Pendaeli Warieli - Head Chef
Outstanding feedback, quality in FnB, a charming and hard working head of department.
Obedi Samwel - General Maintenance and Groundskeeper
Very friendly, hardworking and a great team player.
Victoria Massawe - Housekeeping
Kind hearted, flexible, happy and fun.
Kennedy Kisanga - Head of Maintenance
Enthusiastic and never tired. Excellent teamwork and communication.
Ibrahim Msuya - Staff Chef
Cooking excellent food, fantastic teamwork and very hardworking.
Jacob Joshua - Chef
Leads by example, always cheerful and very dedicated to his job.
Sauli Kepesi - Walking Safari Scout and Tracker.
Reliable, flexible and a good leader. He always greets you with a cheerful smile.
Lamai Serengeti's 2015 employee of the year!!
Peterson Kilonzo - Waiter and Head of Staff Committee
Peterson motivates everyone around him. He is tireless in his teamwork and takes great pleasure in helping others.
The whole Nomad Tanzania family would like to offer our huge thanks for your enthusiasm and care during the season. Congratulations on winning this award, we'll be taking you on an adventure of your own in June!!
Nic, Jana and the team
Tue, Mar 10, 2015
On a windy afternoon by the Mara river; swaying, golden, Drop-seed grasses conceal a band of tawny hunters.
We spent a wonderful evening with the Lamai pride this week, they have been frequenting the shady patches along the Mara, enjoying the breeze and the unsuspecting grazers that are congregating there.
Two of our mama's bonding before the night's hunt begins (they pulled down a buffalo a few hours after this shot was taken - the remains of which was found by Lazaro the following morning).
The little lady below is one of last seasons cubs (see November 2013 blog) they're growing up fast and it's getting harder to tell them apart from the adult females.
Facing into the wind and analysing all the scent of the plains, their focus increases as the last of the light begins to leave us.
Just one of the big males is present tonight - the other has been seen mating a female not far from here.
The wind in his mane gives him a certain Bonjovi quality - not quite so much hairspray needed here though.
We left them shortly after this, having counted twenty two present. Good night folks, from the pride of Lamai.
Tue, Feb 17, 2015
We often take these primates for granted, they are particularly successful in northern Tanzania, highly intelligent and occasionally responsible for the systematic terrorism of picnickers, chefs, storekeepers and lodge managers silly enough to give them an opportunity for theft.
Scientific name Papio anubis - after the Egyptian God Anubis a deity with a mans body and the head of a jackal. The muzzle like quality of the Olive baboon's jaw reflects this.
We found them early morning, not far from the lodge. Their amber eyes are really striking at the right time of day.
You cannot help but see the similarities in our own behavior, they make for very entertaining safari observations!
If you don't look closely then you might mistake these padded prints for the tracks of one our large carnivores - the big toes and thumbs are a dead give away so don't get caught out by your guide!
Firstly the pedicure......
....then a wash, groom and blow dry......
....and I'll have my nails done please!
These two chums (a subordinate adult male and a young female) were such fun.
nothing like a catch up on troop gossip followed by a snooze in the sunshine.
Fri, Jan 30, 2015
Jana and I are massive chameleon fans....perhaps obsessively so.
During our first interview with Nomad a good portion of our allotted time was spent in the boss's bushes with a flash light - trying to teach him how to spot these little creatures at night. On the same interview I also got lost in his house trying to find the toilet (guide extraordinaire - without the sense of direction) there were a few baffled silences punctuated by a fair amount of eyebrow raising but he still hired us! A glutton for punishment.
Since October 2013 we have been scouring the Serengeti to find and photograph our favourite lizard for the blog, this week brought with it success!
Here's a few reasons why we love a chameleon......
The feet, five toes on each foot have been joined into two opposing bundles giving them a pincer like grasp that is perfect for climbing trees.
The Eyes have it, perhaps the most distinctive eyes of any reptile. The upper and lower eyelids have joined with only a pinhole for the pupil to see through, each eye can pivot and focus independently of the other giving the Chameleon 360-degrees of vision! Try doing that now..
The species here is a Flap Necked Chameleon - you can see the armour plated neck flap here.
Dragon spikes on the spine, belly and chin serve to make them look less digestible and as an outline breaker for camouflage.
Specialised cells beneath the skin can rapidly intensify and disperse pigment allowing them to change colour at will. Different species do this for a variety of reasons but it is behaviour most commonly employed for courtship, intimidation, temperature control, camouflage and those horrifying moments when you show up to a party wearing the same outfit as someone you don't particularly like!
Let's not forget that a chameleon hunts its insect prey firing a tongue longer than it's body out of it's mouth and onto it's unfortunate quarry. The "ballistically projected" tongue is powered by an elastic mechanism and can hit prey in under 0.07 seconds!
What's not to love?!
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