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 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.
Wed, Feb 28, 2018
This creature is the Mwanza flat-headed rock Agama and is one of the most beautiful lizards I have ever seen. The males are much more brightly colored than the females, and this plays a big role when mating. Due to its color, it has been nicknamed the Spiderman Agama, due to his resemblance to the comic book super hero. Even though they can be found on the international pet trade, they are of “least concern” and unlikely that any trade is impacting this species.
(Mwanza flat-headed rock Agama or Spiderman Agama)
(These lizards can run on their hind legs only if they need be)
(Agamas mainly eat insects although they will also eat grass seeds and berries too)
Males are very territorial and will do a number is displays to try ward off any rival males. If need be, males will fight and some may even lose their tails during the process. They hold a small territory in which a male may have up to six females within to mate with.
(females are much smaller and duller than the males)
(Juvenile male within the territory of an adult male)
The male photographed in this blog lives very close to our office and it’s such a pleasure to see him every day. Any ideas what name we can give him? We were thinking Peter Parker!
Tue, Feb 20, 2018
So, leading on from our last blog about Hyraxes being the closest living relative of the Elephant, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to tell you a bit more about earths largest land mammal.
Elephants are complex, social and highly emotional creatures and they have a fascinating family dynamic. Here are 3 facts you may not have known about them.
1. Elephants live in matriarchal herds
Elephant families consist of a matriarch, her sisters, daughters and their calves. Occasionally, non-related Eephants join the herd, and Elephants may also adopt orphans. This means, within these herds, and with such a wide gap in age and experience amongst them, you can learn so much about their behaviour in such a short time. You can see how young calves interact with each other and play, or how mothers teach their calves how to use their trunks, and as sure as an Elephant never forgets, you can never get bored of watching them.
(The Matriarch, cleverly manoeuvring herself between the herd and the vehicle. It’s amazing to see how much they care for and protect each other)
(Northern Serengeti is an amazing place for Elephant viewing)
2. Elephants have highly emotional bonds amongst families and friends.
Elephants have strong, intimate bonds amongst each other. Ever heard the saying "memory like and elephant"? That is because they will never forget an individual, even after only meeting them once. They have lifelong friendships with each other, and they even mourn the death of their loved ones. Research has even shown that individuals will return to areas where friends or family members have died and mothers have been seen grieving over stillborn calves. This is something very extraordinary in the animal kingdom.
(Here you can see quite a few generations in one herd)
(A young calf staying close to her mother)
3. Knowledge is passed in through generations
Older Elephants gather so much information throughout their lives and they slowly impart that knowledge on to the next generation of youngsters. Information such as where to find food or water in extreme drought, or what food to avoid all together, needs to be passed on for the sake of their survival. Young calves are also taught the ins and outs of socialising with others and will often get told off if they misbehave (kind of sounds like me!)
Next time you are with a herd of Elephants, pay close attention and see what behaviours you can witness. Maybe it is the calves playing, maybe it is a new born learning how to use her trunk or maybe it is the ever-present mother keeping a watchful eye on the little ones.
Stay posted for our next blog coming out soon, we will be showcasing a very brightly coloured animal! Any guesses?
Thu, Jan 25, 2018
Nestled in a grand kopje in Northern Serengeti, this beautiful lodge we call home, shares its environment with many, very cute animals. From dwarf mongooses scurrying along the paths, to the klipspringer standing guard on the rocks, to the ever-curious hyraxes that lounge on our decks. From mid-morning to the late evening you can see them relaxing and enjoying the sun’s rays.
One of the residents making sure we are hard at work
They have become such an important part of our lives in such a short time and I couldn’t imagine a day that they aren’t around. Their level of comfort around individual people they have never met before is admirable and they have made us feel so at home in Lamai.
This one was comfortable enough for me to crouch down about a meter away and capture this image
Many people see hyraxes whilst on safari, but what are hyraxes exactly and what do we actually know about them?
Hyraxes are incredible climbers, often balancing on very thin branches
Hyraxes love eating new buds and shoots that come after the rains
Hyraxes belong to a grouping of mammals called Afrotheria, that are living in Africa or have their origins in Africa. All Afrotherians share the exact same ancestor and come from the same branch on the Tree of Life. Can anyone guess any other Afrotherians?
One of his closest cousins is the largest land mammal on earth
A Hyraxes gestation period is 6 – 7 months, incredibly high for a mammal of this size
Other Afrotherians that you may have heard of are elephants, dugongs, manatees, shrews, moles and aardvark, and out of the living Afrotherians today, the hyraxes closest cousins alive are the elephant, dugong and manatee. Although all Afrotherians share few anatomical features, these ones in particular have similarities in their reproductive system and their tooth structure.
Just like elephants, male hyrax have tusks that grow from their incisor teeth
Just like the elephant, male hyraxes don’t have an external scrotum, their testicles are tucked away in their abdominal cavity
It’s hard to believe that something so small is the cousin of the mighty elephant, but it just shows how much there is to learn about wildlife. Next time you are on safari, make sure you put this knowledge to the test and impress your guide! Stay posted for our next blog on elephants.
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