The story of a rock kopje in the northern Serengeti, and daily life in the Serengeti's best new camp hidden within it.
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!
at 9:01 am Mon, Dec 29, 2014
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.
at 6:44 am Fri, Dec 19, 2014
Tue, Dec 9, 2014
For those of us that grew up with older brothers this story is all too familiar.
A honeymooning pair of lions was spotted on the plains of the Lamai Wedge, just south of the Kenyan border.
They had been seen mating earlier in the morning and we were watching the ritual from a distance.
Ignoring her mate we could see that something in the distance was bothering the lioness, the telescopic lens revealed another male.
Seeing trouble afoot, as soon as the second male started his vocalisations the lioness chose to retreat to a quieter spot on the plain with her suitor in tow.
There are actually four magnificent males that run the show on the northern side of the river, they seemingly share equal mating rights but this can get a little complicated at times, as you can well imagine.
The brother's success had drawn the others out of the shade and into the open, these two treated us by walking straight towards and then right past our vehicle in pursuit of the couple.
In their prime, around seven years of age, they are really something to behold.
We spotted the fourth while driving away from the sighting watching from a distance and not looking too happy about any of this business.
What a fantastic day in the bush!!
at 6:33 am Tue, Dec 9, 2014
Fri, Dec 5, 2014
We know they look more like pups but apparently the correct term is cubs when discussing baby Hyaenas.
We came across part of a very large clan near to the Bologonja River last week and were lucky enough to see two females warming up in the morning while their cubs wrestled out some early start energy.
Spotted Hyaena cubs develop their spots between two and three months of age like the little one in the middle below.
Before that they are a dark, chocolaty brown and extremely cute - like this little chap.
The size difference is far greater than the age gap, these two are only around three months apart.
They will chew on anything, even a cousins ear!
I've met more than one member of the Nomad team that has lost a boot or a flip flop having left them outside the tent while flycamping only to relocate them again, in tatters, outside a Hyaena den. They make the perfect chewing aid and assist in developing that massive jaw - one of the most powerful bite forces in the world.
The rough and tumble looks fairly harmless but, for Spotted Hyaenas, developing hierarchy begins very early. One of the few mammals that regularly exhibit siblicide (killing one`s brother or sister) this particularly occurs with twin females - as for them the stakes are higher, there will only be one matriachal position in the clan.
For this reason Spotted Hyaenas are born with a fully functioning set of teeth.
It was a brilliant sighting in the beginning of our morning drive, we watched them for over an hour.
at 12:25 pm Fri, Dec 5, 2014
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