The story of a rock kopje in the northern Serengeti, and daily life in the Serengeti's best new camp hidden within it.
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.
Mon, Jan 15, 2018
We left Sand Rivers in the Selous with one smiling and one sobbing eye. The Selous has become such an important part of our life. The magic of this secluded place will never leave our hearts. The staff at Sand Rivers have become our family and we will miss them dearly. But it was time for us, time to move on, face new challenges and live new experiences.
It is the Serengeti now, that we shall call our home and the crew at Lamai who will become our family. This thrilling and slightly daunting feeling is almost overwhelming as we step off the plane in Kogatende, Serengeti.
We are speechless as we drive past beautiful flat top Acacia trees, high grass planes and rock kopjes. We have been to the Serengeti before, we have even been to this very area before, but everything changes when a place becomes home. Every feeling is intensified and every tree, bird and rock becomes more significant.
Crowned Crane walking through the tall grass in the Lamai Wedge, Northern Serengeti
Topi on the open planes of the Lamai Wedge, Northern Serengeti. This highly social and fast antelope will only be found in the savannas, semi deserts and flood plains of Sub-Saharan Africa.
As we approach the Lodge, Helen and Clyde, our predecessors, are waiting for us waiving and greeting us with big smiles. We had a lovely time with them, learning about the camp, the staff and the area. We could not have asked for a better handover and are so very thankful to them for making our start at Lamai so wonderful.
Helen and Clyde on the sundowner kopje, taking a moment to say farewell to the place that was their home for over 2 years.
Now Lamai is ours, this beautiful camp, nestled in a kopje, overlooking the gorgeous planes of Northern Serengeti. We are so blessed to be falling asleep to the purr of Leopards, waking up to the gentle chirping of birds and watching elephants pass by in the distance as we have our lunch.
A family of Elephants enjoying the lush grass the recent rains have brought.
This is a place where anyone who loves Africa becomes content and anyone who visits for the first time will get hooked on the magic of the African bush. This wild and wonderful place is where everything is still as it should be. It is where the eagles soar high and free as the lions roam their territory, gazelles pronk in the afternoon sun and shy hyena call at night.
We cannot wait to experience every season in this incredible place and to let the Serengeti teach us all about its life.
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