A lush, green and blossoming conservancy
The first month of 2014 was a very wet one, and due to the consistent rainfall throughout the month the conservancy is just beautiful, lush and green. One late afternoon as much as two inches of life giving rain fell in one hour! Food in abundance, flowering acacia trees, trees carrying fruit, good grass growth – it all attracted wildlife from all over the Mara, and lots of it…
Sometimes scenes associated with the migration season played out in the woodlands and wide open plains. The conservancy was packed with large numbers of zebra, thousands and thousands, large herds of eland, big groups of giraffe, topi, gazelles and even large numbers of wildebeest - it was fantastic! Wherever you looked there were animals, and in big numbers.
Then there were the elephants. Many of them, hundreds! The largest group seen on a walking safari about 4km south of our camp numbered 107 animals! Almost all of the cows had youngsters by their sides. It was exhilarating to say the least, to be surprised during our walk, by the first group of 67 running elephants coming out of nowhere, and they were heading into the gorge from the reserve side. They did not see or smell us, but they were moving very fast to get into the lush, thick gorge where they will find peace, safety and most of all; food. And they were running directly to where we were standing. We had to move very quickly to get out of their path, actually running (so much for the rule, never run…) downhill and hid just outside a thicket in a drainage line. They passed us, we followed the herd down into the gorge, amazed how silently they moved over very rough terrain. All of a sudden, while taking in the most amazing scenery and wildlife spectacle playing of in front of us, the rest of the herd came up behind us! Again, we had to move quite quickly. It was such a wonderful and magical experience for our guests the Roos family who came all the way from Australia. Altogether a very special experience that none of us will ever forget.
The cats also didn't disappoint with the Enesikiria lion pride sighted daily, all the cubs are still there and their nightly roaring around camp makes you sit up and listen. The most memorable cat sighting though, must be a daytime sighting of a beautiful Serval Cat. This cat could not care less that we were there as he was hunting first a small green snake and then started hunting and stalking mice inside an old termite mount. It was really rewarding observing the behaviour and the stealth with which he hunted, and the patience it required to be successful in catching food. What a great sighting!
Another brilliant experience was the open day we hosted for the Mbitin Primary School; an underfunded, understaffed, and under-equipped school on our northern border. The boys and girls aged 8 to 10 years old were treated to a full day of activity in the conservancy and its camps. They were treated exactly like our guests, taken on two game drives, enjoying a scrumptious lunch and desert and introduced to our camp staff as well as all the different departments behind the scenes. They absolutely loved it; as all of them - for the very first time in their lives – saw lions. Very relaxed, male lions which they spotted during the day, in a natural way. By far their biggest highlight, they told us! The second highlight was seeing elephants up close and also our camp and the food. It really was an important, fun and mostly educational day for the kids, showing the future guardians of this land how a conservancy and safari camp operates to protect their very precious natural resource. If you would like to find out more about the projects we support, please visit our website
or contact us
for more information.
Other very exciting developments in the past month are the opening of two new Asilia camps! The first one is Kwihala Camp
in Tanzania’s southern Ruaha National Park. The other is a brand new camp called Namiri Plains
- Namiri meaning “big cat” in Swahili - in one of the most remote wildernesses in the Serengeti. Exciting times for sure!
Roelof, Helen, Moses & the Naboisho Team