Wildlife information mainly

Reply

Jun 17th, 2008, 03:38 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 102
Wildlife information mainly

After more than 10 years and many trips to Southern Africa, Botswana mainly, and Pantanal in Brazil, I decided this year to go back to Eastern Africa, to Kenya, for 3 weeks next month.
The all trip is already completely set up.
5 nights in Samburu
3 nights in Lewa
8 nights in Masaï Mara, 3 in the north eastern part and 5 in the north westen, in Karen Blixen Camp
5 nights on the coast in Diani/Ukunda
For all the safari part of the trip, I will have my private vehicle, which will allow me to go everywhere I wanna go.
The kind of information I need is for example, where do I have great chances to see leopard or cheetah or lions or any other species in or out the Mara?, Is it worth to visit Shaba, while I am in Samburu?,.......
Thank you i avance

Mike
walrus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 17th, 2008, 05:30 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 699
Shaba has a more remote and nice feel to it than Samburu though game density is also less. When I visited Shaba we saw leopard and two cheetah in Shaba in just two drives. It is ony about 45mins drive to get to Shaba from Samburu so with 5 days you should do it. Suggest you take a packed breakfast and go there for an extended morning drive, returning back to Samburu for lunch.
Mohammed is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 17th, 2008, 07:48 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Mike,

I just came back from 5 nights in the Mara. Infact, stayed next door to Karen Blixen camp at Serian.

I saw 5 cheetah this past sunday - all private sightings ala Botswana style ....... they were all in the Mara triangle in the open plains close to the Serena. Cheetah outside the reserve these 5 nights weren't seen or atleast, I didnt.

Lions are all around the place. In that Koiyaki zone - the common sighting is that of a pride of 3 lionesses and a big male lion. Two other prides - a pride of 7 and a part that is split up due to lionesses protecting their cubs.

Inside the park, lions all over the place ......... several mating pairs all over the place!

The Mara is very quiet right now and the crowds are expected mid July and upwards into High season and so is the annual filming of the Big Cat Diary and their large crew. If you can pre-pone your trip to right away you should try to do so! Game viewing is stunning at the moment.

Rhino Ridge area was very productive also - in two visits there saw 2 different cheetah, a pride of 5 lions and a mating pair of Black Rhino.

The Loita wildebeest migration is right now all over the open plains in that area where you will be placed. Some pockets of Zebra have crossed into the Mara, I guess they will be in full swing by the time you get there. Hopefully you beat the peak tourist time......

Hari
HariS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 17th, 2008, 08:55 AM
  #4
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 102
Hari,

Thank you for this precious information.
I decided in fact to go back to Kenya because I always thought that it is a fantastic country, and this time, I hope that it will be less crowded due to what happened early this year and its subsequent paranoïa.
Unfortunately, I cannot pre-pone my trip due to professionnal reasons.
I will be in the Mara from July, 18th until 26th.
One more question, what about leopard?

Mike


walrus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 17th, 2008, 09:47 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Hi Mike,

I am told that a good Leopard area is the Talek near Intrepids, Rekero, explorer etc etc., in that general direction.

I saw a leopard cub in the Aitong hills in the north outside the park. I bumped into a Japanese professional photographer who had spent the previous day with the mother of this cub. So, apparently she is a relaxed female. There is a rocky outcrop near a bushy area in Aitong. However, I didn't find that area too appealing right now ...... cattle and Masai bomas. We spent upto two hours there and left, as the leopard cub was a bit edgy and was getting more and more uneasy while waiting for the Mum.

I'm sure your trip will be fantastic!!!

Cheers
Hari
HariS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 17th, 2008, 10:17 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,836
Here's a previous thread discussing cats in the Mara http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=35134979

I'd go to Shaba because I think it's a stunningly beautiful reserve. We were there during the rainy season and found overall game density not be as high as on the Samburu side but I'm not sure about the dry season.
Patty is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 17th, 2008, 08:35 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
What a great itinerary!

Lions are fairly common in Samburu and Mara. I didn't see any in 4 nts at Lewa.

Samburu is known for leopards and I have seen them there. Some accommodations such as Samburu Lodge and Samburu Serena put out bait for leopards at dusk. That practically guarantees a sighting. Not everyone enjoys seeing them that way or approves of it, though.

Where are you staying in Samburu? I'm considering a 4 nt stay in 2009.

I've seen cheetah at various places in the Mara. Hari has the latest report.

Sometime can you email me about your favorite Pantanal locations? Thanks.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 17th, 2008, 09:59 PM
  #8
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Lynn,

Your 2009 trip - during migration or out of migration timing for the Mara? Talking to people there, they say October is also a good time to visit - tail end of migration, still top notch game viewing and fewer people.
HariS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 18th, 2008, 02:19 AM
  #9
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 102
Lynn,

I will be at Samburu Serena, where I saw my first leopard in 1994, on a tree on the other side of the river where they put out a bait. I do not really like to see animals this way. It's interfering with nature and also there is no surprise or excitation when it's just there on a tree or behind a bush, when you were not expecting it, or when you are tracking them.
I will send you an e-mail concerning Pantanal.

Mike
walrus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 18th, 2008, 06:34 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Hari,
I am thinking August of 2009 mostly for Rwanda, then shoot over to Samburu if Rwanda does not bankrupt me. Some day I'll try for an Oct Mara trip, but cannot travel at that time of year now.

Walrus
We may have been watching the same leopard. If you went in August of 1994, we may have been sitting together. My first trip was 94 as well and my first leopard sighting was as you described. Such a coincidence.

If I can fit in Samburu, I'll most likely stay at Serena again too.

I hope to return to the Pantanal in the next few years. I went in 2007. I'll look for your email. Thanks.
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 18th, 2008, 07:32 AM
  #11
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,087
Shaba. Yes agree with other posters, you would do well to visit this park, stop at buffalo springs on the way across and enjoy a private plunge in the spring itself.

Leopard in the Mara. Most active during the early hours and late afternoon, so best you find some terrain that is "leopardesq", such as riverine vegetation and rocky outcrops. After many years of visiting the mara, I am not convinced there is an area that is better or worse for finding leopard.

Look for birds of prey roosting on trees circle the area and check the shadows and lower limbs of surrounding trees.
mkhonzo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 18th, 2008, 07:42 AM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 102
Lynn,

It was in July, but it was certainly the same leopard.
walrus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 18th, 2008, 08:16 AM
  #13
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
I am more and more intrigued by Serena Mara. Think about it - the area i.e., the open plains in front is superb cheetah habitat and probably the best cheetah viewing in Africa. Yeah, so what if it's a big hotel chain........
HariS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 18th, 2008, 09:52 AM
  #14
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 108
Hari,

I agree with you. We stayed at Mara Serena over Christmas/New Year 2006/7 and had wonderful cheetah sightings, particularly of mothers with 5 and 3 cubs. These were about 60-40 private viewings to 'group' viewings. It's like other places, if you go out very early and go back late (and have a good driver/guide) you very often get private viewings. The torrential rains and river floodings were happening whilst we were there and we thought at the time that the cheetahs had been attracted to the high ground round the Serena. We don't really mind where we stay, as long as we see a lot!

The only other place we've had such prolific cheetah sightings is the Ndutu area, every time we've been there.
Wingi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 18th, 2008, 07:45 PM
  #15
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,528
Thanks, Wingi. I also think in terms of ideal light for photo ops it is best suited as you are probably right there and can capture great pictures .......

I however, don't know how the cheetah viewing would be during migration months. The border from Tanzania is not too far, correct? So, as all the wildies make it across - the Lions are going to take the whole area over. Add the hyenas and I would think the Cheetah run away?
HariS is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 18th, 2008, 10:15 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,274
Hi Mike,

Good to have our paths cross in yet another way.
afrigalah is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 20th, 2008, 05:18 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 14,440
Mike,

Do you recall a croc with a damaged jaw that also ate some goodies provided by the lodge?
atravelynn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 21st, 2008, 03:14 PM
  #18
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 102
No Lynn, I do not recall that croc.

Mike
walrus is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:16 AM.