Back at the Land Rover after a good walk
Forgotten Ruaha rivers on our Recce
Stumbling on snares left by poachers
Update from camp
What a treat the past few months have been as we have spent a great deal of time in two of our remote walking areas. Our exclusive area in the Maasai Steppe is the one of the few places where one can see the strange and beautiful vulterine guineafowl, as well as the gorgeous lesser kudu and the bizarre gerenuk (also called swala twiga, meaning 'giraffe gazelle' because of its very long neck). Many safaris are already planned here and in our exclusive eden in the Serengeti for this year and next, for both the avid walker and just those just wanting spend time away from it all. For those with comfort high on the list - good news. We have recently diversified our camps to be able to offer our standard walking safari camps, as well as a slightly bigger one with larger tents and en suite facilities, which we can dispatch to any of our exclusive wilderness areas. We are also using a fantastic new luxury camp in the Serengeti National Park for those in search of the truly grand.
Conservation news - progress and poachers
There has been increasing pressure on certain parts of the Serengeti ecosystem. In February, while on a walk near the border of the national park, some Maasai and I came across some poachers setting out wire snares to catch animals for bushmeat. These snares are indiscriminate, catching any and all that comes along, from antelope to lion. We collected almost 50 pounds of these traps and have increased our patrol of these remote areas in collaboration with wildlife authorities who a couple months later caught and arrested the poachers. On a lighter note, Mark has spent much of the last year writing and compiling the World Heritage Site nomination for a communally owned nature reserve in the Richtersveld in South Africa and it has finally been submitted to UNESCO. Progress indeed and the future looks bright for global recognition of this unique desert landscape.
What a night drive!
On our night game drives, we get the chance to see how the other half of life exists. As usual we spotted bushbabies bouncing from tree to tree, their eyes bright and big in the spotlight. Other foraging nocturnals we saw were white tailed mongoose, genet (a black and white spotted 'cat-looking' carnivore actually in the Viverrid, or, mongoose, family) and many bat eared fox busy searching for termites. But the highlight was turning a bend in the track around some rocky outcrops and coming into a pride of lions stalking zebra. I'll never forget - nor will the clients, I'm sure! - the image of a great, big-maned lion standing tall on the rock overlooking the valley.