Serval cat (photo: A. Patek)
Maasai at dusk
Serengeti buffalo in thick cover
National Geographic Best Outfitter for 2nd year running!
We are proud again to be awarded by National Geographic Adventure magazine. For the second time in as many years, National Geographic has conducted their extensive surveys of outfitters worldwide and rated them according to adventure, service, education and sustainability. We were proud to receive the highest overall ranking amongst the surveyed companies for the 2nd time. We highlighted some new things we are doing in the bush from our Serengeti treks to our conservation easement work in Maasailand, where farming is creeping into some wilderness zones and traditional Maasai grazing areas. With a couple other companies we are contributing to an easement to ensure that the wildebeest’s critical calving areas and the Maasai’s important grazing areas are kept in tact and not ploughed under. So far, so good, and we are hoping to expand and include other villages as well who have approached us for assistance.
While we so often talk about our adventures with you all on foot, we have also had equally brilliant experiences from the vehicle. Something has to be said for getting extremely close to a herd of elephants – almost touching distance – or lions with not another person in sight. It enables us to really sit quietly and observe the animals and their behaviour in a natural way. With Gabriel at the helm for many of the game driving days, there have been some brilliant sightings… mating lions, countless cheetah kills and with Gab’s uncanny knack of getting into the Serengeti’s less known areas, some great sightings of Black Rhino in the Serengeti!! And it must be said… 3 leopards in one tree eating a reedbuck. Well done Gabs!
New options for Traditional Luxury Camping
As many of you know, when we are on foot, we outfit our own wilderness mobile camps which are lightweight as we move them almost every day. We also have some new options for our time in the game driving parts of the parks to have the same exclusivity and a bit of luxury. For Serengeti, we are now utilizing some excellent luxury camps – think giant Meru style tents with en suite bathrooms, central dining and a full bar – in the less visited corners of the park, like up in the gorgeous Mara section of the Northwestern Serengeti. It can be really nice after walking for a few days to end up in a classic, old fashioned luxury mobile camp with a cold Gin and Tonic at sundown.
Walking in Serengeti
We have been very busy in the Serengeti wilderness zones for extended treks and have spent some good time on our own exploring new areas and new routes on which to take you. On these ‘recces’ as we call them, we bash our way through the bush, find river crossings, good places to pitch camp, and interesting features in the environment to explore. And we’ve found and mapped on GPS enough of this previously unexplored country to keep us (and you!) busy for a couple weeks on foot (should it be desired…!). Wildlife is truly superb, the temperatures are mild since we are at about 6000 feet and the scenery truly spectacular. It has now become one of our most popular trips and we are loving exploring new bits of the bush on each walk.
Maasailand… leopards, lions and buffalo
This past season we spent a great deal of time in our exclusive-use areas in Maasailand, both along the border of Tarangire and Serengeti National Parks. It was great, as always, to spend a good amount of time in these areas where we originally began our walking safaris over 12 years ago. We had great walk-ins on buffalo on the Mickel safari with 3 old bulls walking right by us as we crouched behind a tree. And up near Serengeti, a resident leopard kept us company for a couple weeks each night as he called.. We saw him twice below camp, once at 11:00 in the morning as he was relaxing by a rock.
We also had some lions on the west side of the ridges killing wildebeest with great frequency. In one morning we found 4 different carcasses of lion kills from the previous couple nights and 2 cheetah running from us after they ate their gazelle kill.