Safari Blog

News from the bush

elephantsFor years our guests have been experiencing the magnetic and awe-inspiring world that is Africa. We are now able to share these magical moments with you through our Safari Blog. This is one way we hope to emanate the thrill of being on safari, so join us as we look forward to planning your very own adventure in Africa.

Follow our journeys into the wilderness of Africa and the incredible, exhilarating and healing world of safari.

Close encounters of the rhino and elephant kind

on Sunday, 23 May 2010. Posted in 2010, Zambia

Close encounters of the rhino and elephant kind

Our last day at the The River Club was going to be more about wildlife, so a visit to the neighbouring Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park was the plan. Our game drive was pretty good considering the Park’s size. It is tiny and does not profess to have any of the big cats but we still saw plenty of beautiful birds as well as impala, warthog, wildebeest, elephant, baboon and vervet monkeys. At one point a huge hippo crossed the road in front of us before plunging into a nearby pond splashing the pied kingfishers resting on the banks.

Mosi-oa-Tunya – the smoke that thunders

on Thursday, 20 May 2010. Posted in Lower Zambezi, 2010, Zambia

Mosi-oa-Tunya – the smoke that thunders

I picked up Deb and Chris from Livingstone airport and you could just see the excitement and glee in their eyes. They were back once more in the place they love! This is their fourth safari to Africa with me, and this time we are in Zambia – a truly spectacular country with plenty to offer. A short drive through the streets of Livingstone town led us to out first stop The River Club, an Edwardian style house set in manicured lawns on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River. Set high up overlooking the swift flowing waters where hippos and crocodiles float, you cannot ask for more. This is what this area is all about, it oozes class, sophistication and boasts timeless history. With uninterrupted vistas of the Zambezi, glorious African sunsets and wildlife right on the doorstep, Deb and Chris are in heaven.

On n’est pas bien la?! (Is this good or what!?)

on Thursday, 15 April 2010. Posted in Maasai Mara, Kenya, 2010

On n’est pas bien la?! (Is this good or what!?)

It was a sad farewell to Loisaba but with a final throw of petanque and a couple of laps of the pool we were on our way to the best wildlife viewing destination in the world: the Maasai Mara. The smoothest of landings on the all weather airstrip threw us immediately in at the deep end: elephant and buffalo everywhere, hundreds of them scattered across the plains around the famous Musiara marsh.

In or out of a car - there is so much to do on safari

on Tuesday, 13 April 2010. Posted in Laikipia, Kenya, 2010

In or out of a car - there is so much to do on safari

A fantastic low flight across the Laikipia plateau took us next to Loisaba. Rivers and dams that have been dry for 3 years are now full and everything is looking so beautifully green. A quick game drive and a couple of leopard tortoises later we arrived at the lodge. The views defy description and the waterhole below continuously draws a variety of wildlife. A breeding herd of 30 elephant plus one enormous male greeted us on arrival as they drank from the coloured waters.

Rain or shine, nothing beats being on safari!

on Wednesday, 07 April 2010. Posted in Laikipia, Kenya, 2010

Rain or shine, nothing beats being on safari!

The Allain-Launay family landed in Nairobi to a gloomy morning, but with a quick charter flight through the central highlands and onto Lewa the skies opened up to reveal a stunning wilderness destination. It is always difficult to say when the best time to visit our beautiful country is but even now, in our long rainy season, it has its benefits. The grass is lush, the animals are thriving and the air is refreshingly pure. The onset of the rains bring about a drastic change in every eco-system – the mammals are breeding, the birds are nesting and the insects are pollinating. It is truly a hive of activity in every way.

Put your hand up if you think hyenas are cute!

on Friday, 19 February 2010. Posted in Maasai Mara, Kenya, 2010

Put your hand up if you think hyenas are cute!

Guest Blogger

On our first game drive in the Maasai Mara we saw lots of spotted hyenas. Our Mum does not like them when they are grown up but we think they are very cute even when they are old. Andy likes them too which we are happy about. We also think the wildebeests are nice looking but not as nice as the hyenas. The place we stayed was lovely, it is called Elephant Pepper Camp and it has very good managers who also have a dog called Bahati and a baby called Seiya. It was lots of fun playing with Bahati and holding Seiya. We have never stayed in such big tents, they are very comfortable and do not have any bugs in them which we like. At dinner, we don’t know why but the moths fall into the candle holders. We have to save them all the time but they seem to come back again. Silly things!

The bush is so exciting!

on Sunday, 14 February 2010. Posted in Laikipia, Kenya, 2010

The bush is so exciting!

Guest Blogger

We flew in a very small plane to Loisaba. Nicola asked Peter to fly low because she doesn’t like to fly high but I don’t mind because I can listen to Alicia Keys on my Ipod. The flight was a little bumpy but Peter can fly very well. We have seen lots more animals at Loisaba especially dik diks which are very cute little antelopes that hop around the grass in front of my room. I am sharing with my sister and Mum and Dad are next door.

Can I come and live in Africa? Please Mum and Dad...

on Thursday, 11 February 2010. Posted in Kenya, 2010

Can I come and live in Africa? Please Mum and Dad...

Guest Blogger

I was so tired when I arrived in Kenya but I tried to keep my eyes open to see the giraffe. When we got to Giraffe Manor they were asleep but I did see some funny looking warthogs. They are very ugly but I think they are also cute. My name is Nicola, I am 9 years old and I am on a safari in Africa with my Mum and Dad and my twin sister, Celine. We love animals and have 2 dogs and 2 rabbits at home but would really like to see some African animals. So, in the morning, I was very excited to see the giraffe who came to eat breakfast with us. They have really yukky slimy tongues but I don’t mind because I can touch their heads. I didn’t want to go but Andy said we had to fly to Lewa to go and find some lions. I really like them too!

On Safari in the Serengeti

on Saturday, 06 February 2010. Posted in Serengeti, 2010, Tanzania

Great wildlife, endless plains, huge skies and a big goodbye to Jackie and Mica

On Safari in the Serengeti

So it was to our final stop, the Serengeti, a word that conjures up what safari is all about – wide open spaces teeming with wildlife. The fresh grassland is the feeding ground for over 1 million wildebeest and 500,000 zebra, gazelle, eland and topi all of which are followed by their associated predators. It was going to be a veritable festival of animals. We had timed it just right as while we were there the migration was passing through the Ndutu area, a beautifully forested area bordering the open plains and home to our camp. The Serengeti is too vast to cover to the full in a few days but we we made the most of our days so as to explore the Park’s varied zones and appreciate its beauty.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

on Wednesday, 03 February 2010. Posted in Ngorongoro Crater, 2010, Tanzania

Awe inspiring landscape and wildlife

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

We wanted to be down into the Crater before anyone else to really appreciate its uniqueness, so an early morning call and some freshly brewed coffee set us on our way. The caldera spans a mere 150 square miles but shelters an amazing array of creatures and we saw most of them. From black maned lions resting in the morning light to cheetah stalking the grasslands. From thousands of zebra wandering the savannah to the irredescent pink flamingoes that crowd the soda lakes. The wildebeest give birth at this time of the year as the rich grass of the short plains support them and we were lucky enough to witness one from start to finish. The wildebeest are not blessed with looks and have a tough life constantly dodging lions and crocodiles so as the poor little guy scrambled to his feet, looked around and saw his mum you could see him say to to himself ‘Damn I was born a wildebeest!’.

A farewell song from Amboseli and onto Tanzania

on Monday, 01 February 2010. Posted in Kenya, 2010, Amboseli

A farewell song from Amboseli and onto Tanzania

One of the attractions of visiting Amboseli is meeting the local people who live on its outskirts, so to experience some culture was the plan for our last day. However the way the wildlife was performing our schedule was always going to be changed. On the way to a Maasai village we came across more big herds of elephant. At times it is amazing how quietly these huge animals wander through the bush but this was not one of those times. We thought at first it was just the big males again creating bedlum so were surprised to suddenly see 2 lion heads pop up in the centre of the herd. The ensuing frenzy of screeching and growling was deafening as they all tried to frantically get away from each other. The lion had obviously been sleeping after a long night of patrolling but were rudely awaken by the elephant who had accidentally stumbled across them. Fortunately, there were no injuries to either side as both swiftly dispersed and moved on in separate directions tails between their legs.

The magnificent elephants of Amboseli

on Saturday, 30 January 2010. Posted in Kenya, 2010, Amboseli

The magnificent elephants of Amboseli

Leaving the volcanic hills of the Chyulus behind us we drove to Amboseli National Park at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Having not been to Amboseli for 3 months I was not sure what to expect. The 3 year drought had certainly affected the plains game population however I had heard the predators were thriving. Especially the lion whose numbers have actually grown by 50%, not many places can boast that, and within 5 minutes of going through the gate we saw a lone male traversing the savannah in search of shade in the heat of the day. The swamps are full of water and the grass is lush and green. What a transformation!

The open plains of Ol Donyo Wuas

on Thursday, 28 January 2010. Posted in Kenya, 2010

The open plains of Ol Donyo Wuas

A beautiful flight across the Loita Hills and the Great Rift Valley brought us to our next stop – the Chyulu Hills in Southern Kenya. What a spectacular sight as we arrived at the grass airstrip as across the grass strewn plains the snows of Kilimanjaro loomed up above us. From a barren dust bowl 3 months ago the area had been revitalised by lots of rain. It was with great sadness that we learnt from Anton and Emma, our best friends and managers at Ol Donyo Wuas, that at least 75% of the resident herbivores had succumbed to the drought. The elephants had also suffered but from the ‘hide’ we were fortunate enough to see 7 mammoth bulls and then some giraffe come into the waterhole. It was an incredible experience and with hearts racing we whispered as they drank no more than 10 metres away.

Texas takes on the Maasai Mara!

on Tuesday, 26 January 2010. Posted in Maasai Mara, Kenya, 2010

Texas takes on the Maasai Mara!

And here we land once again in a wilderness paradise! The Maasai Mara never ceases to amaze and its beauty increases each time but wow what a difference a couple of weeks made from when I was last here with the Bartter family. You can never say there is no game in the Mara as it is so widely dispersed but the grass was long and they were playing hard to get, especially that elusive leopard!

Loisaba Wilderness and the Star Beds

on Sunday, 24 January 2010. Posted in Laikipia, Kenya, 2010

An incredible experience

Loisaba Wilderness and the Star Beds

We said our goodbyes to the team at Lewa and drove to the airstrip to meet Peter White for our private charter to Loisaba. Flying at 200 feet above the ground is always great fun and it gives you a very different perspective of the stunning landscape. We brushed over the Loldaiga Hills and continued towards the Laikipia plateau, home to Loisaba Lodge and Starbeds. It was hot out there so most animals were heading for shade cover but on a hunch I decided to pass by the dam to see if anything was coming down for a drink. We arrived just in time to watch over 70 thirsty elephants swim and play in the muddy waters. Matriarchs, sub adults and little ones all seemed in heaven as did Jackie and Mica as they clicked furiously on their cameras. On the side lines a slender mongoose kept us amused for a while as he scampered back and forth across the track in front of us.

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