Mara Plains received half of one year’s average rainfall in the month of April this year!
So the rains really did come this month in an incredible way. From the 1st through to the end of the month, it has been non-stop with huge storms of inches at a time through to all-day drizzles. This is why most of the camps around the Masai Mara close.
In and around the camp we have had some interesting moments, such as the large pink-nosed male leopard walking across the deck of the manager’s tent, or even part of the suspension bridge being washed away by the flash flood one night. We feel lucky to have the bridge and the ‘loo with a view’ still with us. It must be said that the real wonder of the rains in the Masai Mara comes from ones first impression… it is so green and lush! The plains around us are all bright – much of the grass from the end of last year’s rains is still around and now more is on the way. The chances are that the Great Migration this year could be huge and very epic.
In the first ten days there were a number of wildlife sightings that will stay with us forever. To mention the one that springs to mind the fastest… and all happening in minutes and within a few hundred meters of one another: First on the scene were the two brother cheetah crossing the Ntiakitiak river upstream from the camp. Then a few hundred meters later we found Acacia the leopard and her cub as they were in the final stages of hunting some dikdik. Suddenly Acacia’s cub took off for the trees. Lions were behind them and were closing in! Not a good place for an adult leopard to be, let alone a cub. When Acacia was sure that her little one had made it to the tree line she ran for it, and the lions went after her. In the glow of the red spotlight we watched as Acacia managed to get up a tree with the lions right below her. Phew! What a sighting!
In the middle of the month we closed Mara Plains Camp to start preparing the site for the new family unit, which will be opening at the end of June. From the designs it really does look like this combination of two large tents with a communal area is going to be very special. The location, for those of you that know the camp, is on the northern end where tent 1 used to be. The views will look out under the huge Sycamore Fig tree over the plains and the Ntiakitaik river. Tent 2, which was just behind this new site is now going to be the guide tent meaning that families traveling with a private guide can have one wing of the camp exclusively with their own car and Great Plains Conservation guide.
So all in all quite a short little report this month and I’m sure we could go much more into detail about what we are up to in the camp in terms of getting it looking sharp for the Migration season, but this may bore many of you and it might also spoil any of the surprises that we have up our sleeves. One thing I will mention that can just be a little taster, the new design Mara Plains cars are looking amazing and to go hand in hand with this, our guiding team has now completed their FGASA (Field Guide Association of South Africa) training taking them steps up.
All the best to you from the team on the plains and we will keep you updated.
Photographs by Lorna Buchanan-Jardine
Tags: 60 Minutes, cheetah, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, FGASA, Field Guide Association of South Africa, Great Plains Conservation, Kenyan Luxury Safari, leopard, lion, Mara Plains camp, Masai Mara Reserve, Ntiakitiak River, Olare Orok Conservancy, The Last Lions, Wildebeest Migration
This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012 at 2:44 pm
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