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Our Kenya safari - February 2014

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Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Laikipia on Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:08 am

I thought I would start with a slideshow of our recent safari to Offbeat Mara (Mara North conservancy) Il Ngwesi (Laikipia area) and Sarara camp (Samburu).  

We had 3 nights at Offbeat, 4 nights at Il Ngwesi with some friends and 3 nights at Sarara.  It is never enough and I really so enjoy time spent in Africa.  Going to Offbeat Mara was a wonderful time for me (thanks Safariman) as I was able to catch up with Piers the owner and Kapeen whom I've spent many a safari with when I was riding.  I also found out the camp is about 300 yards from where we used to camp whilst riding in the area so it was wonderful to reminisce.  

I'll post individual photos this week but the slideshow is for now.  I've also listed a few of the birds and a few comments below.



Bateleur
Martial eagle
Secretary bird
Long Crested eagle
Secretary bird with a lizard  What a Face 
Black backed jackal
Pumbah - belongs to Piers and looks like a cross between a hyena and a wild dog to me  I love you 
Baby ele - only 2 hours old
Blue naped Mousebird
Red checked Cordon bleu
2 rhinos (male and female) in the sanctuary for protection and de-horned
Maasai village
Donkey warming itself by the fire in the Maasai village
Von der Deken's Hornbill
Vulturine Guineafowl
Sessia - the wonderful kudu.

Lai  Very Happy 
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Doogs on Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:05 pm

WOWSER Lai, that's fantastic   

What a fantastic array of animals, birds and humans in colour and black & white.  All wonderful shots there and what lovely music you've managed to put them too, love it.

You and SM have made me totally jealous with your leopard shots, just beautiful.  Two super shots of the hyena peering down the hole then doing what they do best, laughing  Laughing  What a very regal, handsome male lion  I love you   Brilliant that you saw Rhino and got some good close ups - noticed one had had his horn trimmer.  Loved the 4 warthogs in a row drinking from the water and some lovely shots of the giraffe as well drinking.  Those kids were adorable  I love you 

Totally fantastic, thanks so much for putting that together, I'll watch it again later at home  cheers 
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Safariman on Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:55 pm

Lovely slideshow Lai, with some great photos and music and an interesting variety of animals and birds. Leopards are definitely the "in" thing for WWA safaris at the moment!! Good to see the photo of the Vulturine Guinea Fowl, one of my favourite birds and I managed to see them regularly on my trips to Meru.
Pumba is a lovely dog having been obtained by Piers and his friend Robin after a drunken night in Nairobi!! She spends her time moving between the camp and Nairobi and is very sensible in never straying very far. When I was at the camp in Nov. she was in Nairobi and Katie who was managing the camp had acquired Bruno a very young and excitable dog who would chase after anything including hyenas and would spend his afternoons joining me for a siesta outside my tent. Unfortunately he met his end on Boxing Day as an unexpected present for a leopard!!!!
Looking forward to seeing some more of your pics and thanks for sharing.

SM
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Laikipia on Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:04 pm

Thanks Doogs and Safariman glad you enjoyed it. I love the music, it's one I have on my IPod and it seemed very apt.  Both the rhinos have had their horns trimmed Doogs to keep them safe, they are in a sanctuary, well really an extremely large fenced area right by Il Ngwesi and protected by some rangers.  They are male and female but due to no other males being present have become like brother and sister so no babies sadly.  They are hoping to bring in another male from neighbouring Lewa.

I heard about Bruno Safariman, but didn't like to mention his end!  Pumbah is lovely and very wise but did pop into our tent to say hello, happily not when the leopard was walking past.

More individual pics to follow soon.

Lai
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  whitestarling on Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:09 pm

Saw your FB slideshow LAI   I'm out in the Add van at the moment working, but will catch up on this tonight hopefully
WS

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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Laikipia on Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:33 pm

cheers  WS - it's one and the same so no worries. Individual pics to follow this weekend, hopefully.

Lai
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  whitestarling on Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:18 pm

 Still enjoyed watching it again Lai, and it was great to get   the names of all the different animals, and what they were called  .

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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Laikipia on Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:42 am

Thanks  WS - much appreciated. I'm just sorting through a few random photos from each of our 3 different camps and will post them over the next few days. I forgot we've a busy weekend and are having 20 friends over tomorrow afternoon for a few sundowners and bitings (still in safari mode).

Lai  cheers 
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  gregrowlerson on Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:08 am

Caught this slideshow on FB and how wonderfully put together it is from the master!  cheers   

Looking forward to seeing some pics when you are able to post them, especially some of the leopards  http://i70.servimg.c 

And Safariman, leopards SHOULD ALWAYS be the "in" thing  http://www.picgifs.c 

GR  leopard in Tree 
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Laikipia on Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:04 am

Thanks  G  Giraffe   Giraffe  R - glad you enjoyed it.

First batch of pics from Offbeat Mara camp ready to upload but my internet connection is soooooooooooooo slow I haven't started for fear of  Sleep  while I do it  Laughing 

Lai
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Laikipia on Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:34 am

Here are a few from our 3 days at Offbeat Mara camp.

Young zebra still very fluffy and they really do have such beautiful markings


I think zebra look really stunning in black and white and this young zebra just happened to be standing around


Topi mother and calf - again when they are mature the tri colour effect is simply superb


2 female ostrich


male ostrich - in the Mara they have pink legs.  In the north they have blue legs.


2 Topi on a termite mound just outside camp.  They spend hours just standing!


Hyena are really fascinating animals and have such bad publicity.


Laughing hyena  Laughing 


A lone wildie boy - we did see a couple but all their mates have gone and left them


Young Egyptian geese


Joseph, me and Kapeen just before sundowners  drunken   Kapeen always like to give me my Maasai shuka to keep warm.  I think it's so I can't have a sundowner  as I can't find my arms.


Maasai giraffe with beautiful markings


This little ele was having none of this giraffe hanging around and kept charging at it.  It was so comical to watch and the giraffe was very obliging and loped off.


That's all for now  cheers 

Lai

ps leopards have to have their own post.
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Safariman on Thu Mar 06, 2014 11:43 am

Some great pics Lai.
The thing I love about the Offbeat Camp is you do not have to travel far to see an incredible variety of animals and birds. Quite often all you have to do is sit outside your tent and wait for them to come to you!! There were lots of young topi and zebra around and I think they give birth in time for the new grass after the short rains and the zebra have their own mini migration into the conservancy from the Aitong Hills Again they come to feed on the new grass. I also love the way the topi stand so erect on the top of termite mounds just asking to be photographed particularly if you can get a clear blue sky as a background.
I soon found out never to let Kapeen pour my sundowner G&T as he works on the principle of 50/50 and in the metal tumblers you can't see the quantity!! I always leave it to David who lets me judge the quantities and that way I am still relatively sober by the time I get back to camp!!
I agree that leopards always deserve a separate post as they are very special. Looking forward to more photos when you can manage it.

SM
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Laikipia on Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:41 pm

Thanks Safariman.  You are so right about the variety of wildlife and with all their young at the moment it was lovely to see them all looking so well and healthy.   Laughing  That's funny about Kapeen, he was always ready with a Tusker beer when I got of my horse and I've always enjoyed his sundowners I would sometimes say more 70/30 and being a drinker of vodka and tangawezi (ginger beer) it just slips down far too easily.  Our first night by the time we got back to camp I was very merry indeed   drunken 

Leopards are next on my list ...............

Lai
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  littlewid on Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:24 pm

With a video and music I am sure you can guess what happened Lai......yes Tiga and I watched that together but the music must have really got to him because he was fidgeting all over the computer and one minute we were in full screen and then back to normal then full screen again and he's purring all the time so he must have really enjoyed that. I think I will watch it again in peace as it was so spectacular and I can watch it all in full screen.
Zebra are just wondrous creatures and they are great in colour, especially the little young one with all his fluffy coat but I really don't think you can beat black and white with them. All the zebra pictures are wonderful, they are one of my favourite animals in Africa and you have such a knack of getting such amazing shots of them. The Hyena laughing is priceless, its just brilliant and your right, they have had bad press and it's not deserved, its a bit like the vultures, people think they are horrible and ugly but they are not at all. Poor wildie all on his own like billy no mates, reminds me of the ones we used to watch, they are another animal that I have a soft spot for. The array of birds was lovely to see and i'm intrigued to read that they have different colour legs for different areas, that's really odd. I am sure I spotted a lovely female Leopard there who arrived through my letter box  Hugs Aren't the Egyptian geese just so adorable, that trio are beautiful. The Male Lion in your video is just so stunning and your pictures of him are fabulous. I like to see the human shots as well, they always look so happy don't they and the pic of you with Joseph and Kapeen is lovely and your Massai Shuka looks cosy and warm....I need one of those for our freezing office at work and it would brighten the place up....better than my hot water bottle    The Massai giraffe really does have amazing markings doesn't he, I love the shot of him and the ele.

What with Safarimans pictures yesterday evening and yours tonight, it has been a real treat and I so loved the music on your video. Even without the pictures you could just listen to that and be transformed into the Mara......Fabulous!

Thank you for all of those Lai and I look forward to seeing more  Very Happy 

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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Laikipia on Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:57 am

Hugs  Littlewid, I'm glad you and Tiga enjoyed the slideshow.  I really love that piece of music and listen to it in my office whilst working, it always takes me back to Africa  Very Happy   Yup that was the leopard from the card x 2  Embarassed  I am still laughing about my mistake!  I have a shuka at home, it's amazing just how warm and toasty it is, when I'm cold in bed I have it over me and it warms me up straight away.

I'm about to post leopard pics - all from our encounter one day but I did get a bit carried away    

Thanks for all your lovely comments Littlewid.

Lai
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Laikipia on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:01 am

Today is leopard day  http://i70.servimg.c   The first pic which I admit is some distance is just to show that from our Tent (3) which is the same tent Safariman was in, we had the most amazing sighting of this lovely leopard.  It sat and watched us and then walked across our vista.  What an amazing thing to see from our verandah and luckily someone from camp came to tell us it was there as we were busy getting our kit together.  I can't tell who it is!

All the other shots are one beautiful female who is near to the camp and was very chilled up the tree (we broke down just by the tree and had to be rescued by another camp vehicle as strangely neither Joseph, Kapeen, Pete or I wanted to try and bump start the vehicle under the watchful eye of the leopard).  Happily we came back later and found her up this tree.

























The last photo is another leopard, a big handsome male who we didn't want to disturb out in the open so not a brilliant shot.


Lai  cheers 
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Safariman on Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:56 am

Some lovely leopard photos Lai, particularly the ones of the female up the tree!! Tent 3 is definitely the place to stay as I said yesterday, if you wait the wildlife comes to you!! I think it is the camp female Mbirika but it is a little difficult to be sure as she is too far away to see her markings. I thought the female up the tree would also be Mbirika if she was close to camp however on closer inspection of her markings I am pretty certain that she is Nelangu, Zawadi's daughter who I have been lucky enough to see on several visits. If you look just below her left eye you can see a series of 4 almost vertical spots, Zawadi her mother had five. Similarly on the right side of her face she has three spots plus one tiny one slightly above just above the top row of her whiskers. If you look at my post in the Big Five thread about the leopard ID, I am certain it is the same leopard as shown in your photos. Also you can probably compare the markings with my recent post on my safari thread about Nelangu. Mbirika has a very distinctive marking on her left shoulder which makes her easily recognisable and I will be doing a post on her later. A great thing about leopards is that with a little patience and a decent photo they are fairly easy to recognise as against lions and cheetahs which I have great difficulty telling apart!!
Keep the photos coming.

SM
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  whitestarling on Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:29 pm

http://i73.servimg.c Brilliant Leopard shots Lai. I agree with Safariman that is definitely Nelangu after comparing the shots with SM's Leopard ID post the markings match the ones I highlighted. Seems like if you want to see Leopards this is the place to go, and tent 3 Is the one to stop in  Laughing 
Lovely photos in your earlier post Lai, what a wide variety of wildlife fantastic to see so many different species. I really love the one of the Hyena  lol! ( Mind you I'm not sure it was really laughing ) your right about the Zebra they really do lend themselves to some stunning black, and white shots, and the Topi are really proud looking animals. Was it Kapeen you were with you were on a riding safari when you stopped for a cig, and there was a Lioness really close to you that you hadn't spotted ?
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  littlewid on Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:22 pm

I'm still smiling too Lai about the two Leopards that came through my letter box, it was definitely my lucky day    Those pictures are just wonderful and actually you and Safariman have complemented each other really nicely with your Leopard shots. Safariman has an amazing sequence of the leopard coming down the tree and you have an equally spectacular sequence of one doing what Leopards do really well, lounging in a comfy tree. They are fantastic shots and that fourth one is as if she is really eyeballing you, it's brilliant. I am really taken with the black and white shots too. I know I like B&W and I suppose a Leopard is not a cat you would think would really lend well to B&W but they do, those pictures are truly lovely.
I don't think I would get out of the vehicle either with a Leopard having us in full site either  No 
Spectacular post Lai, I am eager for more   

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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  gregrowlerson on Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:34 pm

Great photo shares Lai  http://i70.servimg.c Giraffe is very striking, as are the zebra and hyena photos. The depth that your camera has is highlighted well in one of the hyena ones as you can see all the flies annoying it! And the leopards  WOW WOW Really beautiful run of shots. For me it's the ones where she is staring right at you which are the most marvellous. Final one standing up is one for the canvas too  Very Happy 

GR  leopard in Tree 
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Laikipia on Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:43 pm

Thanks everyone, I'm glad you likes the pics. I was convinced it was Nelangu by her markings, so I'm delighted if it is  I love you  It also means we saw 3 different leopards in such a short time which is really exciting.

It was indeed WS, although I am not sure we ever told Kapeen it was a bit  Embarassed  but knowing the bush telegraph all the guys in camp probably heard that I came out of the side door off my horse whilst light my cigarette in front of a leaping lioness  What a Face  it makes a great after dinner story!

More photos later this week ...........  http://www.picgifs.c 

Lai
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  littlewid on Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:40 pm

3 different Leopards in a short time is marvellous Lai  leopard in Tree  I'm looking forward to the next set of photo's   

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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Laikipia on Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:14 am

I thought today we should have a few lions from Mara North conservancy.  These are two prides that Safariman knows well.

Offbeat Pride - we saw 2 females with 5 cubs about 6 months old










This male is a loner and a really magnificent boy.  He did as Safariman said 'if I just lie down and sleep will you leave me be'?








Acacia Pride - we only saw these few relaxing under the tree, they were not for moving at all.  Two males and one female.






I wonder what he was looking at up the tree?


The great thing was seeing healthy looking lions with healthy looking cubs  Very Happy  It would have been lovely to spend more time with them but they weren't for moving and nobody wants to harass them by just sitting waiting for them to do something.

That's all for now  cheers 

Lai
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  whitestarling on Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:51 am

Great shots Lai, I had to do a double take on that first one, at first glance it looks like it has 6 legs   . Looks like the Lions have learned that if they stay still, and don't give people the opportunity of taking photos they will go away, interesting tactic. As you say lovely to see healthy looking Lions, and Cubs, that's good news. The lone Male does look a magnificent specimen, the problem for lone Males is they really don't stand much chance of getting a pride on their own. The Acacia Males, and Lioness really do look chilled out don't they, perhaps the Male, and spotted a bird or something in the tree.
Thanks for the photos Lai
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Re: Our Kenya safari - February 2014

Post  Safariman on Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:28 pm

Lovely shots of the Offbeat lions Lai, the cubs seem to have very full bellies which is great. When I arrived the majority of the pride had gone walkabout away from Lion Hill and were very difficult to find; I will do a post about them on my safari thread. I think the lone male is also one of the old Offbeat cubs who came back to see if he could muscle in!! The females with the cubs moved away and left him to one of the pride males probably his father to sort out!!! There were 3 male cubs who were kicked out of the pride about a couple of years ago. Looking at the Acacia/Cheli male you saw I imagine he will also be on his way soon. The Acacia Pride has 27 individuals including cubs of various ages and they always seem to be well spread out and you always stand a chance of bumping into one or two of them!!! The social life of lion prides appears to be very complicated and the more I see of them the less I understand it!!
Thanks for sharing.

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