February is marked by cool mornings, hot days and a few scattered rain showers. The grasses on the savannah begin to dry out and herds of elephant with some small calves in the family units are drawn in to the forests around our camps to feed. One February we were incredibly privileged to witness the birth of a baby elephant in Little Governors Camp. Zebras and wildebeest from the Loita plains begin to arrive in the Masai Mara. Big cat sightings remain good and the birding is excellent with European migrants still around and resident birds nesting and raising their chicks.
Loldia has had a busy month and guests have been enjoying all the region has to offer. The birding has been great as always with a very lucky sighting of a pair of Spotted Owls on the way back from the airstrip during the day. Scotty had a run in with a Warthog which he is now recovering from and there has been some good fishing from in front of the house.
Sabyinyo is celebrating 10 years of working with our community lodge association SACOLA and with over US$ 2 million generated for the community trust by the lodge there have been some remarkable achievements to date. We are very proud of our association with SACOLA and the fantastic work they have done and continue to do within the community and SACOLA also completed some new projects this month and Sabyinyo welcomed new managers Phil and Charlie this month who are settling in very nicely.
Whilst January has been an overall very dry month in the Mara we did see the arrival of the big resident herds of wildebeest and zebra with large herds crossing the Mara River at regular intervals. The Warburgia trees are still fruiting, drawing the elephants into the woodlands around our camps to feed. There was a dramatic rescue of a baby elephant this month and the little ele is now under the care of David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. The lions are going from strength to strength with new cubs for the Marsh, Madomo and Paradise Prides, 8 dominant males between the prides and six new male interlopers waiting in the wings.
Sabyinyo celebrated a very happy christmas and new year with our guests which included some unexpected last minute Rwandese adjustments. There was much singing, dancing and merriment all round. Relief manager Henry accompanied guests on a breath taking gorilla trek to see the Hirwa gorilla family whose playful babies, aloof matriarchs and imposing Silverback gave them all some 'uniquely glorious' moments.
January is the peak of summer in the Masai Mara. Sporadic rain brings on growth of the savannah grasses, butterflies flit through the forest and fruiting trees in the riverine woodlands draw in parrots and elephants into the camps. Lion, leopard and cheetah begin to move further apart in search of prey. There is wonderful birding with the European migratory birds in residence.
Loldia has had a lovely festive season welcoming guests from all over the world. Loldia remains a birders paradise and the highlight of the month was the fledgling fish eagles learning to fly in the garden, with take off sites in the big fig tree there have been some near misses with the breakfast table. There are now 4 resident giraffe on the ranch and night game drives have revealed aardvarks and tiny new born hippos.
December has been warm and dry in the Mara. As Mara River levels drop the hippos move closer together in search of deeper pools and move further out each night in search of grass to graze. Families of elephant roam the grasslands and everywhere you look there are cubs amongst the lion prides. The mother ostrich hen has done a great job raising her young and leopard and cheetah sightings have been great.
December brings warm days with scattered rain showers, the grasses on the plains green and everywhere you look there are young and for the antelope the rutting season begins. With the wildebeest gone families of elephant return in numbers to the forests around our camps. Large clans of hyena roam the plains, there are cubs in the lion prides and the migratory birds are back from Europe, feeding nesting and breeding in the Marsh.
Loldia has had some lovely wildlife sightings this month including a rare Caracal which was seen inside our garden fence one evening. Night game drives on the ranch have revealed leopards and aardvarks and there have been plenty of wonderful day trips to Lake Nakuru National Park. The Supermoon rising over Lake Naivasha was a highlight of the month and we have seen the arrival of the first migrant birds from Europe and Asia.