This month the Masai Mara like the rest of Kenya received an abundance of rain. We have watched the Mara River rise to almost the top of the river bank only to fall away and the next day. Our team at Little Governors Camp has kept a close eye on river levels at the boat crossing site and upstream to ensure the boat crossings are safe. When the river has become too high our airplanes have taken guests to the other side and our camp vehicles have been waiting to collect them and drive them straight to camp. Rainy season is always an adventure! With all the torrential rains our supply lorry has faced many challenges on the way to the camps from entire roads washed away, to thick mud and stuck cars blocking the road but the drivers have managed to skillfully keep the show on the road and keep the camps well stocked and there is always the spectacular wildlife on arrival in the Mara after a long journey!
Photo courtesy of Alisa Bowen
All of this abundant rain has meant the Mara is looking gloriously green and there is abundant wildlife for our guests to view. Big herds of elephant come the Musiara Marsh to feed returning to the safety of the forests in and around our camps at night. The young elephant calves and older bulls have been having lots of fun playing in the Marsh.
Photo courtesy of Jerry Xu
Other visitors to our camps have included, dik dik, buffalo and the resident hippo and warthogs.
The Mara River has been flowing so high and fast that many of the hippo have moved to pools and lakes on the plains. The Marsh infront of Little Governors Camp has turned into a lake and there is now a pod of lively and noisy hippos and one crocodile in residence. The hippo pool near Bila Shaka is also full to bursting with male hippos becoming increasingly irate with one another as they are squished closer together.
The large ostrich family that we have watched over the last few months continues to thrive. The chicks are now almost fully grown and will show their adult colours soon. The flock consists of 36 birds and we are so proud of this mother ostrich who has raised them and kept them safe in an area that has many lion and hyena resident.
Wild flowers have burst into bloom and with them a proliferation of millions of beautiful butterlfies who flit from flower to flower bringing flashes of beautiful colour.
With the savannah grasses growing long the birds have been having a field day. Jackson Widow Bird males have grown their full breeding plumage and the males have been busy building nests and displaying to impress the females.
Whilst Saddle Billed Sorks have been busy taking advantage of the abundant free resources to patch up their old nests and build new ones in which to raise their young.
Photo courtesy of Mary Lau
As usual we have had great lion sightings this month, the 6 warriors have kept to their new home range between Bila Shaka and Governors Camp. Towards the end of the month an elephant died of natural causes close the Marsh and the six males were feeding on this for many days.
We had some great sightigns of Marsh Pride Lioness Yaya and her two tiny cubs as she moved them to higher and drier ground.
This month we received the sad news that male lion Lipstick from the Mdomo Pride had died, he was an older lion and had an injury to one of his front knees, he could no longer keep up with the pride and sadly passed away this month. Blackie is still with the Mdomo Pride but he too is limping from an injury he sustained with a fight with Scar and the other males from the Paradise Pride some time ago. The females have now moved up to Rhino Ridge but and with only one older male lion with them now, the pride is vulnerable for a takeover, perhaps by the six male warriors or newcomers, only time will tell how long Blackie can hold on to his pride. We will continue to monitor and share their story as it unfolds.
We have had intermittant sightings of male leopard Siri up at the Mara River crossing site, and leopards Romi and Ariana have been seen close to the Marsh and woodlands near our camps. They have been lying low over the last month and we suspect they may have cubs.
Photos courtesy of Mary Lau
Governors recently funded the installation of an electric Borehole pump for the medical Centre.
The Mara Rianda primary boarding school will soon have a new Girls dormitory. The Mara Rianda Charitable trust have funded the build and is nearly complete.
Everyone is gearing up for what is set to be a fantastic and busy season here in the Mara.
Exciting news at IL Moran! After being closed for a couple of months during the low season the lodge will open on the 4th of June after undergoing a full refurbishment. The team has been working hard with White Elephant Trading company on some really exciting changes. We look forward to sharing some photos with you and feedback from our first guests in the next newsletter.