Black & White

'There is no better place to see or photograph rhino' is a recent comment from a Kicheche Laikipia alumni. She was right. Virtually every game drive delivers these armoured browsers and grazers. Kicheche Laikipia's conservancy, Ol Pejeta has been so successful in protecting this endangered species that it is easy to become complacent over their future.

Tough Old Bird

When you film or photograph wildlife, you yearn for originality over everything else. With no hyperbole, a leopard hunting a Lappet-faced vulture - Africa’s largest, with a nine-foot wingspan - is a first. Anywhere.

The Great Gestation

When the radio crackles gently and the Maasai missive includes the word Chui, Duma or Vichwa, the pulse rises. When the feline phrase is tailed by toto, the heart rate elevates into dangerous territory. This week's Spot is a natal update from our three Mara Camps.

Tester for Esther

Esther is young, she is also ambitious and critically extremely competent. However, with little notice she is given a photographer never knowingly undemanding. Pressure on, yes. Did it show, not a bit of it.

Big Ben

First time spotter Ben Joel has had quite a safari. He also has the images to prove this, but more importantly they embody the potent power of the conservancies, in this case Olare.

Aard currency

It may be at the beginning of the dictionary but it is rarely at the beginning of any safari, in fact it is rarely seen at all. So let's just consider this sighting, not one aardwolf but two, in daytime. Mating.

Kicheche Early

Early season, Kicheche early. I first had this idea 12 years ago. This was the genesis: James Nampaso: 'Paul we leave at 04.30'. That sounds easy but when you have three vehicles and a dozen wildlife zealots rising rudely before dawn a whole Kicheche machine has to get into gear to make it happen. It was only a whim, a gamble, an unendorsed tale of a mother leopard with an extended family. It worked: we saw six - a mother with one then a family including triplets (it's not an incredible photo but it is four leopards up a tree!) ... all before seven o clock. 

Grin up north

Mara North, you slay us, as do the set of sorcerers (better collective required) that consistently mine from the highest carat faunal seam. George, Jimmy, Saruni et al we thank you.  I don't think you can have herds of leopards but that is what they seem to find. Regularly.

Unforgettable Journey

Perhaps the most inescapably African mammal is the giraffe. For much of the day they stand pensively, observing from their airy penthouse. Giraffes are such a fixture that despite their height they can be underappreciated. Not at Kicheche they are not.  

She’s one of our own

The facts: Akira, daughter of the venerable Tito, Olare Conservancy. Cub (her first)... tiny (5 weeks), Nancie Wright, seasoned Kichechian, the above title employable for both of them. Top work Charles Wandero, top work Nancie. This is spotted box office but even the most rudimentary safari fan knows how challenging it is for her to look after this beautiful A-lister, Akira nightly patrols are what she might need.