An open Boscia tree in the heart of Naboisho Conservancy. Short grass, two leopards and Sankuet being rather greedy with two Thomson's kills.
Unfortunately with a cub as boisterous and mischievous as this young five-month-old scamp, accidents generally happen.
When lions escort you to dinner you know you are doing something right. Ola and Chris have kindly shared the album of their time in the high plains of Kicheche Laikipia, guided by the genius that is Peter Kariuki.
Dan Heap, long time Kicheche friend, was with David Nchoe when they witnessed this - two hours of parental protection against a small clan of spotted hyenas. This mother was in a whole Heap of trouble but showed remarkable bravery, helped slightly by the hyenas appearing to have no real plan...
It's that time of the year so sit back and mull over this year's seasonal production. All year you have supported us, it is now time to thank you with this original take on a classic festive favourite.
The camps are almost full, Kicheche however....as you all know, is not just for Christmas.
Some eschew wet weather, it is not to everybody's taste, but if you want drama there is nowhere like it, as early feathery cumulus builds into an angry charcoal nimbus, leavened by snarling and brooding thunderheads and fired by mid-afternoon convection.
Within minutes the sky is disembowelled by storms which normally reside in the bible's pages.
Naming wild animals is contentious at best. Simple ID numbers are often employed and understandable, cloying western names perhaps not so.
A young originally shy male leopard that has skulked around Kicheche Mara Camp for a while is now being seen with some regularity and is worthy of some recognition.
For a photographer or anyone who appreciates those really special, precious, and often fleeting wildlife moments, it is best to be alert just after dawn or as the sun drops for the day. A lot needs to line up for this to work but this is where the Kicheche magicians take control.
Enter Zarek Cockar, a rare high carat gold certified guide setting the gold standard with some of our seasoned guides he describes as 'some of the best in the business.' He's right but, as Patrick would proclaim: every day is a school day and Zarek spent a week with the supposed C-list species bringing them out of the wings into the limelight.
Not everyone who arrives at Kicheche even has a camera, many believing that magical wildlife moments are best recorded by memory rather than megapixels, but a good number love this popular yet deeply frustrating hobby.
One Conservancy and two events worthy of documentation. Kulete, favoured cheetah of Olare and Naboisho has FINALLY revealed her hand, or indeed her brood, appearing within minutes of camp with three tiny spotty balls of fluff. She has managed to elude the many looking for her in the previous weeks. Top work Charles for chivvying them from their lair and nice work Nancie for lining them up in her viewfinder.
Just because Naboisho Conservancy has the highest population of giraffes anywhere in Africa does not mean they should be taken for granted. Mika Kaleku is one of Kicheche's longest-serving and most charismatic guides. He has made Naboisho his own and is enormously popular. However, his DNA is woven with a deep spirituality and indeed burning sense of proprietariness towards this beautiful parcel of land.
In June 2000 five staff waited for the two new owners to arrive at their small simple camp in the Northern Masai Mara. They had nothing to fear. One of them stood out straight away as he towered over the others and indeed some of the nearby bushes and trees. Shy, almost painfully but clearly with a burning desire to impress and a level of kindness and consideration almost unmatched anywhere, Lenye didn't take long to become an institution.
'Busy morning with mating leopards' were Bernard's and Mika's casual drawls on their seismic morning drive.
No animal raises the pulse more than a leopard, but this was a far harder spotted currency. Figlet is one of our own and she was with the monstrous Mkubwa - almost twice her size - turning a forested area in Naboisho into a Balanites boudoir for hours.
For a drink that was once unkindly called 'mother's ruin,' gin has undergone a posh renaissance over thelast 10 years. It used to be a green bottle, ice and a slice and a bit of tonic..... not anymore. Cucumber has found itself into the frosted tumblers and tonic has become a feverish and thirsty game of one-upmanship. Gins have changed too, so, with that in mind we give you 'The Bush Camp Gin Bar'.
Even the humblest African author tries to do justice to its extraordinary light. A thousand adjectives and prose acres are willfully sowed daily, yet few (Including this) do justice to this remarkable phenomena, yet it performs every day, especially in East Africa.
You know the feeling: you wake up a little late with the bronze sunrise long departed and the day already bright. You almost miss the kick off but are hungry for some action but over-commit in attack and suddenly you are outflanked by some buffalo wingers.
Currently down under the English Lionesses are trying to go one better than their better paid male counterparts. Well seasoned Kichechians Rachel Chapman and Ros Gray decided to do a vets tour to the Mara. They brought along Rachel’s 18 year old niece, Lucia Baynes on debut, but, as the fabled Charlton once said -'if he/she's good enough, she's old enough'. Lucia had never fastened her pumps onto the hallowed stadium of Mara North and she'd never even held a DSLR camera. By day two she was shooting with the clinical skill of Lauren James.
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