Kicheche’s 12 Days of Christmas

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 you all know, is not just for Christmas.

Storm Sentinels

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.

Name of the Game

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.

A Shot in the Dark

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.

Where there’s fieldcraft, there’s witchcraft

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.

Patience and Pitfalls

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.

In a Prickle

Early, Acacia pride quartering the plains near KMC ... the sun is yet to wake and these cats are hungry for anything? Perhaps not this.

Little and Large

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.

Calf Strain

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.