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.

For Fox Sake

Perhaps the signature species are indulged too often. Many would disagree but I recall 20 years ago Boniface Ole Mpario (Kicheche's venerable first head guide) gasping with joy as he located two of these immaculately created young scamps race across the plains at dawn: ' Now that' he paused theatrically 'is my favourite creature'. He may have a point.

Stripes of the Week

Hyenas divide opinion, that will never change but as a species their family characteristics are fascinating, second only to elephants. They are also not uncommon but that all changes when spots change to stripes (never thought I'd ever write that).

Midwife Crisis

Within four hundred metres from the most easterly wing of Bush Camp, Dickson slows his cruiser. There appears to be most of East Africa's zebra grazing on the nutritious pastures North of camp. However, he has singled out one, there is something different about this animal many hundreds of metres away, a difference not noticeable to most human eyes.