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Hangin' out with Laurien the Leopardess via Entim camp in the Masai Mara; a digital photographic safari and lots lots more......


madaboutcheetah
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madaboutcheetah

A giraffe silhouette one morning ....

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Peter Connan

@@madaboutcheetah, beautiful!

 

I particulalrly like your wonderful silhouettes.

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Very very good photos, well done !

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Game Warden

Very nice series MAC: I want to go back so much and these images just add to my yearning.

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Super topi silhouette and mongoose was lovely too! The leopard and her cub - you were so lucky. On my wish list still...

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madaboutcheetah

A typical Mara scene ........ The Elephant viewing in the reserve was better than in the conservancy

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madaboutcheetah

I'm not at all a fan of the rain ........ IMO, the rain makes certain areas hard to access, game mostly in hiding and just grey gloomy skies (T'storms can be interesting, though).........

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Edited by madaboutcheetah
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madaboutcheetah

One final Silhouette to end this thread ........

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Hope you're feeling better, Hari! I was wondering what was behind this double TR and why you'd suddenly become so diligent... :D Haha, now we know the real reason why!

 

Really very lovely silhouettes in both places.

Edited by Sangeeta
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Just Great Hari..Loved your pictorial.

 

Makes me want to go back to Kenya; too much on my plate...omy :D goodness. Your reserve was beautiful for sure.

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Those sunrises or sets are gorgeous. What a find to see the leopard cub! Just adorable.

 

Why do you think the conservancies have lower grass? Is it the grazing?

 

A most successful offseason trip!

 

What were your dates of travel?

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks a lot, everyone ........

 

Wish I were still in Kenya - I know for sure I came down with the flu after coming back to the office straight from the long flight home! ;)

 

Lynn,

 

Mara Entim (March 23-29) and Mara Plains (March 29-April 3) ......... Combination of factors I think, Lynn (the species of grasses, the grazing, the hills around the conservancies that holds so much game this time of the year and they all come onto the plains first thing in the morning) etc etc., the grazing is all controlled and I had a long chat with the conservancy manager where they are more strict now with all the grazing in the conservancy land - the cattle are only permitted in very few areas and only at a certain time frame. I also saw the cattle herds in the park on the edge - they sneak in everywhere!

 

Love the Mara!

 

Cheers

Hari

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More lovely photos!! And that leopard cub! Too cute! Will be very interested to hear more about Entim. & hope you are feeling better by now!

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madaboutcheetah

Anything in particular about Entim? Will be happy to answer......

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Anything in particular about Entim? Will be happy to answer......

 

Just your opinion of the camp in general would be great Hari. Facilities, service, guiding, game in the Immediate vicinity... that sort of thing.

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madaboutcheetah

Okay ...... Here goes.

Entim is labeled an eco-friendly camp ...... is a mid-budget camp in the Mara reserve. They don't advertise to be anything more than that ...... and in that, they lived upto their marketing. I think the camp has 11 tents...... Dinner is all individual tables (no communal dining). We were a group of 7, so this wasn't an issue for us ........ Food was plentiful and very tasty(lunch and dinner) with varied options. Breakfast boxes in most of East Africa are standard IMHO and you can't comment too much on it......... Tents are pretty comfortable (although the shower really needs a make over ........ no complaints, though). I really enjoyed the common areas very much - mess tent, lounge etc etc., (reminded me a lot of Olakira in Tanzania)

 

Game viewing in the reserve in general this time of the year was patchy at best in my opinion (the one exception was the immediate area around Rekero camp). There were also a couple of heavy rains during our stay at Entim .......... making us limited to just a smaller area of the reserve not able to cross across the river.

 

Guiding was quite patchy - We had two cars/drivers ........ One of them were quite acceptable(good at positioning the vehicle, quick to get around etc etc.,) ......... The other one was quite bad (even at driving) ............ There was however no issues with their work ethic or ability to drive and move around .......... We did lose our vehicle's 4WD function - but, Entim managed to get it fixed right away. We had a frequent guest at Entim (return guest) who graciously accomodated 2 of us in her Private vehicle while our vehicle was being fixed (well done in quick time, I might add) .......... One thing Entim ought to address with their guides is the constant jibber jabber on the radio (even when there isn't anything happening) ....... consequently, there is very little interaction with guests (it's all radio chatter and constantly at that).......

 

Apparently, they have a private crossing point in front of camp (during the migration) for those interested .......... and IMHO, the game in general might be better overall in the reserve then (how you'd get away from the crowds ...... I don't know though) ........ Overall, due to the rains and the water levels in the river - we did not encounter too many non-Entim cars on game drive. Barring towards the end of the week when the rains had either subsided or reduced significantly ...........

 

The reason for my stay at Entim was because I signed up with a group of friends to join a digital photo safari workshop and the pro photographers' affiliation to Entim.......

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Thanks so much Hari. A bit of a mixed bag then.

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madaboutcheetah

Thanks so much Hari. A bit of a mixed bag th

 

I'm unlikely to sign up to a digital photo workshop again ;) ....... It's either tailor made to the desires of the pro photographer or designed more for first timers on safari........

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Thanks so much Hari. A bit of a mixed bag th

 

I'm unlikely to sign up to a digital photo workshop again ;) ....... It's either tailor made to the desires of the pro photographer or designed more for first timers on safari........

 

 

That is true. Most of my groups are first timers and tend to concentrate on photography basics. Experienced safari goers/photographers can still enjoy great game viewing but tend to find the workshops a bore.

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madaboutcheetah

 

 

Thanks so much Hari. A bit of a mixed bag th

 

I'm unlikely to sign up to a digital photo workshop again ;) ....... It's either tailor made to the desires of the pro photographer or designed more for first timers on safari........

 

 

That is true. Most of my groups are first timers and tend to concentrate on photography basics. Experienced safari goers/photographers can still enjoy great game viewing but tend to find the workshops a bore.

 

 

We didn't really have that many workshops ;) ........ there was one Light room tutorial - otherwise, just hints here and there......... Setting up everyone's camera prior to the very first game drive (was very helpful, though).

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Thanks for the info Hari, very helpful. Pity the area didn't have too much game around, I wonder if it's a pattern or just the luck of the draw. But I bet the leopards made up for it! When you say patchy drivers do you mean drivers or guides? I have very limited experience in the Mara so I don't know who goes out with a guide and driver and who with 1 driver/guide.

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madaboutcheetah

Yes, driver is the one who is the guide .......... (sorry for the confusion). By game around, I meant very little general game around. Yes, we always saw random Lions every drive (they don't do much for me) but, good general game is important too (particularly compared to the OMC conservancy where there was game just about everywhere you looked) ....... We sure loved our time with the Leopard and cub. Hardly any gazelle around (which explains why the cheetahs were hiding)...... I think the access around the reserve is important as some areas could not be reached due to the rains/conditions. It was a genuine case for sure - no fault of Entim's.

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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Hari, a few questions.

Can you elaborate on the crowding, if any,in the main reserve. Last year with Ping, we were able to mostly avoid the few vehicles that were out. At least in a February there was very little traffic in the main reserve and the general game viewing was spectacular. This from someone who had access to OMC, Mara North and Naboisho, all of which were great, but far from the conventional wisdom that the main reserve was full of day trippers in white mini vans ( my preconceived notion as well) it was great with tremendous big cat and plains game yield

 

In the OMC did you spend much time in Motorogi? Any view of vehicles from the two luxury " spa" camps with different marketing demographics than traditional camps- I refer of course to the Branston camp- Mahali Mzuri and Kempski Olare Mara. I am curious as to the game viewing enthusiasm of folks in those camps.

 

Hope you have recovered from your bout of flu.

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Hari, a few questions.

Can you elaborate on the crowding, if any,in the main reserve. Last year with Ping, we were able to mostly avoid the few vehicles that were out. At least in a February there was very little traffic in the main reserve and the general game viewing was spectacular. This from someone who had access to OMC, Mara North and Naboisho, all of which were great, but far from the conventional wisdom that the main reserve was full of day trippers in white mini vans ( my preconceived notion as well) it was great with tremendous big cat and plains game yield

 

In the OMC did you spend much time in Motorogi? Any view of vehicles from the two luxury " spa" camps with different marketing demographics than traditional camps- I refer of course to the Branston camp- Mahali Mzuri and Kempski Olare Mara. I am curious as to the game viewing enthusiasm of folks in those camps.

 

Hope you have recovered from your bout of flu.

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madaboutcheetah

Hi @@AKR1 - Thanks, yes all recovered and fine ........

 

Towards the end of March, wasn't too crowded at all ..... tourists in general were thin on the ground. As mentioned in the other post, we could not drive around to other parts of the reserve except immediate areas around Entim - so we seldom saw other non-Entim vehicles. Mini vans we saw a couple towards the end of the week when the rains had subsided and more areas were accessible, but, not an issue at all. Well ..... hardly any plains game around (compared to the OMC). When I moved over to Mara Plains, never came back to the reserve (except when it was time to use the air strip to leave)

 

Motorogi - we only went to the outskirts .......... Saw Mahai Mzuri from a distance(looked like a spaceship). Didn't venture there into the conservancy because the game viewing was phenomenal in the OMC (wanted to stay put with Amani and Cub more or less) ........... Yes, the Branson Camp vehicle is identical to the Mara Plains car (i read a post earlier today that the folks at Virgin used the same garage to outfit their cruisers to copy Great Plains. I did see two vehicles out and about ........... One at the "Fig" sighting where there was a bunch sticking their ipads out to get their images. I would really think most of these camps get busy only during the High Season ..... I hardly encountered many/any vehicles even in OMC. Maybe one or two porini cars at times etc etc., hardly anyone out and about. Maybe one odd car from Kempiniski or the Virgin one....

 

Olare Kempiniski vehicles are more like Porini's I think ......... Daniel our guide from Mara Plains respects their guides a lot - thinks they are very professional too. From memory, we bumped into an elderly couple in a Kempiniski vehicle who were serious birders and they did most of their drives around the water - so we asked them if they saw any sign of Leopard (We were looking for Yellow/Bow) ........ How dare I? When Amani was around!!!!

Edited by madaboutcheetah
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