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Awesome leopard shots, and your jackal/hyena sightings were memorable. Thanks for posting this!

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A few updates/answers to questions:

As with all of our trips we bring a lot of educational stuff and fun arts type things for the kids with any spare space we have. When we got our bags back finally someone had stolen the soccer balls out of our bag! We know not to put things of value in our bags but it was just disappointing to not be able to deliver the most fun thing to the kids. luckily the other stuff made it and our guide's kids and the camps local schools got to benefit.


pault: we looked in leopard gorge unsuccessfully a few times but we found this one not far from there so it could be the same


KaliCA: i think you are going to be pleasantly surprised by what you see even in the green season. the guides are terrific and they will be able to track. we saw part of the migration in the main reserve and a huge part of it in serengeti mara.. there were also apparently still some of the loita wildebeasts around

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Jackal pups, hyena pups--you have luck with the little canines.

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Nkorombo Camp is a terrific place. its in a really nice location along the mara river but secluded in a little treed area that was filled with birds. 5 tents. I loved the feel/atmosphere here, tonya the relief manager was delightful and the food might have been even better here than at ngare. the tents are smaller, a bit more basic, and the bucket showers had plenty of hot water when you needed it. The largest croc i have ever seen was directly across from our tent (but they had protections to discourage them hanging by the rooms!) and the camp is 2 seconds from a crossing point (they threatened to cross there 1-2x while we were there but they didn't go).

we saw incredible game within 2 minute drive from camp. the lion pride above on numerous occasions, 17 giraffe in the car park in a rain storm, another vehicle saw a serval 10 seconds after leaving camp, a leopard hiding in the tall grasses also in the car park, elephant climbing on the riverbank all around camp. spectacular.

ok, less words, more pictures


the aforementioned croc



the camp




ele's across the river from camp- balancing act



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We chose an area just above camp for sundowners. The giraffe below are in the parking area and camp is behind them.



A rain storm rolled in as we were sitting there



then the large pride we saw earlier in the day awoke and walked by




when they settled back in we repositioned the vehicle for a nice view with the sunset






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What happened next blew our minds. James said excitedly, the wildebeasts, they are coming right this way. a small herd that was down the hill earlier was making it's way up from the other direction and didn't see the lions. one of the females was the first to notice, and started stalking.

i like how the dust is swirling like in an old western movie



She then used our vehicle as a shield. I was able to get one of my favorite pictures i've ever taken.



she made her move and JUST MISSED. this picture is fuzzy because i was attempting to take pics and was filming at the same time. Absolutely one of the most thrilling experiences, i even had to put down my tusker...


Edited by sek07
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Dear sek07,


I just love your photos. I particularly enjoyed those of Giraffe Manor and the Daphne Sheldrick's Elephant Orphanage. I felt they were quite charming and endearing.

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~ @@sek07


Reading your trip report, enjoying the commentary and photos, has been the ideal appetizer for my own trip to Masai Mara, which commences a few hours from now at Beijing Capital International Airport.

Your giraffes in the rain image is beautiful, powerfully conveying the brief intensity of Mara rains.

As @@Marks I'm delighted by ‘Wifi’ as a dog's name. No doubt that results in occasional amusing misunderstandings.

Having such an immense crocodile near your tent was surely interesting!

Your crouching lioness-on-the-hunt photograph is a stunner! I like the drama.

That's so thoughtful of you to bring educational materials for the local kids. I admire such a positive action.

How about that leopard sighting?

Thank you so much for sharing these. I look forward to enjoying the rest after returning from Masai Mara.

Tom K.

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That is a fantastic photo of the stalking lioness! Were you bothered by tsetse flies in the Mara? Pen

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thanks optig!


Tom K have a GREAT trip. jealous that you are on your way.


penolva we didn't have much trouble with the tse tse's. a little bit in the serengeti but not really that bad luckily

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Next mornings drive out early

Hippo against the sunrise on its way back to the river


A secretary bird in its roost



A huge male lion with a very impressive black mane






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The migration in single file



Skittish Eland



We apparently just missed the birth! look how wet it still is..








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It wasn't in great light and it was pretty skittish, but our second sighting of serval which was really exciting





Some great pride interaction:







my new favorite tree





epic sunset



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@@sek07 I'm really enjoying your report - both the words and images capture the excitement of the drives wonderfully. I particularly liked the photos of the interactions within the pride - one can see the irritation of the adults with some of the cubs' play.

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The next morning was our last drive at Nkorombo.

One last kenyan sunrise


Hyena Clan investigating us




We saw one cheetah prior with a ton of vehicles around it. We just missed this one take down an impala but watched as it was methodically and nervously eaten






Alex checking out a young male


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Some more shots from our last drive



We found a new pride we hadn't seen in the previous days as we were working our way towards the airstrip on our last hour. The pride found a warthog burrow they were interested in and alternated putting in a ton of effort to flush the inhabitants


do a little work, then rest a bit



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We watched the lion pride take turns over the course of an hour digging at two entrances to the burrow. One or two times they were able to reach way in and we could hear the warthogs squealing but they were able to get deeper in and hide. After a while a few pride members gave up and started stalking some waterbuck behind us. Can you spot her in the pic?


Most of the vehicles gave up after a while as well, and we could even hear one of the guys talking in his radio to the other vehicles from his camp saying, lets move "this isn't going to happen".

James and Alex didn't go anywhere. No less than 10 minutes later after a the waterbuck behind us made the lions and blew that hunt (where most of the vehicles had gone to watch). the lions flushed the warthogs and we were in prime position











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Wow, persistence pays off! Looks like the warthog will get away?

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Were they successful??










Sorry for the graphic nature of the pics


Edited by sek07
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Great hunting sequence. And I guess the lions deserved a good meal after putting in a lot of effort.

You were so lucky with many of your sightings. Is it because your guide was very good and kept in touch over the radio or would I as a self-driver be equally lucky to find special sightings on my own? In other words, is the animal density such that good sightings of cats are practically guaranteed?


From your experience, were there more cats in the triangle or the reserve side in the Mara?

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10 minutes later we were on plane to Tanzania and the Serengeti.. what an ending to the first part of our safari. Kenya is spectacular!


CaliKA i think a good/great guide makes all the difference. our guide almost never used the radio but he did tell us he texted some of his friends at night when we asked about seeing cheetah in the mara north. I don't know of instances of people self driving in Mara personally so i can't speak to that. In the serengeti mara the guides help each other if there are potential crossings as so many of the guests are in that area specifically to see that.

Edited by sek07
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@@sek07, lovely Cubs feeding and playing in#39, particularly the first shot with cub looking right down the throat of the male

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The Serengeti Lamai (also called the Lamai Wedge) is in the extreme north of the Serengeti and shares a border with Kenya. There is no fence between the countries and there is actually a stone marker where you can get out and take a picture but otherwise no indication, just wide open plains.

While we had the same guide at both camps in Kenya, we would have a new guide in Tanzania. When we were booking with Serian they mentioned that we could stay in the main lamai camp which would be full while we were there (8 rooms) or they had a new satellite mobile camp with just 4 rooms and that there was a good chance we would have it to ourselves. Both camps would be substantially similar in build etc.. The main camp is on the south side of the river which is where the bulk of the camps are located. Serian was the first camp to be on the north side of the river but i believe there now may be 1-2 more. The north side is characterized by wide open plains with amazing views all the way to the hills of kenya. The south side has huge rock kopjies (hills comprised of boulders) and a drastically different feel. You can do drives on both sides as long as the river isn't too high as there is only 1 bridge separating the sides (MORE ON THIS LATER). How could we turn down the chance for a private camp.

Getting from kenya to tanzania could be as simple as a 1-2 hour game drive. Due to desires to keep the border protected you instead have to fly from the mara to a border town, drive across, and then fly from a border town in tanz to the serengeti. i will be honest and say that the border town/process was a little hectic but its a small price to pay in the big picture.


Once we landed at the airstrip we went straight away on a game drive








There were a lot fewer game vehicles on this side and we had a mass amount of wildebeasts and other game many times to ourselves







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When we got to talking to our guide about what we had seen so far we asked if they had seen any cheetah recently and he said 'not in a while'. Of course on our drive from the airstrip to the camp what did we see? two cheetah brothers. now we know guides often say they haven't seen things so the guests can be surprised but it worked on us! we would spend some real quality time with these brothers over the next few days













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