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some of the stuff we saw in the morning, including a most unusual, but otherwise very healthy impala.





a normal impala...DSC09745.thumb.JPG.7dffa25c98e1ce627e7849a065252a90.JPG






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Back at Serian camp, we were having lunch at the treehouse, called The Nest, which is a short walk from Serian Ngare. To get there from the main camp, we crossed the swaying bridge over the Mara River into Ngare camp, which is the upmarket version of the main camp. From there we would walk with James and Peter each holding  a spear which the Masai warriors would carry instead of a gun. This side of Ngare is only accessed by Serian guests, and you can do walking safaris to the base of the escarpment. This is home for the River pride of lions, but we didn't see them this time. You can certainly hear them in the night though!

The Nest is available for sleepovers, although I wouldn't recommend it during the rainy season. It has its own washroom while the guide sleeps in a mosquito dome on the ground at a discreet distance away.

Climbing up a simple iron ladder, we reached a platform with a great view of the river, and the land beyond the main camp, and the hippo bay. although it was hard to make them out as they blended in so well with the rocks. we had a great but simple lunch, with a slight breeze cooling the afternoon. plenty of birds to catch, though I only managed to capture only a handful and not good ones at that. 

Of course, I was very conscious of a huge branch at the level of my forehead but I still managed to hit my head against it, reminding me of poor @pault 's bloody night-time mishap. In all, i forgot to take a photo of the Nest. 






Preparing lunch and that massive branch to watch out for




can you make out the hippos below?



views from the Nest



Birds in and around camp and the Nest







a flapped neck chameleon that one of the Ngare staff members wanted to show us. the chameleon is a resident in the bushes behind the Ngare lounge area. 



and of course no  Serian report is complete without Wifi . 





Edited by Kitsafari
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The afternoon drive was a simple affair after a hectic morning. we drove to the Leopard Gorge, where the Lipault Ladies and I struck gold with James with a beautiful leopard cub. But we weren't so lucky this time. Still, it was great being in the bush, enjoying the wide open spaces, the greenery and the relaxed animals and seeing the first hyena and giraffe on this trip. 


I was wrong earlier, we did get a last glimpse of the stunning leopardess during this drive, but she was tightly curled up and fast asleep in a bush and didn't look like she was going anywhere soon. 









white bellied bustard (male) with its female mate belowDSC00073.thumb.JPG.9be408cf80018319228b26a02a58a044.JPG









I had forgotten how far in the Leopard Gorge was but I did recognise that huge tree that marked the entrance to the gorge.



all we saw were rock hyraxes and red necked spur fowl






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a family of southern ground hornbills were sauntering by with the young adult hunting for food, but scurried away when we came closer. 



a rather watery sunset, obscured by gathering dark clouds marked the end of the drive.


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Good glory! The bellies on those cubs are enormous!!  I’m surprised they could walk at all!  Excellent capture both by you and your hubby!

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You banged your head to make me look less stupid! Thank you. 


Very ry cool jumping lion shots! - great sighting.


Wifi fi looks like he is not getting  enough balls and things thrown by guests., but I'm in no position to talk.

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Just getting a chance to catch up on your report @Kitsafari - brings back lots of memories of our time there together!  You saw so much just on page one!  I think it was an impala that we saw Malaika letting her cubs try to kill.  


It made me laugh when you said James was accompanied by Peter, who for some reason you called Daniel! Was that every time you said his name, you said Daniel?


Great CIF shots - that's Cubs in Flight as opposed to BIF!

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Nice bird photos in this TR @Kitsafari.   


Especially the Brown-throated Wattle-eye in post #28.   They are difficult to photograph - I missed getting a decent photo on my last Kenya safari despite seeing them two days in Kakamega Forest, 2 days in Mara North Conservancy, and 1 day in the Main Reserve!



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The next morning found a tower of giraffes sitting on the ground on the way out from Serian camp in the dawn. Unfortunately they were sitting by the road. as we inched slowly by them, a mother and her young had to get up. It's so relaxing watching them sitting, knowing that they felt safe enough to do so. I always get that tinge of guilt for disturbing their peace. we saw a few dikdiks but the light was low and we already had good photos of them, so we declined their offers of posing - and they did pose so well too. DSC00263.thumb.JPG.36355397a165cc66029947d12ce8cc7e.JPGDSC00265.thumb.JPG.af9f0bfda6191ad5638785e59d663e6b.JPG


it was an overcast morning and the clouds shrouded the rising sun. In the low light, a lone coke's hartebeest gave us the African salute while a hippo trundled slowly homeward to the river. DSC00292.thumb.JPG.661bb566570d5d933a0c948a99455ea2.JPGDSC00277.thumb.JPG.454e1da4ce1b4de415bd5c553889f697.JPGDSC00310.thumb.JPG.0215b66447b4f91dbb0e396e1e1f07ad.JPGDSC00285.thumb.JPG.9711b710616977c8b106d734f1230142.JPG


a juvenile black chested snake eagle - my first - stood firm against a slight wind, and we followed it as it flew from treetop to treetop. a lone ostrich was walking looking for its friends while southern ground hornbills in seperate groupings were out for an early breakfast .







it was sedate and quiet, except for the booming of the southern ground hornbills as we left them behind us. even the hyenas were flat out at the den, no pups in sight and a female lioness close to the days-old cubs was resting a distance away from the den. the overcast skies seemed to have an effect of making the animals and us lethargic as well. 



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Then the sun broke out and everything looked brighter; even the thomson's  gazelles seemed to have an extra spring in their steps and that quintessential Mara scene of a lone acacia tree looked lovely with the gazelles posed against it. and fawns - lots of them around. 









Edited by Kitsafari
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While we admired the gazelles, James scanned the horizons and spotted a few rounded tops. he grabbed the binos, and when he did, we paid attention. Lions on the move. How he saw those really round pin heads in such a far far distance, I don't know, but he had done it before so I wasn't surprised. It was the Marsh pride-breakaway group that liked to come into the MNC, close to the Leopard Gorge. They were moving to the bushes so we had to get a quick dash there.


Three adult lionesses - including one really grumpy lioness who growled and snarled at the cubs and at us - and four cubs, less than a year old i think. they looked like they had fed the night before and probably in some mud too as they were looking muddy and grubby. they hid under the bushes and we left them there. 










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Breakfast was at another lovely spot, surrounded by zebras, gazelles and hartebeests. The zebras were so relaxed that we were awed by a lone zebra which saw us but kept closer and closer till he was about 500m away just as we were about to leave. in other places, we would have been looking at the bums as the zebras would flee away from us. What a joy to have the bush all to yourself and the animals surrounding you. 




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Really loving this report and you are definitely selling me on Mara North and Serian.  The area just looks so beautiful, with the camp on the river and so many birds! There also seems to be such a great variety of habitat, from rocky gorges to open savannah to more forested areas along the river...


The jumping lion cubs were just awesome! Glad you took some video! And Herman's shots were great too.


Too many other great things to mention but I'm ready to book :)


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So I made an error in post #38 - those were topis, not hartebeests, and I forgot to mention the impalas. 


On the way back to camp, we stopped to get decent photos of the coke's hartebeests as I didn't get really proper shots of them. A grant's gazelle with a crooked lyre-shaped horn stared at us intently. we were wondering why when a baby stood up unsteadily in a bush just before us. its glistening
coat looked a little damp and James said most wondrously that it was probably only a few hours' old. It walked unsteadily to the gazelle, and started to suckle. meanwhile one of the hartebeests was so fascinated with it, that it followed the baby to have a good sniff at the tiny tot. 






as we continued our way, we suddenly heard a melodic song on the air. we had been hearing the rufous naped lark at every turn, but this was different. it was a lovely song, and very familiar too. James stopped and I uttered is that a rosy throated longclaw - surprising James with my sudden vast knowledge of longclaws! Ha - thanks to Kafue for introducing that beautiful bird to me. I certainly didn't expect to reacquaint myself with this particular longclaw species again in the Mara. we saw the species a few more times. 






and yes, its song was the same here in Mara




As I had expressed interest in getting pictures of birds to get some shots going for a potential BY, James brought us to a small wetlands area where he would usually see many birds, but not today. Only a handful of species was there to amuse us. 








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@janzin perhaps this could cinch the deal? a very fancy attached toilet to my tent - the last one closest to the Ngare bridge. as @SafariChick may recall, that was also my tent when we stayed there 3 years ago. I remember vividly on the day that I was unwell, I had laid on the cool concrete floor, and Nancy aka @graceland  and Jane were so concerned about me that they came to see me. this trip was tinged with a lot of melancholy as I retraced the steps and places that we three had fun visiting. She's always on my mind. 

But here is the lovely attached toilet with a view to tempt you, Janzin: DSC08636.thumb.JPG.98e52433643aeb76501cfb6212b67f93.JPG



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we passed by the den housing the days-old lion cubs again, and a lioness was lounging flat under a tree but James reckoned this was not the same lioness we saw earlier in the morning. It looked like the Serian-C&P pride was making its way to visit the mother lioness. 



we left her alone and found a sounder of warthogs with loads of babies, a collared dove,
some Masai ostriches with the males showing off their pinky necks and legs and a gymnogene


the baby warthog showing off his hairy "tusks" to scare off the predators. But it doesn't work as we soon find out in OMC.





a call came in  as we got close to  camp - the shy male leopard has been found!

we hottailed to the area, manouvering some ponds and streams that had sprung up following nights of rains. 


as we reached closer, I could see the cat getting up to dash off and before he vanished into the bushes where we couldn't follow, I fired a couple of quick shots, which of course turned out pretty bad. but to prove we did see a leopard, here they are: 



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More birds at the tent - I sat on the wide deck as I had seen and heard plenty of birds around the tent. IN fact, just after showering, I saw the gorgeous AFrian paradise flycatcher resting on a branch just outside the bathroom. I crept out slowly but I ran the last few steps into the tent to get my camera and as I came out, it had flown away. 







at the corner of my eye, I saw a green vine dropped to the deck. But I thought it strange that one end was sticking straight up. to my horror, it was a snake. I was about to drop everythign and run off, but I thought damn it, i've got to get at least one photo first. so i did, and then yelled for my hubby shouting there was snake, leaving my shoes and camera bag on the deck.In the end, it was a grass snake, supposedly harmless. But i'm terrified of snakes and choose to keep a respective distance from them. 

Oh and there was a male bushbuck fighting some branches on the opposite bank too. 

Yes, you do get all manners of wildlife at Serian. 




Edited by Kitsafari
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Very brave with the snake. Lots of great sightings, and so many birds. I think you would do very well in the Big Year.

Serian looks very good - especially with the private vehicle.

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Haha you sold me with the birds, but the toilet looks very nice too. :)

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Aha, the virus got you - your reports are getting birdier and birdier, excellent. Really lovely stuff all around, and the jumping lions are great. And how cool you saw our Rosy-Throated Longclaw, I had no idea they occur in the Mara. What is that growing out of that Imapala's knees, hooves?

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@michael-ibk I'm not sure what those growths are. they seem equal in size and location on the impala's front legs, so I would hesitate to speculate they are tumour growths. I'd think they are probably genetic and the impala looked healthy and otherwise normal so they weren't impeding its survival. 


7 hours ago, michael-ibk said:

Aha, the virus got you - your reports are getting birdier and birdier, excellent. Really lovely stuff all around, and the jumping lions are great. And how cool you saw our Rosy-Throated Longclaw, I had no idea they occur in the Mara. 


thanks to some bad influence in Kafue!

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Thanks @TonyQ


Herman had a set of photos of the Nest from his previous trip so I can share them here. The treehouse would be a great lunch stop should guests want to do a walking safari on this side of the river as I don't think there are any roads. But since there has been little traffic of humans or vehicles, the animals are less habituated and hence more shy. But could be great for birds....just saying .....






oops forgot to add this clearer pic of the bushbuck.



Edited by Kitsafari
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Another rather birdie post  - On the way out from Serian, another very relaxed dik dik couple posed for us, as did an African fish eagle.

we returned to where we last saw the male leopard, and so did a few vehicles circling around a few bushes and his favourite trees. We decided to move a little further to see what we could find - a couple of waterbucks (the first for this trip!) practising their fighting skills, quite a large troop of olive baboons, a handful of birds in the skies and on trees, and an LBR harassing a tawny eagle. while the big cats are asleep, the smaller but no less iconic creatures provide good entertainment.











Edited by Kitsafari
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a call came in from the other Serian vehicle - Lions trying to hunt buffaloes. well, we didn't need another invite. but we were quite a distance away so when we arrived, it was the aftermath of the four lionesses from the Serian-C&P pride trying to divide the dagga boys. The three lionesses had arrived to team up with the mother of the days-old cubs, which were hiding in the den which was so very very close by. 

there wasn't much action after we arrived; only the annoyed buffaloes pushing the lionesses back and the lionesses sitting back, relaxed and thinking of a late supper that night perhaps. 






Edited by Kitsafari
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