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Better late than never - Porini Camps October 2018


wilddog

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Marks

@wilddog Sorry to hear that--hope all is well. No doubt you will have a captive audience here when you resume!

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Amboseli October 4th   The second day in Selenkay we were scheduled to drive down to Amboseli  National Park for a full day of game viewing and a picnic lunch. We had breakfast before we wen

The route to the view point was comparatively uneventful. Huge wide open spaces with animals scattered across the landscape. The day was now pretty hot and sunny, so many, may have gone to locate some

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lmonmm

@wilddog  we'll be here when you get back to the TR and I hope all goes well.

 

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Kitsafari

hope all is well at home front. will wait for OMC goodies!

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  • 1 month later...
wilddog

Finally back on track. so the rest of this report will now be completed. @Atdahl has, of course, beaten me to it with the Porini lion section with his excellent report from a more recent visit, but as my title says .....better late than never.

 

Day 2 at Porini Lion 10th October

 

Our guides at Lion Camp were William and Wilfred. We had some great sightings with them and some fun times.

 

The plan for today was to go down to the Mara Reserve itself and spend some time there .We had an early morning start and caught the sun rising behind the this lone acacia.

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We had some good sightings as we headed south through the Conservancy and towards the Mara.

Firstly this very fine Cheetah, Selenkay and her four cubs

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wilddog

The some buffalo

 

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and lion

 

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wilddog

As we reached the northern edge of the reserve we stopped to pay the park fees and have a pit stop of those that needed it only to find that we were at the back of a familiar place - Intrepids Mara Camp. I had stayed here many years ago but had never seen the back end of it including the staff football pitch which was being visited and enjoyed by baboons.

 

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wilddog

As we entered the mara we came across more lions

 

A lioness calling to and then joining her cubs. Please note the attempt at return grunting is NOT me!

 

 

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And then, close by and minutes later, a pride of lions near the river.  It is only on reflection that I realise that the cubs are the same ones and mum and they are rejoining the rest of the pride.

 

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wilddog

Brunch was taken by the hippo pool ‘under the eye’ (ref. The Handmaids Tale for those that know of it) of Serena lodge; I stayed there on my first EVER safari in ?1999

 

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The spot is obviously a regular picnic site as on arrival the birds flew down to join us and pick up any scraps. As usual I sat on the ground and starlings came right up to me and took food from my hand. I know, NOT the right thing to do.

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As we left there we came across this hippo, out of the water. He was really not happy to see us and displayed some some nervous/threatening behaviour, mouthing at us as they do, but then moved on when he realised we were not getting any closer.

 

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@wilddog

What a great report, I am thoroughly enjoying it!!!  I can't get enough of the Mara and look forward to more.

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Zubbie15

Just catching up on this @wilddog, glad you were able to continue. That python sighting was amazing, definitely something to appreciate for its uniqueness. And you really had some good lion encounters. 

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wilddog

@PT123 and @Zubbie15 thanks for jumping on board.

 

Re the Python, yes, it was an absolutely amazing sighting.

 

and as for the number of lion encounters..... As I mentioned earlier, there were a lot of first timer safari goers on this trip. I think it was on the following day that one of the female first timers, who had excellent spotting skills, saw something in the distance and then said in a disappointed tone.'' Oh, it's only a lion''.   Says it all really. :)

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wilddog

Later we came across this lone cheetah on a termite mound, at some distance from us,……..calling. There must be cubs around.

 

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There was a queue of some 6 vehicles on the track watching this cheetah. Suddenly were over taken by a vehicle which went to the front and effectively blocked our paths. This was the Cheetah Forever team before it all folded a couple of months ago.

 

I have often been a critic of this group regarding their interference in nature but on this occasion they knew something we didn’t. The female was calling a cub which was on the other side of the track in front of the line of vehicles. So on this occasion they did something worth while.

 

We all waited patiently and the mother continued to call and finally the youngster came out if it’s hiding place, crossed the road and joined it’s mother on the termite mound.

 

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I remember some years ago here on ST a Trip report that talked about the Porini guides using mobile phones. Whilst we were out in the Mara I discovered the benefits of mobile phone use to our viewings. I had asked my guide what was the name of this cheetah and he did not know. The next minute he is typing on the phone and a minute or two later I was given the answer – this was Anashea. It seems the guides now use Whats App to communicate with the other.in the Mara region. What a great, and silent, information resource.

 

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wilddog

This was not really migration season per se, and as I had seen the full flow many years ago was not overly worried about this aspect of the trip to the Mara. However it was rumoured that the Wildebeest from the Loita Hills were moving south.For the next couple of hours we were very close to the Mara river just in case.

 

Firstly more lions. A courting couple plus hanger on. These males were identified as Morani and Hunter.

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As got near the river we got a chance to look closely at the crocs on both sides of the river.

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Then it happened a group of some 50 strong wildebeest decided to cross some up river from where we were parked. Th excitement was enormous and of course the others in the vehicle were ecstatic, and also horrified.

 

I stuck to video for most of this and I think this tells the tale every well.

 

 

 

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Finally we set off back to camp after a full and fantastic day.

 

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wilddog

A small postscript to this particular day at Lion. That evening we had a further influx of guests which included catching up again with @Ginny.

 

Also the arrival of Dr. Mohanjeet Brar, Managing Director of Gamewatchers, who with @JakeGC (whom I had missed at Lion by one day) set up and manage it all. I was fortunate enough to sit next to Mohanjeet at dinner which proved a fascinating opportunity to learn more about the conservation model. To say I was impressed with it all would be an understatement.

 

Tomorrow would be our last full day and night at camp

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  • 2 months later...

Last full day 11th October

 

Keeping it brief and letting the pictures tell the story…………... today, which we spent entirely in the conservancy, the cat sightings just kept rolling in. An amazing day in that respect.

 

It was also noticeable that the number of wildebeest was increasing daily.

Morning sightings

 

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Lions..............

 

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Selankay and her cubs with a kill.

 

Interesting watching the youngsters trying to get into the carcass. One of them seemed to sense that the back end was probably the best route.

 

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next up a leopard. Poor girl was encircled on a mound by us so we did not stop their long and were rewarded with her, a little later, descending the mound and walking past our vehicle. 

 

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A troop of baboons on the move..... It seems there was a little love in the air.........

 

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More delicious food and a bit of a jumping competition from our guides and some press ups ! 

 

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More lions

 

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Wildebeest.............and general game

 

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and more lions

 

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Quite a morning.

 

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Edited by wilddog
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Just catching up.

Excellent report with great photos. You had some wonderful sightings.

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Afternoon drive 

The afternoon was a little less predator packed But nevertheless very enjoyable.

 

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Later we were to come across this lepoard family , Mum and 2 quite large cubs. One had a Warthog piglet, which he played with and this caused a bit of argy bargy within the family

 

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A final bush sundowner and a classic sunset

 

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Edited by wilddog
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13 minutes ago, TonyQ said:

Just catching up.

Excellent report with great photos. You had some wonderful sightings.

 

I am only 'just catching up' too! very remiss of me but nearly there now. Glad you are enjoying it

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So our final day dawns.. we had an excellent morning drive.

 

The first encounter was hyena on a (?wildebeest) kill, with the ever present opportunistic jackels lurking around, waiting for the scraps to fall.]1902653060_DSC09371-Copy.JPG.d85d31e908dab65d5139ac33ba65d79b.JPG

 

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More lions

 

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'Putting a bit of happiness to the body' Quoted phrase from Doug Mac!

 

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So our final day dawns.. we had an excellent morning drive.

 

The first encounter was hyena on a (?wildebeest) kill, with the ever present opportunistic jackels lurking around, waiting for the scraps to fall.]1902653060_DSC09371-Copy.JPG.d85d31e908dab65d5139ac33ba65d79b.JPG

 

164816344_DSC09372-Copy.JPG.97fceae63505459df294ac89662f3587.JPG

 

DSC09375.JPG.c4d0e827e622466ac39ddf21c5c95d12.JPG

 

More lions

 

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'Putting a bit of happiness to the body' Quoted phrase from Doug Mac!

 

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After a quick trip back to camp to collect our bags we set off for the airstrip. With my main camera packed away and only cell phone to use we came across more Cheetah! I am not unhappy with the results.

 

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and then it was over. We boarded our flights and set off for the 'big smoke' in this case......Nairobi

 

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Post Script

 

I am quite a seasoned safari goer and have a range of safari experiences, all of which I have enjoyed

 

I have to say Porini do this very well. The camps are very good. You are well looked after, the guides are very knowledgeable, not just about the obvious things, but birds trees, insects etc. and the driver companions/helper are guides in training. The conservancy model certainly delivers the goods, in spades, without being swamped by loads of vehicles.

 

and it is IMO good value for money

 

Yes I still l prefer Mana and a private guide like @Doug Macdonald or Kafue through @Tony @ Busanga safaris

 

but this is a good place. and I expect I will go back.

 

 

Edited by wilddog
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michael-ibk

Thanks for a great report Linda. Well done to conclude this just before you head out again - have a fantastic one!

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Very nice conclusion to your trip, and posted just before the year deadline. :P (Sorry, but somehow the more you apologized the harder it got to resist that.) 

 

I like the Doug quote and everything else - it was even nice to hear about the good side of Cheetah Forever. 

Have a good trip.

 

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Zim Girl

Enjoyed the report, nice leopard sighting and great to be seen off by the cheetahs.

Have a fantastic time at Mucheni   (I am not jealous - much!!!)

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