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Mw Blog February 2015

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Our two year old took this photo yesterday as we drove through an infinite number of wildebeest & zebra forming part of the migration herds. We enjoyed a weekend away at Naona Moru Camp and the first night, we could hear the rhythmic grunting of the herds of the hill nearby and down in the valley. We got a glimpse of their numbers - too hard to estimate but certainly like a large bowl of ants and there were NO gaps in between each animal - wall to wall. So we drifted off to sleep with that as our lullaby. By the second afternoon the herds were converging on the small river at the base of the hill near camp, endless lines of them coming to quench their thirsts. In the morning the pools of water in the river bed were full, by the evening there was nothing but muddy hoof tracks. The natural spring water near camp was also now dry, they were thirsty! After drinking, the herds meandered their way up the the open plain near camp and we were thrilled to see thousands and thousands of new born calves. It seems that this was the secret place where the herds had calved this year, seemingly missing out those predicatable dates that are typically in the Ndutu area. As the sun fell behind the hills, the lions began to roar and the hyenas began to cackle - we all knew what was coming. We listened all night as the herds were mustered this way and that way, sounding like a speeding freight train going through camp at each pass. The lions continued their deep roaring, thrilled with the endless supply of prey before their very eyes. The hyenas were just excited - fresh kills or old scraps, it did not bother them. When finally the sun rose again, we anxiously stepped outside the tent, and there along the pathway was a wildbeest. A whole beast from one side, and the best bits like liver and heart taken like a careful butcher from the far side. The lioness was still in situ until she heard our chatter and scampered off into the woods nearby, she was not going to go hungry at any stage in the near future while the great numbers in this herd were around in her territory. So as we set off after breakfast, an expectedly peaceful drive back to the airstrip, we were obstructed by the herds but with careful manoeuvring along the tracks, Eisha got to see 'her' zebras in endless lines and take all the photos she wanted.

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MUBA'S REPORT: Under the Kigelia Africana (Sausage Tree) a battle of wills unfolded in front of my eyes on the plains of the Serengeti today. A sole leopard was happily snacking on his latest meal - one of two that he had captured during last night's hunting session . A very successful hunt one would say. Across the grasslands, a large pride of lions appeared; one male, six females and at least twenty cubs. They were hungry and had chanced upon a treat - this is why they are called 'opportunistic predators'. I watched the pride get closer and closer to the tree where the leopard and his kills were, the leopard had no idea. The entire pride circled the base of the tree, the leopard suddenly realised the danger and made a dashing escape,running for his life. The larger lions proceeded to climb that same tree and retrieve the leopard's two hard-earned kills. The whole pride were able to share in a snack for morning tea - courtesy of the stealthy leopard!

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Nasikia Camps has been blessed with Lewis Mangaba - placed 3rd in the Wanderlust Guide of the Year Awards for 2014 in London. Entrants came from all over the world - Europe, South America and then there was this amazing man from Africa! Lewis is Head Guide at Nasikia Camps and continues to raise the bar for guiding skills; sharing his incredible knowledge and bush skills with visitors in camp. Sharing while guiding or simply sharing with a song while playing the marimba around the camp fire. Visitors are enthralled with his story-telling antics and brightened by his contagious smile. Contact us to find out how to join Lewis for a story and wildlife viewing under African skies.

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Imagine a camp where the late afternoon breeze swirls across the grass to join the flames of the early evening fire for a dance. Tarangire Ndovu Camp is located in the very heart of Tarangire and alongside an ancient migratory path for the Tarangire elephant population. This intimate camp of only seven tents is set high on a ridge overlooking the Tarangire River in the distance. In the late afternoons, sit by the fire and watch the wildlife proceed to the river for their daily drinking rituals. What comes with daily drinking rituals - a clever predator on the prowl. Afterwards, move into the dining area for some satisfying bush cuisine before retiring for the night to the comfortable tents. Listen to the distant roar of a male lion proclaiming territory, the nearby crack of a tree branch as the elephant herds meander by and a menagerie of other species stop by in the night. The early morning in Tarangire is alive with over 350 species of birds - endemic and migratory, chattering and calling the start of a new day. This is Africa!