November 10, 2015
The wildebeest migration remains on the plains of the Mara with dense concentrations of wildebeest and zebra covering the plains.
September days start with gorgeous mornings and warm midday’s temperatures rising to around 30 degrees Celsius.
We sometimes receive scattered rain showers in the late afternoon and evenings. With scattered rain comes wildflowers like the tissue paper flowers (Cycnium Tubolosum), fireball lilies (Scadoxus multilorus) with their brilliant reds and pyjama lilies (crinum macowanii) with their white and purple stripes bring flashes of colour to the plains.
The wildebeest migration remains on the plains of the Mara with dense concentrations of wildebeest and zebra covering the plains. They spread out during the day to graze coming together in tight herds for safety at night. We often look out over the plains from Governors Camp and see thousands and thousands of wildebeest. River crossings are plentiful from a handful of zebra to a few thousand wildebeest. Crocodiles still take a few although most have now had their fill and watch contently from the riverbank.
Dung beetles of all colours and sizes are buys trying to clear up what the wildebeest have left behind as are the termites. All in turn providing a feast for birds, aardvarks, aardwolves, bat-eared foxes and mongooses.
Elephant are frequent visitors to camp, often arriving at Little Governors Camp at lunchtime leaving staff to usher guests to a safe distance away as the elephant families move through camp. Giraffe move up to the acacia woodlands, the large buffalo herd with their young spend their time between the Marsh and the ridge.
Many of the antelope species begin mating with males seen rutting and asserting their territories. This mating is designed to time with the antelopes birth at the start of the long rains at the end of March, which gives the young new lush grass to feed on and taller grass to hide in. Resident baboons spend their time feeding on the roadside verges. Warthogs and their piglets are seen all over the grasslands. Ostriches sit on their eggs (normally around 20 eggs) with the females guarding the eggs during the day and the males at night.
The marsh prides of lions remain and the core of their territory close to Governors Camp, hunting at night and relaxing during the day. The Paradise pride stays close to the river often hiding in the croton bushes near to the crossing sites ready to ambush unsuspecting wildebeest and zebra on one occasion a lioness killed 5 wildebeest from her ambush site.
As if timed to perfection to coincide with a time of plenty on the plains all of the big cats have cubs. There are lots of lions cubs in the Marsh Pride; we enjoy sightings of leopards in the forests between the Governors family of camps sometimes with a cub in tow and mother cheetahs emerge from their den sites with multiple cubs.
Eurasian Bee eaters fly high in fairly large flocks. Lilac Breasted Rollers feed off large brown grasshoppers in the grass on the open plains. Black Shouldered Kites, Tawny Eagles and Bateleur Eagles are all commonly seen on the plains. Marsh owls are often seen in the late mornings and evenings with Verreaux Eagle Owl and Spotted Eagle Owls being seen in the woodland areas.