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Into the Wild #23

By Adam Bannister

The future of the wildlife in this area lies in the hands of the children who live on the edge of the Greater Mara Ecosystem. We work on restoring wildlife habitats, in harmony with improving livelihoods of the people living here.

It is with this in mind that we decided to celebrate this years World Environment Day by inviting children from numerous local schools to come spend the morning with the conservancy rangers. The morning started with Lawrence Mbelati, the Enonkishu Conservancy Manager, addressing all the children - the leaders of the future - and welcoming them. They all had a chance to meet rangers from various conservancies in the Northern Mara, and hear from a number of people why it is so important that we protect the wildlife of the Maasai Mara.

After this the children were taken on game drives through the conservancies. On route there was a focus on collecting litter, punctuated by lots of sightings of animals - the highlights being a huge flock of over 60 Grey-Crowned Cranes, and numerous families of Elephants.

'Woman in the Wild' - a Community Based organisation, part of our Futures in the Wild program, donated 100 tree saplings. These were planted by children at the local host schools.

After this there were a few speeches by leaders of the community before all tucked into a delicious "nyama choma" lunch, a great way to spend a Saturday - and hopefully help to share the message with our future Rangers, leaders, decision makers and custodians of the Mara.

Out in the conservancies, we have had some wonderful sights. The days are certainly getting drier, and even after a sprinkling of rain, you can see the green grasses transforming in front of your very eyes. Each day they turn a more golden brown.

We are so fortunate that the Lemek Pride now appear to have at least 3 sets of cubs. An older set in the region of 4 months and then two younger litters about a month of age. I have been so lucky, yet again, to watch one of these caring mother lionesses moving her cubs from one den to another.

Bizarrely, and incredibly traumatically, a few days ago a juvenile Martial Eagle, actually swopped down and caught one of these young cubs. The mother had been moving them from a fallen tree to a bush when the young raptor took his chance and killed the unsuspecting lion cub. Makes you rethink about who the real king is of the African jungle? At least we know who rules the skies!

Of course, the undisputed "king" at least from a visitors point of view - is the lion. A visit to House in the Wild really does give you a great opportunity to not just see these magnificent big cats, but to see them in the wild, in a non crowded space, where you can sit back, relax and soak it all in. My advice to all: go out on that early morning game drive! They are so worth it.

Of course it wouldn't be correct to write a blog post from the Mara in mid June without mentioning 'The Great Migration". It is after all the greatest movement of land based mammals on Earth - and it happens in our backyard. Currently we have a few thousand Zebra and Wildebeest within our conservancies. These animals, however, are resident, and haven't actually left here at all. The massive mega herds are still a long way south of us, in the central Serengeti. They should start to move into the western corridor and then pour northwards, spilling into Kenya's Maasai Mara. My guesstimate at this stage is that we are perhaps a little late this year, and that it could still be another month before we start having the first of the larger herds reaching Kenya. We are all super excited and can't wait for all the fun and chaos that accompanies this time of the year.

And now for the most exciting news of the week. Olomunyak, the son of Kisaru, has returned. We have gone just over 5 weeks without a confirmed sighting of this young male - and to be honest we were all fearing the worst. Out of nowhere he reappeared a few days ago looking as strong and as fit as ever. Let's hope he stays put, stays safe and continues to thrive, a stones throw away from House in the Wild.

Keep tuned for all the latest updates from the Northern Maasai Mara.


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