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Into the Wild #26

By Adam Bannister

The Great Migration continues to push north up into the Maasai Mara. Hundreds of thousands of Wildebeest can be seen dotted across the clearings. Like a rampant army of ants, they are constantly eating, and always on the move. For many this spectacle is the pinnacle of the wildlife world. Our guests have had such a wonderful time, often opting for a full day safari, an adventure down into the Mara Triangle, before returning to camp to dust off and unwind.

Back at home, in Enonkishu, we are celebrating the birth of Kisaru’s latest litter. She decided to give birth on the northern extremities of our conservancy. Here she clearly feels safe and protected. In order to give her time to bond and spend the early days with her cubs, we all decided no one was to make any attempt to try find her or see her cubs – until she was ready. In early September she finally decided that the time was right, and she led her two small bundles of fluff out into the grasslands. We are so incredibly lucky, and I have to pinch myself at how good the sightings have been of her and the two little ones. As far as I am aware this is the only current litter of cheetah cubs in the entire Mara ecosystem. That in itself speaks volumes as to the success of the conservation work that has been ongoing in this area over the last few years.

Another success story lies with the Enonkishu Pride of lions. The two lionesses have managed to have a litter of cubs each. One lioness has three cubs, whilst the other has one. This little family are growing more confident by the day, and they are starting to lead the cubs to their kills for them to start experimenting on meat. At House in the Wild we will continue to do our work in modern conservation, to change conflict into coexistence.

The Lemek Pride are also doing really well. After a tricky year things seem to be coming right for this fantastic pride. As their numbers grow, so their desire for food increases. Under the stewardship of the four big males, this pride is likely to receive lots of attention in the next year or so. Exciting times ahead.

As the dry season continues the elephants are enjoying the forests of Enonkishu and we have had some wonderful sightings.

Nearby, we have also managed to locate a Jackal den-site. How special it is to sit with these sweet animals, watching them as they grow and become bolder. Five little pups popping their heads out at first light. If you sit still, and quiet, one or two of the braver pups may just come out and share a few moments of magic.

About 200 meters from the Jackal den and we have a family of Bat-eared Foxes. A special animal for the Mara, and seldom seen elsewhere in the region.

As the days have been dry, the vegetation has died back, and the grass shortened, so the leopard sightings have increased massively. Every few days our guests have seen the most elusive of the Mara’s big cats.

Almost exactly a year ago we wrote a blog emphasising the amazing accumulation of Grey-crowned Cranes just outside of House in the Wild. I am delighted to let you all know they have returned and at yesterday’s count there were over 260 of these magnificent birds.

This hasn’t been the only birding highlight of the last month. During this time, we have watched the Yellow-throated Sandgrouse raise chicks, and have had the most rare three-day long visit of a solitary, and clearly very lost, Greater Flamingo.

One of the constant delights of life at House in the Wild is the Giraffe population. We have had some special encounters with these towering giants, and I never tire of photographing them, either with the backdrop of a vast open sky, or as the most exciting ‘extra’ in a family photoshoot!

Whilst on the topic of photoshoots, this month has produced some of the most amazing photoshoots.

And to end the high season, we celebrated our amazing team. Everyone has made new friends, worked hard and it has been a huge success. We are so grateful to work with this incredible group of people.

Asante sana!!

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