I Love Rosettes!!!

We left camp around 8.30. the guest is a was a bit sick since she came in yesterday so we decided to take it easy.
We went along the mwagusi river, beautiful as usual. We got a bit of luck when Moses called us into a leopard sighting. We arrived there slowly slowly not to scare the cat, it was great.
The leopard was resting in a bed of grass, looking at us completely comfortable. The vervets were absolutely ballistic up on the sausage tree, they do not like leopards they cannot even stand the sight of the rosettes of it's coat. But I LOVE ROSETTES, one of the most beautiful patterns in nature.
A couple of lions sightings completed a good morning. The buffalo herd joined us for the afternoon drive and we spent a wonderful half an hour watching them crossing the river. The best thing was that we were in the middle of the river so not even a stem of grass was between us and 700 buffs. We watched and watched and watched them sowly and heavily walking in the sand.... wow!
We also got a new hyena's den with small small pups,they were suckling from mum and palying with each other all over the female body, they light was fading but we had more then enough time to enjoy this great show. The pups are so tiny, still black, no spots yet for the mini spotted hyenas.


Three new cubs and a buffalo herd

Late wake up call, waiting to pick up a new guest. Out on camp road we spotted 2 lionesses with three new cubs, they are around three months and still scared of the car. They should be part of the mbagi pride but we will be sure once we will see them again.
On the way back from the airstrip we had nice ellies with a little calf happily suckling from the matriarch
In the afternoon we just enjoyed a huge herd of buffaloes just a couple of kilometers down from camp. The light was perfect as they were walking out after drinking. As they often do, they started running for no reason other then another car approaching, actually, one started running.... and all the others probably tought.... maaannn, he is running! he must have seen something dangerous! let's ruuuuunnnnnnn!!!.... and so they did. It was great, the dust, the orange light of the sunset and hundreds of buffs stampeding throught the grass.



My parents left, I feel sad and lonely... happens everytime someone you love so much leaves.


Kipunji Bis

Last day with my parents, I already felt sad but I chased the bad feelings away and we went for another early drive.
We were looking for leopard but we found again part of the Kipunji pride and it was just the bis of yesterday show.
Cubs were playing, ambushing each other, running and chasing the siblings and teasing much bigger brothers. It was so much fun, eventually the adult females moved and all the rest slowly followe, the young males gave the impression of being a bit afraid of the females and kept walking behind roaring a bit but definitely not at the top of their lungs.
It was such a good morning after such an awsome time spent with mom and dad. There are things you cannot forget in an entire life....
Like this week, like these lions, like the pride and the joy in the eyes of the people you love.



Kipunj Show

Today with only my parents and friends we decided to go for an ealry full day in order to watch Italy (bad decision because the horrible result!!) with the staff in the evening.
After a dull start with only some impalas and various birds amongs which a beautiful capped wheatear the day changed into a lion's day.
We got part of the Kipunji pride on a beautiful open grassland on top of the hills. 3 young males and 4 females in the middle of the road, it was soooo cool, good light, nobody around and active lions. they kept moving so we drove in front of them and they slowly came straight toward us. My crew of 4 was chuffed and so was I. We followed them walking alongside the road till we lost them in the bush.
We just drove a couple of kilometers to find all the rest of the pride, other 16 lazy lions dozing both sides of the track. Cubs and big males were amongst the many females.
We spent more then three hours between these two sightings before other cars arrived.
I was happy for me and even happier for my folks.


Hyena's Den

Same people of yesterday, same timing, just opposite direction.
The morning started well with an awsome sunrise with the big red ball climbing up behind roosting hooded vultures. We went on even better with oxpeckers on giraffes, many birds and we even found an hyena den with three adult and one cub.
We watched the adults slowly walking in the bush towards a probable hunt.
The river drive was definitely not the place where lions were hiding but we still spent long time there taking picture of birds like the stunning little bee eater.
Close to camp we found many ellies, mostly breeding herds but one group attracted my attention, 7 bulls together and one of them very very big. I was surprised, we rarely see bulls together but we soon understood why. The big bull could easily shake the doum palms, the others could easily enjoy a free meal based on palm fruits. We also spotted a pair of lesser kudus.
A good morning even without cats.
Me and my dad spent sometimes casting lion's tracks with gypsum powder before the afternoon drive... drive that was smooth and nice also because my english guest was such a nature lover that I could explain about everything and he would listen to everything and enjoy the bush entirely...and I love it
We spotted 2 giant eagle owls ( this means three owls in my father's life) and then stopped for sundowner.
The wine was great because we could watch elephants few meters away trough the glass... a pearl spotted owlet also joined the party ( that means 4 owls in my father's life).
On the way back we appreciated how man spiders there are in the bush with the help of my torch and their shining eyes.


Wrong choices

I woke up very tyred, I had to solve some problems in camp till late night but we still headed out early morning with my crew of four and a new english guest very keen on photography.
We had a beautiful sunrise and a stunnig sunset but not that much in the middle, except for a big troop of yellow baboons and the always beautiful Crowned Hornbill that for a change posed properly.
In the morning I was actually too tyred, the afternoon went much better, the bad thing was that every choice i took was wrong: we got lions in the morning, around 19 of them, sleepy as only lions and my sister can be, so I decided to get in the same spot in the afternoon to see them moving. Off we went, we saw plenty ellies in the river but I decided not to loose time and to go to the cats, when we arrived they were gone, we just saw them from faaaaaar. Ok, no problem, I thought, let's go to plan B, let's head back and enjoy the elephants..... Ops also ellies were already somewhere else... Maaan I was not happy.
Thankfully the guest and my parents were satisfied and the sunset was amazing.


Crocodile and Fish Eagle

Early morning drive, 6 people in in the carco, Mom and Dad, Franco and Cristina, the sweet english couple. The light is wonderfull and we soon spot yesterday's two big males, they are sleeping both sides of the road. he sun is getting warmer so we decide to stay and wit their majesty to move in the shade. We lost the first one moving because we were busy looking at some yellow collared lovebirds but we did not miss the second. Big dude!!
We drove towards the tortilis forest and we spotted a fish eagle dragging a big fish on the shore the opposite bank of the river. More eagles joined the party trying to steal the fish, after some commotion the owner of the fish managed to hold on it properly and the other eagles left. This lasted few seconds because a 4 mtr crocodile leaped out of water aimi the same fish the eagle defended so far. The eagle backed off still holding the fish, with huge efforts it moved up, hopping on one leg, the fish in the other. It went up, all the way up the bank but the croc relentlessy followed and eventually the poor eagle gave up. The big reptile grabbed a free meal and went back, stunning.
We also enjoyed a cool elephant bull smashing happily an acacia kirkii for at least half an hour.
Good feelings...


Baba na Mama

My father, Beppe, and mother, Fernanda arrived today, I am so happy. They came with two friends, Franco and Cristina who are the parents of one of my best friends.
Usually when you guide people you love at the beginning is a bit weird and so it was today but we were lucky enough to see a couple of lions withing few kilometers from the airstrip and a Verreaux eagle flying over the kopjies.
The funny thing was that the lioness kept watching up in the tree and this is how we spotted a Giant eagle owl, the first owl in my father's life.
In the afternoon I left my parents to Bakari and guided the honeymooners and another sweet english couple, we did not see much but enjoyed for long time a stunning Namaqua dove and eventually spotted two big male lions by the side of the road. Sunset saw us watching the lions with a cold Gin&Tonic in our hands....


A much better day

Nice nice guests, honeymooners. The day went cool and smooth. I spotted lions on the river drive, a pride of 5 adult females and 5 subadult males. The five young males will soon became a dangerous coalition for all th dominant males around, they will roam together strong in their number, capable of overthrow much older males.
We drove on to the tortilis forest and now was Festo to spot the lions. Three big males and a number of females, they were more active and moved towards the river, one big male came quite close and i have a shot of him with a bit of Festo's hand in the way. Eventually they all went down in the reeds.
Buffaloes on the way back and funny elephants in the afternoon. Tomorrow my oarents are coming.... Can't wait.


Solar panels and inverter

Inverter and solar panels are driving me crazy...... heeeeelp!!!!!


Sometimes is fun sometimes is not

Training, training training, I normally love it but sometimes people just brings you out of God's grace. I was told elephants male are different from females because they have bigger horns!!!!!!!
At least we got nice buffaloes and late evening lions.


Black Necked Cobra

Morning training drive, we drove the back road to Mwayembe, saw some elands, checked the remains of the kudu and came back. The best sighting was just few meters from camp, Swallow Tail Bee Eaters and few meters further there was a spot when we counted tracks of 7 different animals, giraffe, zebra, impala, black backed jackal, african civet , spotted hyena and lion. The trainees got work to do!!
In the afternoon I went out with Mic, beautiful ellies and a stunning Black Necked Cobra.
When the thing looks at you with that shining black eyes, shivers come down the spine, it was so beautiful crawling up his tree.


Lost chances

One thing I a know about the bush is that if you don't go out, you normally don't see game.... and this is exactly what happened yesterday. I decided to go to mwayembe the afternoon because I knew that there were 8 lions there. I was in camp waiting for that guests to pop in, when they eventually arrived in the evening it was too late so I had to give up my plans.. no chances to go to see the lions... I had to stay in camp, result: Mic called me all excited, she was there and so the lions hunting, killing and feeding on a huge greater kudu bull.... Now, I am truly and sincerely happy for her but maaaaannnnn I am mad about this...
Anyway today we went to see what remained of the kudu and luckily we spot that lions, a stunning saddle billed stork and also part of the Mbagi pride with the blond blond male and all the cubs.



Another day in camp, waiting for some guests, we were expecting them for lunch, they arrived at 7 in the evening. No problems.... there are lions track between the lounge and tent number 2, a big male walked through in the night.


Toys for full grown kids in the bush

The camera trap is such fun, I set it out of my tent and got the first pics this morning, genet and civet, super cool. I am already planning when to put it in the next days.
Almost finished the refurbishing of camp, just a bit of varnish and it will be done, lions are roaring just here outside right now. At least this is compensating the fact of not being at home watching the worldcup with my friends


Not a good day...

Just lot of problems, fom people, from cars, from supplies, from solar panels... no man, not a good day


World Cup

Worked all day in the heat, at 5 I had the choice... going to see lions down at w7 or watching the first game of the world cup. I decided for the world cup (we are still world champions, so....), after 45 minutes of the bafana bafana match I decided to go to see the cats. Result? I was too late for the lions and missed the 2 goals of the match...


Carnivore project

All morning in camp, manteinance. At least I found a stunning grasshopper, resembling a dry leaf, probably of the genus Lobosceliana, very cool.
Went for lunch with Raan and Kim, we had a meeting with the researcher that are starting the Ruaha carnivore project.
They are nice people full of enthusiasm, we talked a lot and we gave them many datas and pictures of the many prides of lions we have around. They didn't expect do many infos all in once but between all the guides there, Riaan and me we provided a wide amount of datas.
They are also very interested on the small research on wild dogs Malcolm, Daphne and me did some years ago, drawing id cards for around 40 of them, at least it will be useful to someone.
We divided loads of pictures into the various prides and explained the presumed boundaries, they were chuffed.
We will help them with datas on every sighting from now on.
They gave us a camera trap to be used by night time to get some record of nocturnals carnivores, and I am chuffed about that.
Kipunji pride on the way back, a bad bad tempered old female elephant charging over and over again and the first Combretum purpureiflorum in blossom.


Mbagi pride is back

All day in camp, just a brief safari around 530, part of the training program, we had nice ellies at the river light was stunning, and we enjoyed them walking in tall grass and eating sedge in the sun .
We went on towards west and eventually with great joy we spotted the mbagi pride.
3 adult males, 4 adult females, 2 subadult males, 1 subadult female and 5 cubs were snoozing in the open area by the side of the forest, we heard them every night but it is actually the first time this season we see all of them together.