2 cheetahs 12/9/2011

Cheetah at w7... giraffes were staring, impalas barking and eventually
even I saw the cat.
She walked up the road, crossed in front of us and went to rest close
by. We watched her scanning the surroundings in that typical cheetah
way... body stretched on the ground and just the head popped up. Great.
We found then two of the males of bushbuck opposite to where they
killed the giraffe while the females and the third male were still
eating the carcass.
As we were feeling hungry we drove some kilometers and had
breakfast... as we were eating two lioness went in the river bed to
drink.. we had a loong look before they walked away... super duper....
We drove on and found them on the road.... they walked soon into shade.
Eventually as we were driving towards the airstrip we met our rasta
friend Chogela who told us that few hundred meters forward there was
another cheetah... we went there and found this other female... she
went down the ruaha river and tried a long chase to impala but with
slim chances that soon became zero when she run out of fuel.... a
missed one but still a hunt,
Not bad for a morning drive.

SSJ again 11/9/2011

The leopard was not there this morning, but as a reward for our perseverance we got a stunning side striped jackal trotting just in front of the car.... it is such a stunning animal and for us quite a rare one.... and it is true that sound stupid but if a thing is rare it looks more beautiful.... talking about canids we also saw a bat eared fox in the old airstrip.In the afternoon we found Grumpy, his brother, two females and three cubs at Lulenga juu..... It was good.

Leopard up the sausage 10/9/2011

We got Kipunji in the river bed.. at least some of them with three cubs. Amongst them the funniest is always the little one... he is just hilarious in his quest for milk. Two cats were laying in the middle, their only shade was a funny one casted by a big palm tree. We saw other lions and missed bushbuck pride killing giraffe in the ruaha river bed for a matter of less then 5 minutes...... I was pretty upset... at least to soothe the pain came the mbagi young female leopard.... we got her up a sausage tree in the forest..... it was so close, we could count the whiskers....The more I see leopards the more I think they are perfect, she was on a branch, relaxed and unperturbed... a joy for the eyes.We went back in the afternoon and she was still there. We spent an hour with her as the sun slowly moved towards the horizon. She kept looking towards the open plain.. then reassured that nothing bad was coming she would doze for a while and then opening one eye to check again,,, eventually even two....She moved her head one side of the branch and after ten minutes she would be on the other side to come back again after maybe other ten minutes... good fun...She yawned, she stretched, she licked her paws.... she made us happy.

Leopard in thick bush 9/9/2011

Dragmarks across the road.... Festo checked the closest big bush where the marks headed and found a leopard with a fresh impala kill, it was almost invisible and took a while for the guests to get it.It was so close but still so difficult to see. Eventually he draggd the carcass a bit more in the open and we could see jus a bit better. It did not last long.. the clever girl brought back the impala in the thick and we left her there. Lions and cheetah in the afternoon. This place rocks!

He is back after a while 8/9/2011

We saw Grumpy after long time... he did not loose his mean stare....
he walked with three females and his brother from w14 to the Mwagusi
river... gave us a good look and vanished.
We watched him again from the other side for a while.

Shy or hungry? 7/9/2011

First thing in the morning we went to look for kipunji pride. We know
they have eaten because yesterday evening they were at breakfast point
with bloated bellies but we think they are still on a carcass because
thay are without cubs and may have let them there with some of the
We drove to Breakfast point and looked for them but all we could find
was Grumpy's brother walking around, we left him as he decided to
sleep under a shady bush and we went on in our quest for the pride.
Eventually we saw vultures and found the lions... all there but
without a carrion around.... we could not see it but for sure it was
somewhere around there.
Today was a lion's day, as we left them we found two lioness in the
road close to w10, khumi pride on a fresh buffalo kill the other side
of the river in the first forest and bushbuck few kilometers further
in the same forest... not bad.
On the way back we were called into a cheetah sigthing in Mbagi.. as
we arrived the cat tried to hunt impala but they easily run away. Next
thing to do was to look for some shade and the cheetah went to rest
under a sycamore fig. As soon as we approached it started moving
again... shy or hungry we do not know but the cat trotted slowly
parallel to us for the joy of my english and alaskan supernice guests.
we watched it for a while before it disappeared in thick bush.
Another good look at kipunji in the afternoon.

Asante Festo 6/9/2011

We saw lions and we even saw cheetas but the best bit was late afternoon... best by far....Festo made another of his magic tricks.... spotted a leopard up a tree that made me thinking he had superpowers... the thing was simply not visible from where he stopped but he just scanned around with his beloved zeiss bino and spotted the cat. I saw it when I reached there and he pointed it out... great job brother!We had the great luck of staying with the spotted cat for more then one hour before she went down scared by something she could see further away but we could not. At first she was way up the tree but then slowly came to lower branches even if still in the shade. She stayed put but the sun slowly went down and started shining on her.... nothing can beat the beauty of a leopard in the fading sun.   Asante Festo

Soul's roar 5/9/2011

Most of the time lions sleep.. but sometimes they give us such a show... today we were blessed with such a great sighting that my face is still frozen in one big smile. Festo spotted kipunji from the upper road from w7 to Breakfast point.... it was an awesome spot, they were maybe 150 mtrs from that road... luckyly only ten meters from the Mpululu road. We went there and we watched them... cubs playing with the females were sooo cute. Actually to our surprise there was also a cub that we never saw before, less then one month old.. but in much better conditions then the older cousins...The mother of the little one managed to provide it with milk while they were by themselves while the female in the pride had nothing.One by one all the cats started moving.. slowly heading to the river in a stunning morning light. Older cubs running one after the other... then lions went in the riverbed to scan for potential preys... nothing...They came back up and some of them went laying on granite boulders.The cherry on the cake was a big female that sat on a small boulder and started roaring towards our direction... it was insane... the full roar hitting us and then echoing through the river... a soul touching experience....In the evening we went back to see them... much more quiet but still fantastic.

Happy family 4/9/2011

We went to see Evander and Holly again in the morning. Before getting there we found a young male lion going in the same direction, it is the same shy male that roams Sokwe forest by himself. As we reach the girls Evander was feeding but was soon chased off by the male. All the  family had to move a bit... an so had to do all the hyenas that were waiting around. Actually Evander took pleasure to run after a couple of them....When we turned to watch the male he was gone together with the giraffe carcass.. dragmarks clear evidence of where he went. The girls came back and sat within eyesight of the male... full enough not to bother for the stolen meat. Happy family.We went on with our drive, all the way to the confluence and just before getting there we found bushbuck pride on a buffalo kill, one female was eating, all the others were resting in the shade. The lioness even tried to pull the carcass under the acacias but it was way too heavy....In the evening we went back and looked at the same lions eating with the cubs getting in and out the dead cow, great fun.

EVANDER 3/9/2011

Evander and Holly are back... we waited sooo long to be able to see
them... man-o-man... we even tought the old girl was dead but here
they are with two of the three cubs of last year.
Actually we did see her before, few days ago when she passed close to
camp and with my friends we tried to follow before they disappeared
into the bush without us being able to identify them.
But now here we are... they are by the side of a small giraffe they
killed in the morning... the mother still in the background watching.
Evander is unmistakable, her cut ear, her scar on the lip from the
kudu kill last september, her pale coat... she is ugly but I love her,
Holly still powerful and strong, the cubs, one female and one male
healthy and curious.
The male saw some movement in the bush and approached silently.. one
after the other two big egyptian mongoose came out of the ticket
startling the male that was not even able to put together a bit of a
chase.... still long way to go before being a good hunter... but he is
lucky, he has good teachers.
Evander moved down and started drinking in a supersmall pool close to
the cement drift, just below us and then went to her family again...
My girls are back... Happyness!

Mbuyu ya tobo 2/9/2011

Everyday we pass in front of a big baobab. It is completely hollow and
actually we can also walk inside. Quite cool!
Today the baobab had a surprise for us... a young female leopard was
resting in the fork of the main branches... she is the daughter of the
resident female of mbagi and she is now on her own. She roams the same
area and is very relaxed with us.
The baobab is so big that the cat almost disappear in the branches but
she is wonderful and her beauty definitely shines.
We stayed there long time but then our stomachs claimed lunch.
In the afternoon we first ignored her and went for our drive but then
we ended up there around 5.30... she was still there... her head stuck
between two huge branches, lazyly looking down.
After some times she moved on top of the tree and eventually walked
down again to a lower branch checking out some impalas and helmeted
guineafowls. She was now streched perfectly on a branch... a perfect
As the sun was setting the light became super.... the sight so
beautiful that it felt a sin to talk and make any single noise.
In the end the sun set, we moved so to have it just behind the spotted
cat.... adding beauty to beauty... no words are good enough.

Golden kudu 1/9/2011

A stunning lesser kudu male in the golden light of the sunset was my personal treat today.

Of a bonnet, a lion and me 27/8/2011

Usual 7 hours drive in the morning... found the lions at the kudu kill, surprisingly the old female was very close to the carcass and had obviously been allowed to feed a bit.... good for her.Later we got the lions at Mdonya juu...they are always a bonus because of how much they play and they did not betray us even this time... was good fun. We roamed all over and tried to get to Serengeti ndogo because Matilde was into cheetah... and we got lucky again..... the same cheetah lying, actually in the same exact area.... he was sleeping again...In the afternoon we went for a walk.... by mistake from the head quarter they sent me two rangers instead of one..... It was quite funny, me leading the walk, one ranger behind me, 3 guests and a ranger closing the line..... 3 rifles for 3 guests.....We walked for two hours and a half and we did see just few impalas and a giraffe.... it was quite strange but we enjoyed many many small things... we ended up on the kopjie close to camp and had the most amazing sunset from there.... My friends were happy and so was I, the feeling of freedom I have when I lead a walk is really overhelming. Me, my rifle, my guests and pure wilderness. But today the guiding work did not stop at sunset....we got the permission to do the very first official night drive in Ruaha....... Nobody before had the chance to drive by night with guests so we were all very excited.....We had dinner and then we headed out, Rashidi was driving the car while I was sitting at the edge of the bonnet with a spot light.... Goooood fun!!!We saw lot of things that we do not often see in daytime, common genet, lesser bushbaby, yellow winged bat, bat eared fox, scrub hare.....The drive lasted almost three hours and while I was sitting there and moving my spotlight around I saw a lion, it was around 100 mtrs far and was coming closer. It was a big male and did not take me long to understand who he was..... Grumpy!!! Now, I have no problems with him but when you do your first night drive in a place where animals are not use to see people sitting on the bonnet you wonder how they may react you need to try and see how it goes... Well Grumpy was the last creature I would have like to try with...Anyway here he comes walking slowly but straight towards the car... I sit there, the spotlight with the red filter shining on him, we are silent, breathless as he approaches... four meters from the car he veers to the back, we start breathing again but then he changes his mind and turns toard the front of the car... the big cat walked in front of me no farther then tree meters and disappeared slowly on the other side..... Man-o-maaaaannn that was not good fun, was great great fun....The only thing we were missing was hyena and Mario was very keen on seeing them, actually he relly really wanted to see one... as as often happen the bush gave us the last gift...... a spotted hyena was waiting us on the car park: Happyness!!!

Klaas cuckoo 26/8/2011

For the third day in a row lions before sunrise..... today was the old, old, old, old, super old female of mbagi pride. She was drinking at lulenga juu. The thing is almost a ghost of a lion... all skin and bones, with large patches of missing hairs. She is finished. Her teeth warned to the gum, her eyes almost absent. She drunk for a while and then slowly walked off, we followed her and some hundered meters after a lioness popped out of the tall grass. The much younger cat bared her teeth, a clear message for the old lady not to go any closer. She got the news straight away and went on in her wandering. To our surprise the young lioness was defending a male kudu kill she probably did during the night, her three cubs busy feeding on the bloody carcass were a show on their own.We left them and drove away but as we stopped to watch some baboons we heard lion's roaring in front of us... we watched and watched and watched again and eventually Grumpy came visible the other side of the river... he walked towards us. Behind him on the bank a lone honey badger appeared to our astonishment.... it was busy roaming around looking for food... incredible!! Grumpy walked all the way to us and then sat in the sand.....It was already a great morning but the cherry on the cake was the most amazing Klaas cuckoo sighting I have ever heard... we spotted the shining green bird from ten meters far... we showed to guests and then we whistled its call to explain guests how it was.The bird, I do not know if for our calling or for its own sake, came closer and closer again. It posed for us, left side of the car then right side then left side again. then he flew under it. Eventually it landed on the bullbar just to fly to a close branch again.But this was not enough, it landed on the bonnet and looked at us for a good minute before going to perch on a branch of a combretum 5 mtrs from the car..... unbelievable!!!!The afternoon meant Mwayembe again... we bet the lions would have still been there and hoped that the mating couple would be  more active then yesterday when the female strongly refused to concede herself. We went there, found the couple and saw them matin twice in an open ground, as the sun was setting....... the cubs were just with the other females the other side of the clearing. M&M are lucky friends.......

Mwayembe cubs 25/8/2011

Again lions early morning, this time we were still on the road that leads out of camp, two females and two yearlings.... one of the female was too far in the bush to be seen properly.... Tony told me she had a missing ear and that made me thinking of our beloved Evander, we did not see her yet this year and we are fearing the worst... Could this two females be Evander and Holly with what remains of their litter of the last year? I really hope so... I really hope to be able to see them again.We went toward the bridge and Grumpy emerged from the riverbed close to breakfast point, we drove ahead of him and waited him to come towards us in the stunning morning glow.... He came and when he was passing us he could not resist to growl to us a little bit. He will never change....The spotted big boy was waiting us on the same tree... the impala almost finished and the awesome leopard laying as a king on a big branch..... Happyness again. On the way back we got kipunji at the bridge... and they were full..... they killed probably  in the night and now the cubs have a chance... I felt relieved. The afternoon brought us to the giraffe kill in Mwayembe again... al the cats were at the carcass and we stayed with them loooong loooong time. Cubs were all over the dead giraffe nibbling bits of meat here and there... also one of the lioness was feeding with a much more effective rithm... A male and a female were laying not far, probably mating.As the ligth was getting warmer the sighting became better and better again. The cubs became more active and the females more restless.After some time one of the female stood up folllowed by other two and they started moving off, they called the cubs that dutyfully followed. My guess was that they were going to drink so I decided to drive to the spring and wait them there.... It was a good decision because they arrived and was fantastic.... the cubs went to drink together with the females and then started to play. They came also to the pond in front of us and one of them drunk there a little bit.When the females finished drinking the real chaos started, the cubs were chasing them and jumping on their backs, on their heads and everywhere else.....They were having the time of their life and so we were.

Spotted Big Boy 24/8/2011

I love when we find lions before sunrise... Two lioness and three cubs
close to Mbuyu ya chupa. The cubs were a bit shy but they slowly came
out. These are healthy cubs and their conditions reflect  in their
behaviour, they were running and playing, chasing each other around
and even climbing their mother back to her disappointment.
It was really good fun and a great show for my friends... eventually
they crossed the road and moved into shade....
The day was still long and we went on towards the river drive. The day
was quite hot and wildlife quite still but nonetheless we enjoyed our
Later on we got a very vague information about a leopard on a tree
with an impala kill, we looked every three for kilometers without
success and eventually decided to head back to camp.... and surprise,
we spotted him on the way back... in a completely different place from
where we were told... but he was there, nicely sitting in the fork of
a baobab with a big impala ram stashed on an higher branch....
We know this male well, is one of the biggest around, the one with
only half of the right ear, the one that we saw mating in june..... We
know this male and we really love him... it is an astonishing
creature, beauty and power in a perfect mix.... no need to say that my
crew of friends was touching the sky with a finger for the joy.

In the afternoon we went towards Mwayembe, a couple of kilometers from
the clearing we got lions eating a giraffe they probably killed the
day before, we enjoyed the few lioness and a single male but I was
wondering where the cubs were.... I thought they may have gone to
drink all the way to the spring to get water.
We headed in that direction and we found them with other females
coming back towards the kill.... stunning.

M&M 23/8/2011

Very special people came in camp today, amongst them, my friends Mario and Matilde. It is their first time in safari... and we started with proper fireworks. On the way from airstrip to camp we got kipunji pride, they were just on the road, their conditions very very poor. The cubs are now reduced to three only and the females have no milk.The little ones are so skinny that I doubt will make it if the pride does not kill something within the next two or three days. I am worried for them, this split of kipunji seems to have lost the hunting skills that made them so successfull in the previous years. M&M are obviously chuffed by the welcome that Ruaha gave them and I am happy. In the afternoon the show continued... we went all the way to r25 to look for a cheetah male that had been seen in the morning... we found it close to the road, sleeping under a bush.We had the pleasure to watch it for long and then we headed back just to find another lion pride not far from little Serengeti and eventually we arrived in camp, tired but excited.

The sweetest of the leopards 20/8/2011

We saw her crossing the road close to the mwagusi river. She was soooo
relaxed, she kept walking around without a precise destination.
Definitely looking for food.
We stayed with her for one hour, enough time for the other car to come
and enjoy the cat with us... by the way its the 5th leopard for Mika
in three days...
The leopard was pure sweetness for the eyes...
She climbed a mountain mahogany, relaxed there for a while, then she
stood up and checked the other side, she climbed down and started
walking again. She would go farther from us and then coming closer and
then farther again and then closer again.
A small leopard but soo elegant and beautiful... it was a great
experience... she went on in her food pursuit... stalked and tried to
grab some ring necked doves but with no luck.
Then she walked close to us again, spotted a buff crested bustard and
started stalking also this bird... she aproached slowly and froze when
the bustard turned its head. After few seconds the cat realised it had
been spotted and gave up.
She walked towards us for the last time, crossed again in front of us
but so close that from my position she was hidden by the bonnet... she
walked off, glanced at us for the last time and vanished into the grass.

Big tomcat 19/8/2011

Straight to Mdonya juu, lions were there yesterday and often they stay in the area for 2 or 3 days...I expected to see them at the water but they surprised me, we found them laying in the grass of the open plain. A big male, several females and cubs and a younger male.The sun was not up yet, the light was getting better minute after minute and the cats were in a perfect position. Cubs were playing, adults were mostly sitting... classic early morning lions..... but there was something odd. The young male started following a female, the big male stood up and walked straight to her and this stopped the young male immediately.Then the other females and the cubs started moving, they got close to the young male and one of the female started biting its rump. Not big bites, more pinching the skin but it was painful enough for the male to growl back and set in a defensive posture. We thought that something was going to happen but as other females came some went on harrassing him while others were simply greeting him. Strange! Later they all moved towards a drainage line, the big male trailing after the females and the young one keeping his distance.We could still see them from far when they sat down in thicker bush. One lioness stood up, walked to the young male and greeted him profusely then she moved 5 mtrs off and layed down, the young male definitely lured by this moved appraoched her and this triggered the reaction of the big male.In a split of a second he bolted like a lightening and hit the young male with a full charge in a thunder of growling... dust rised in a big cloud and the young male had to move distant again. Pure power!Mika called me that they just saw a leopard in Sokwe forest attacking an impala ram, the cat managed to hold the impala for few seconds but then lost the grip... and the impala gained back its freedom.... this makes the 4th leopard sighting for him in the last two days.... man-o- man. We drove off, and drove around a bit, eventually we ended up in Kimilamatonge and... surprise.... we also had our treat...Big big male leopard in the shadow of a huge granite boulder... the cat was very relaxed, looking at us from its confortable position. A stunning beast, its presence betrayed by the alarm call of the rock hyraxes....After some minutes he stood up and slowly walked off climbing up the hill.... such a marvellous creature exuding power from every pore...We watched him going away and disappearing in the rocks...In the afternoon we got a call and went to check a cheetah in Serengeti ndogo... we arrived and there was a circus of cars so we decided to proceed and come back later. As we drove around we enjoyed the wonderful scenary of the place with baobabs in the yellow grass and far hills on the horizon... breathtaking. Eventually we saw the cat, just a sleepy cat... but still a beautiful one

Mika and the leopards 18/8/2011

First stop, the sausage tree where the leopard had stashed its baboon kill .
 We are there before sunrise and so is the leopard...
actually not one but two leopards are in the same tree.... one on a
branch on the right side eating the baboon and the other on a branch
on the left side just looking....
The baboon is big and it is a really impressive catch for a female
leopard like this one... must have taken lot of skills and courage to
attack the monkey... and apparently she did yesterday in broad
daylight.... Chapeau!
The sun slowly came up bringing colors back to life... the leopard is
clearly visible, she is plucking hairs from the baboon and eating
flesh... after sometime she moved and dragged the baboon to another
branch, closer to the other leopard. She snarled at it, and the second
one, probably a grown female cub of her, snarled back. The first one
moved the monkey in the fork but doing that she lost the grip and
dropped the carcass on the ground... she moved down and we did not see
her again... we could see that she tried to climb again, bushes were
moving below the tree and eventually we heard her dragging it in
thicker bush.
After some minutes the other cat moved also, checked were the baboon
was laying before and then followed the first female down the tree....
what can you ask more before 8 in the morning?
Second drive for Mika and second leopard sighting... not bad.
We moved out of the area towards Mdonya juu, there we found the local
pride feeding on a impala ram, there was almost nothing left but was
still fun to watch the cubs in the river bed.
The river drive was quite empty but eventually we got a real treat....
I heard vervet monkey alarming from the top of some acacias, we looked
around everywhere but nothing... no eagle in the sky, no cats on the
ground... we watched we watched we watched but nothing so eventually
we left and climbed up the roads towards r23... in the open plain just
50 mtrs up I stopped the car. Zebras were very nervous, two sides of a
herd some metrs apart all looking towards the same point... at the
beginning we could not see anything... but in few seconds a beautiful
male cheetah walked out of the tall grass.
That's why the monkeys were alarming, from up the tree they could see
the cheetah from far away, we could not see but they were telling us
about the cat...
Awesome, the cheetah walked by the side of the road, checked the
surroundings under a big euphorbia and went to drink down in the
river... after gulping a lot of water he moved off and crossed the
Ruaha river to the other side.
Big elephant on the way back...
In the afternoon I had to drive new guests so I tried with the
leopards with no luck and ended up looking at the same lions of the
morning.... then I got a call....
Mika that was driving the other guests got a leopard at the second
mbagi forest.... we drove there fast and we found him waiting for us,
the leopard, a cub, was there and we enjoed the sighting as the sun set.
Third leopard for Mika in three drives... the guy has definitely
something with the spotted one...

Far far away 17/8/2011

Looooong way to find lions today..... we had to go all the way to
little Serengeti and then towards Lunda and then we had to climb the
escarpment... but what we found was rewarding..... a pride of 9 with a
fresh giraffe kill... most of them were in the shade but one cub was
busy with the dead calf trying to eat a bit and to drag the carcass in
the shade..... hopeless.
In the afternoon we went out.... Mika a friend from Arusha I met in
South Africa came today to help us in the next few days... he is a
great person and has a phenomenal potential as a guide... and most
important he is good fun...
He also brought us luck, we got tipped by Naiti about a leopard with
an impala kill.... he said that the leopard disappeared but still was
worth trying.... We did find it on a sausage tree with its baboon
stashed on a branch, the light was already gone... and soon also the
cat did the same.... we will try tomorrow morning....

Dinner at breakfast 16/8/2011

Breakfast point, lions sleeping.We drove around as some started moving.... we went down to the river and stopped as we saw a lioness.... she was stalking a herd of zebras... she moved slowly and stealthly..... she closed the distance to ten meters and then she launched herself after the herd... It was fantastic, lioness full speed and zebras thundering through the bush at full power.... it was fantastic with all the dust and the adrenaline..... it was fantastic but it was a miss....The zebras run away the lioness remained put, panting.The herd moved uphill but straight into the other lions... they also started chasing thm and then all disappeared up there.... We drove there but could not find anything... we could hear zebra's calls... but nothing else....I decided to go back to the first lioness and to see if she was bringing us to the others... and so she did... she walked uphill, crossed the upper road and after some calling disappeared into the drainage line...We moved closer and suddenly all the lions came out of the gully, each one with a small piece of a zebra fowl in the mouth..... dinner at breakfast point

Good deductions 15/8/2011

Festo and I did a god job this morning, we were in bushbuck when we saw two of the three dominant lions of the area sitting with a big belly by the side of the road. We stopped and then I told guests that I thought they killed a buffalo in the night. Few hundreds meters before there were tracks of a herd crossing the roads and these lions are buffalo's killers. We asked the guests to keep silent to listen if we could hear the sounds of a lion's meal. Eventually we heard them and we more or less understood the direction of the sound.... we changed road and took the back one that was heading in that direction.... and we found all the pride finishing off the buffalo.... easy peasy....We were then tipped to a beautiful cheetah and ended up in Mwayembe springs were we stayed looking at beautiful lions in the magical atmosphere of that place...Elephant came to drink and was great to see ellies and lions in the same line.....

Ellies and fibers 14/8/2011

Buffaloes at w7... lioness stalking them, but a lone one.... she chased and tried but with no avail... she roared and roared and roared trying to call for help and eventually Grumpy came in but not as we expected.... he was running and after him was a big dagga boy... tehy all went into the thick and then we could see the two cats some minutes later walking in front of the herd... obviously their stomach was to remain empty.Good elephants later on... a small breeding herd. I let them come close, very close... one female was almost touching the bullbar and protruding her trunk to smell my hand.... awesome again. They then settled to eat baobab fibers... the tusk breaking them and the trunk stripping them off....

Love... love... love... 13/8/2011

We went to check in the morning if the leopard was still there.... the
impala was but not him so we went on.
On the way there,we saw kudu running and after them there was the all old
airstrip pride.... it was good but brief fun as they soon disappeared
in thick bush.
At the end of the second forest we found a funny impala with a strange
horn that was either broken or with a growth problem... it was cool
because regardless of the problem it looked quite dominant.
On the way back we looked for the spotted cat again and this time we
found it, it was feeding on his kill but then after some minutes he
begun to cover it with dirt using his paw and then slowly went behind
the bank again.
But the morning was not over.... lions mating were waiting for us
close to breakfast point... it was spectacular, they mated three
times straight in front of us.... the male biting soflty the female
nape while growling constantly... the female crouching down and
growling back at the end of the mating.... sooo nice..... we stayed
with them long and it was great fun... love... love.. love.. even if
in cat's way.. Does not matter how tired I am, the smile of the little
english girl that was in my car with her father and her brother was
such a great reward.
In the afternoon we got that leopard again but just briefly under a
big tree quite far from his kill.

Fight 12/8/2011

We tried our luck again at Lulenga juu.... most of the lions were gone but at least we found the young wounded male with an half eaten baboon kill. The sun was setting and we proceeded towards w7.From the roaring we heard in the morning we thought the others were moving east.... I spotted a male crossing the river close to Mbuyu ya chupa so we waited him just the other side. It was our dear friend Grumpy, the female was already on our side and his brother appeared from the tall grass soon after. We anticipate their destination and waited them to walk to us. It was pretty cool, the lioness was definitely on a mission,close to the river crossing at w7 she started roaring at the top of her voice.... I looooove that.The brother was also sniffing the female's urine and grimacing in his attempt to check her status.... but still keeping his distance from Grumpy.Then they all settled on the bank and went dozing.We moved towards the river drive just to find bushbuck pride in an open area close to the end of the second forest. There were a couple of car so we decide to loop down to the river before coming back and in the river we found other three lioness. They are often seen alone in the first forest but we never so them in this area, they probably are a split of the pride. . After a while we went back to bushbuck, the cars were gone so we enjoyed them walking down towards the river with the small cubs. They settled under the same acacia where the other three lioness were sleeping. They all started dozing peacefully so we left.no more then 300 meters further we heard the noise of a fight... I reversed as fast as possible and bolted towards the cats. When we arrived some lioness were attacking two of the three lone females in a bunch of thick bush. We could not see much more then the females crouching down to protect their softer parts... all over was dust. The thing was basically finished before we arrived but the females were still stuck there so we stayed. After some minutes the girls from bushbuck pride attacked again. It was chaos, in the same bush, one female manage to escape but the other was surrounded by the bushbuck girls. Some of the girls actually were scanning all around to look for the one that sneaked away. They all started roaring out of adrenalin to declare the ownership of that land. The noise was stunning... shivers down our spine and goose bumps on our skin. The males were also around the show also roaring loudly... man o man... it was something..... but it was not over.... the bushbuck girls came back to the remaining female and attacked again... the snarling and growling took the place of the roaring on a really emotional concert....The males came in but went basically to protect the female... after some discussions the bushbuck girls went back to the shade and so did the males.Some minutes later the lucky female sneaked out of the bush and disappeared.. showing bleeding wounds on the rump.We wonders what happened... it was weird..... who are these three females? if they are a split of the pride why they were attacked? If they are not why they remained in such a close proximity to a pride that big? Questions with no answers. In the afternoon we went to check a lopard kill we found in the morning hoping the leopard would come back. we waited, we waited, we waited and when we  thougt that nothing would have ever happened a big big male leopard climbed the bank up and showed himself.He is probably the same big male I saw mating at the beginning of the season.What a leopard man...... It never came all the way to the kill but sat on the bank and we were happy like this.

Stand off 11/8/2011

Again Grumpy, his lady, his brother, the female with the tree cubs and
the wounded young male, the same crew of the buffalo... they were around the
other side of the river and it was beautiful in the early morning sun.
We stayed far from Grumpy but the sun was up so there was
no problem. The cubs eventually moved into the bush and the mother went
guarding them from the bank few meters from us.... Stunning.
The wounded cub was in the open, the gash on his back even worst then
yesterday, bite marks and claw marks all over.. he probably met Grumpy
before sunrise.
The highlight was in the afternoon, Mapalala and Kahimba called me
saying that lions were hunting giraffe close to Mwagusi. I flew there
with my guests and we had a weird situation. A giraffe standing in the
open, bleeding copiously from the back left leg and two lioness
dozing less hen 2 meters from it.
Obviously the cats attacked it already but run out of energy so they
were waiting for the sun to drop and the air to cool down.
The stand off went on for 2 hours... if the giraffe was trying to move
the lions would wake up and then it would freeze again.
One lioness walked the other side of the girafe but then could not
stand the sun so walked back to the bush.
Eventually the giraffe gained her courage and started walking off...
the lions to our disappointment this time did not follow and it was
Beautiful buffs running to drink at lulenga in the evening.

Grumpy 2 9/8/2011

We looked for Grumpy and lady early morning and we found them at Lulenga juu. The sun was not even up and all was in the shade.They were side by side in the open so i turned the car to have a better look. The wound on the eyes was healing but Grumpy's mood was not, regardless of the fact that yesterday he was all sweet and friendly, he charged us with all his energy. He must not be an early morning guy! Anyway we had again the same show, him growling me shouting him off, him snarling me talking him off, him veering off, me and my guests breathing again.We went further away and looked from what I reckoned was a safe distance, the male was calm, no sign of aggressivity anymore.. Seemed really to be safe distance.... It was not!!The female stood up and the male mated her in the same place, at the end of the session Grumpy started looking at us and while dismounting from the female he charged again. He came closer again and then veered off. Our stand off becoming a game of endurance.... I even heard myself shouting at him to stop this nonsense.I do not know why he charged us again... but I went even further, then the sun rised.... and so the mood of Grumpy. They mated again... and he was peacefull as a bunny... definitely he is not an early morning guy but maaaaaaannn I do not need this adrenalin rush every two days..During all this I could hear buffs from a distance... I felt something would have happened later and it did... they killed a buffalo around midday in the thick bush...... we went back to see them in the afternoon, the pair was there together with Grumpy's brother, the female with the three cubs and a young male with a big wound on the back....and they were happily feeding... again the sun was up and Grumpy was happy......

Ostriches 7/8/2011

We had a beautiful ostrich sighting at w7, we do not have a lot of
ostriches and we mostly see them from far but these were close and in
the open. Beautiful.
In the afternoon we spotted Grumpy and his lady again, we actually
stumbled into them because they were just hidden behind a bush. We
reversed immediately to keep our distance but they did not bother at
all, he looked at us but then went on with his things.... weird. Later
we enjoyed kipunji pride walking off to go towards their hunting
turf... walking and resting, walking and resting in the fading light.
The cubs are only three now, I wonder were the other are and if they
are still alive.


Grumpy 6/8/2011

Some lions you will never forget.
We heard roaring from mbuyu ya tobo, so we drove straight down and we
found a female with three cubs on the bank and a big male with a
another female close by the road. Probably at the beginning of a
mating session.
We approached the two and as we were still more then 15 mtrs far the
male stood up, his face full of blood from several wounds on his face,
the worst just below the left eye, that was swollen and completely
The big boy did not think twice and as we were still moving charged me
straight, I immediately stopped the car and shouted him but he kept
coming... it was a mighty vision, a lion growling and running towards
me, the teeth bared, tone eye wide open and the other dripping blood.
I started banging the car's dor with my hand and he stopped, less then
two meters from the car. It kept looking at me, I was talking him
off , he went on snarling for good ten seconds before our vocal
session was over and he went back.
MAN-O-MAN, it was scary.
Guests behaved very well and after the fear faded they where excited
and chatty.
We moved a bit further circling around the couple to have a safe view
but as soon as we switched off the car again he came again, same
treatment just this time I managed to make him veering off before.
But again... that thing is scary.
I think the mix of being wounded, having a pounding pain in the head
and mating made his comfort zone way too big.
Eventually he calmed down and we could have a good view. Steven came,
I wared him abou the lion's attitude and he asked me if I could drive
him with his car to the cat to film him and his wounds, so with the
permission of the guests I left them with Saidi and drove him there.
The cat did not budge and charged us twice again... Steve's hands were
shaking when we went back and he was describing to my guests how that
mean beast scared him. In the end we all had a good laugh of relief.
As we left. the guests were already talking of the lion like it was an
old friend... they named it Grumpy and so we will.
Going on with the drive we had a good look at the lioness with the
three cubs and then enjoyed a big herd of buffs coming down. Trailing
behind there were some huge bulls, one of them was really impressive
and with a big and strange set of horns.
We crossed and Festo's and we went on the other side. We stopped
looking at ant lions and tracks and moved on just to find a cheetah
going towards the river.
It stalked impalas in the river bed, chased them all the way the other
side with no other result then making the baboons angry. The monkeys
stormed out of the bank chasing the cheetah back all the way. The cat
had to run for its life now but was loosing grip in the sand and the
baboons arrived closer then one meter before the cheetah got again
onto solid ground and bolted away.
All morning drive, seven hours drive, we never went further then 4 km
from camp!

Kills and a cobra 5/8/2011

We passed by the giraffe kill of yesterday to see if lions were still there. They were, together with more then 20 beetween hyenas and bb jackals waiting for them to leave. Was a good show with some of the young lions still chewing at the skin of the giraffe.In the afternoon we went after another giraffe kill and a buffalo kill we heard about in the morning, it was a bit hard to find them but eventually we did and with a bit of disappointment both the sightings were basically over with fed lions sleeping by the side of their eaten or half eaten preys.The good thing is that on the way there we had a stunning black necked cobra crossing in front of the car. It also went in defensive position with the hood spread out. SuperLater in the evening we got our treat with bushbuck pride in the riverbed, cubs playing were as cut as it gets.

Four in three 4/8/2011

Sometimes this place still surprises me, we picked up guests from the airstrip at 4.00 p.m. and before reaching camp at 7.00 p.m. we spotted 4 different pride of lions. Khumi pride with also a mating pair at the beginning of the first forest, three young male in the middle of the first forest, the old airstrip pride eating a giraffe and eventually cubs playing in mdonya juu. Pretty awesome.

Mauser, modelo argentino 3/8/2011

Today no drives, just walking with Mboma, a Tanapa ranger to check the trails we will walk soon.Woke up early morning as usual, checked the rifle, put it back in the bag, took Mboma and the car and drove little bit from camp towards Mbagi. After one km we stopped and after loading the rifle and making it safe we started walking. We walked up on the ridge all the way to the end of sokwe forest where we previously arranged the meeting point with Saidi. It was a nice walk we got ellies twice. Then we crossed the river and we went on the northern side, we walked up towards the escarpment and then west trying to avoid the thickest stuff. We walked some really dodgy area, with visibility closer then three meters and eventually we reached some big boulders form where we started descendìing towards the end of the second mbagi forest. We got ellies twice again and also two enormous black mambas probably mating.After this we drove towards Mwayembe stopped a couple of km and walked back to the source of the Mwagusi river.Back to camp we had a rest and in the afternoon we walked from camp down towards east of Lulenga juu, we wento all the way to the river and then cut west towards that area. The bush was again to thick but nontheless we tried our best. We stick to the more open area close to the river because inside it was not passable, but even so it was difficult and after few hundreds meters a breeding herd scattered in front of us blocked our way. we had to go back and get to Lulenga juu walking basically on the road. Also here we got elephants, 4 times for a change. The good thing was that out of 8 elephants sightings not even once the ellies saw us.I really liked the ranger's rifle, a proper old thing, a mauser, the writings said, modelo argentino 1909.


The pots, the buffs and the lions 2/8/2011

I went out with Steven today, I do not have guests so I am helping him
out. I drove that wreck of Owen's green cruiser all day It is like
going around with a set of pots in the back of the car... the rattling
noise is unbelievable....but it was worth, definitely worth.
We could not find much in the morning other that 3 male lions,
bushbuck ones, walking the other side of the ruaha river and a little
leopard in the shade of a big tree and it moved off soon.
The afternoon was much better, we got kipunji pride at w7. All of them
together with the 5 cubs. We committed to stay there all day because
they looked hungry and they were in a very good position.
The lions were sleeping but in a very open area and the cubs were
quite restless, walking from one group to the other. We were also
dozing when a young bull ellie climbed up the bank just behind the
cats... it was havoc in a second with the bull charging the lions
straight towards us. The lions scatered everywhere with the elephants
on hot pursuit of a female and her cubs. Eventually he went his own
way and the lions went back to were they were before. But some time
later it all happened again , this time with a small breeding herd.
Lions scattered again, the cubs visibly distress, crying out their
fear. Also these llies went so lions could start dozing again.
Later in the afternoon as the sun was getting lower the moved onto the
bank waiting fot something to come to drink, two females went in the
river bed.
We decided to move the other side and while we were crossing the river
we saw a big herd of buffs coming towards the water that lions were
We moved in a position where we could see the lions and the buffs
approaching. It was so beautiful, th atmosphere so rich in expectations.
The buffaloes came closer and closer, the lions waiting. When they
where withing 20 mtrs one liones chased the buffs but she chased the
head of the herd so they reacted and chased her up the bank.
One of the lioness in the riverbed stood up and walke quite
nonchalantly in front of the approaching herd before retreating to the
safety of the bank.
The buffs were not happy and swarmed up after the cats. This time were
the lions to chase them back and one lioness even manged to grab a
buffalo from the back but she could not stop it and it went back in
the herd quite unarmed.
The same scene happened again few second later, buffs up the bank-
lions running-lions reacting-buffs running down the bank-lions
grabbing a buff-buff escaping in the herd again.
Eventually all the buffs went up and the lion gave up the fight.
Maaaaannnnn that is what we are here for... emotions.., it was just
insane, again pure awsomness... the battle went on and on and buffs
were obviously the winners.
Later we followed the lions and as it came dark, on the way back we
saw them crossing the open area and to our surprise we spotted a very
skinny male. He was withing 20 mtrs from the pride walking in the
open. He was hiding, motionless, crouching as low as possible not to
be seen, there was no bushes in between the hiding cat and the walking
one, no mound where to hide... nothing but short grass. . All the
lions passed in front of him, one by one and surprisingly nobody saw
him. Definitely relieved the young male moved off, we wished him good
luck, in that conditions he definitely needs that.

What a belly...31/7/2011

Impalas are mostly overlooked, but when you take a bit of time to look
at them you realize how beautiful they are, today we spent a bit of
time with a herd that was feeding close to the road. It was fun to see
the social dynamics especially between fawns.
Later on we saw a zebra in serengeti ndogo with a very strange
belly... maaan that belly was so big and low that gave the zebra a
very weird look, till now I cannot figure out what it was. I simply
have never seen something like that.
On the way back to camp we had the most classic of the African
scenery, ellis crossing the dry river bed in a looong single file
with the smallest ones in the middle. Sooooo Ruaha.

Lions at sunset 30/7/2011

Most interesting sighting of the morning? Fresh fresh Ardvaark spoors...The afternoon was full of surprises, first chameleon in the car park, a cute little thing always a joy to watch, then we started the drive towards Mwayembe. We found lions in the acacias close to water so we parked and watched them to come out as they usually do as the sun is setting. I convinced the guests to wait, I bet on the lions and I actually got lucky.They actually came out before and when they did was spectacular, they went straight to drink at the waterhole, their bodies bathed in pure gold and most of all their reflections printed in the calm water of the spring... It was awsome, the combination of stunning light, blue sky and smooth water surface made the moment unforgettable. WOW!We also got a beautiful breeding herd of ellies with the fantastic background of a baobab forest, and just after three male lesse kudus which are always a treat.

Easy peasy 29/7/2011

We started the day with mbagi pride eating. The sun was not up yet when we found tracks of lions going down the road from camp to w7,
after less then 2 km we found the lions feeding on a freshly killed
zebra. It was a show because they were in the open and the sun slowly
rising made the light better and better every minute.
The guests were chaffed because when we spotted them we were less then
20 minutes in the drive. Super start.
There are some days where everything comes easy and today was
definitely one of them, in fact after less then one hour we spotted
kipunji pride, again in an open area. The cats were all clumped in the
shade of three bushes fifteen meters apart from each other and the
cubs kept moving from one to the other.
We went off for breakfast and we stopped under a beautiful baobab just
to find a huge beehive hanging over our heads...sticks used by honey
gatherer were visible in the trunk of the tree.... best to change
place for our muffins: bees can be nasty..
Eventually on the way back, when the heat is unbearable and you do not
expect to see much we had the best elephant sighting of the day. A
breeding herd feeding on acacia tortilis bark, they were so relaxed
that we could go very close and enjoy every detail, from the calf
trying to chew the bark directly from the tree to the adults pulling
it with the trunk. It was great even if the acacia must have been
thinking differently.
In the evening we had kipunji again, but they moved to w7, buffalo
were coming to drink but because of a car driving in front of them
they decided to go back.
Lions relaxed under a sycamore fig and a couple of them went dozing on
top of a termite mound giving us a wonderful view as the sun slowly
went down.
I also had to come back and help Steven, his car would not start.
Lions drinking in the night was a real treat and I was happy for my
Italian guests that had been very special people to have a around.