GREAT EYE SIGHTAT SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK

Lions on the rocks in Serengeti

Last week, I spent 6 days in South Serengeti, following up on the calving wildebeest. We arrived when the active calving had ended. The wildebeests had moved from Ndutu area to the plains around Naabi hill. We encountered eh herds around here and we spent most of the time in this location. However, once we were “wildebeestsed-out” we shifted to looking four cats, especially lions and cheetahs.

The following 3 days was spent among these rock-loving prides of lions. We followed two different prides, who would go hunting at night but in the morning comes back to the same kopje or an adjacent one in same territory. We were rewarded with a great sighting of them on rocks posing nicely for us in different light conditions and event some, mating on the rock (this was not on our shopping list!)

I have come to like this location in Serengeti, for such photo opportunities. I visit Serengeti almost 15 times a year, but I usually do not go to this particular spot due to tight program and limited time. You need amble time to access this place. I have been to this location before, in 1998, but I must have come a little too late that day, as the lions had come down the rocks. But this time round my guests and I had plenty of hours to burn scouring the area, and patiently sitting, waiting for photo opportunity.

One afternoon we realized a photo opportunity. We wanted to take a shot of the moon and a lion on the rock in perfect light. But this was a photo that was never to be. Our subject, the lion on the rock kept its head down until we lost the moon! However, it was worth the wait, otherwise, we would have thought we missed the opportunity. That is the game in photography.

I will be camping again next year in the same location to cover the calving wildebeests and visit my cats once more. If you are interested in joining a safari I will lead the please get in touch not the following link;

http://www.paulkirui-photography.com/contact-me/

http://www.soinafricasafaris.com

Kenya Destination Sites.

Park Attractions, facilities and Activities
So you’re an adrenaline fan, with a thirst for an active/adventure holiday? KWS is your match. We promise you opportunities beyond your imagination but within your reach.
Birding watching Safaris

Kenya is ranked among the leading countries with 1090 species of birds. Not surprisingly, more and more Kenyans are becoming keen birders, and all over the world bird-watching is a fast-growing hobby. The country is endowed with over 62 bird watching locations that are globally recognized as Important Bird Areas.
Together with Nature Kenya and Bird life International Partner  we provide you with the opportunity to know bird names, distinctive characteristics, and habits, as well as admire their beauty.
Enjoy bird-watching at:

  • Coastal Region:  Arabuko-Sokoke forest and Shimba Hills National Park
  • Central Rift Region: Lake Nakuru National Park, Hells Gate and Mt. Longonot National Parks
  • Western Region: Kakamega Forest, Mt. Elgon National Park, South Turkana and Ruma National Park
  • Mountain Region: Aberdare National Parks, Mt Kenya National Park and Mwea National Park.
  • Tsavo Region: Tsavo East, Tsavo West and Chyulu National Park
  • Northern Region: Meru, Kora, Marsabit, Sibiloi and Central and Southern Island National ParkCamping and Picnicking: Under the Canvas: ‘Sleep in the Wild with the Wild’
  • A night under the cover of countless stars and the feeling of morning dew on your feet as you take in the crisp clean air of the morning is a reality that awaits you in our parks. The beauty of camping is that you’re in charge, sleeping times, meal times, even bath times!

If you’re operating on limited time, picnicking will work excellently for you. Picnic at Nairobi National Park, Aberdare National Park, Hell’s Gate National Park, Mt. Kenya National Park, Mt. Elgon National Park, Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park, and Kisite Mpunguti Marine National Park. Facilities include adequate shelter, benches, water and latrines.

Our campsites are found in: Mwea National Park, Hell’s Gate National Park, Tsavo West National Park, Tsavo East National Park, Mt. Elgon National Park, Mt. Kenya National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Amboseli National Park, Aberdare National Park, Kisumu Impala Sanctuary, Sibiloi National Park and Ruma National Park amongst others.
All public camping sites have access to water and latrines, while the special campsites consist of the grounds only. For inquiries or to make any camping reservations please contact the respective warden or the Marketing & Business Development Department at the KWS Headquarters in Nairobi.

Cycling

Hells gate National Park offers a rewarding experience for both novice and expert cyclists. As you cycle, you’ll get to view one of the most magnificent sceneries in Africa as you embark on this invigorating experience. Cleft deep into the Rift Valley floor, bear witness to the towering Cliffs, Water Gouged gorges, stark rock towers, and belching geothermal steam. Welcome to one of the most atmospheric parks in Africa.

Fishing

Calling all fishing junkies! Excellent fishing activity awaits you at one among the many cool mountain streams that flow through the Aberdare forest. With its clear, tumbling streams, shaded river bends, mossy overhangs and meandering reaches Aberdare National Park offers some brown and rainbow trout fishing.
A fishing license should be obtained (at minimal cost) from the park gates. This is because the laws of Kenya only allow fly fishing
Tsavo West and Mt. Kenya Parks also offer fishing activities.

Game viewing Safaris

It is possible to have a game drive in any of our parks in Kenya. Usually, the best times to go for game drives are early mornings and late afternoons. In the midday heat, most animals retreat to the cool of thick undergrowth and disappear from view. Morning and afternoon game drives also allow you to witness the unforgettable African dawn and dusk.

Tsavo offers some of the most magnificent game drives in the world – vast herds of dust-red elephants, fat pods of hippo, giant crocodile and a kaleidoscope of bird life are set against a blazing backdrop of endless bush.
Night game drives are also offered so that tourists get to can see the nocturnal species.

Hiking and Rock Climbing

For those who love challenges, test your limits as you take on hiking and rock climbing. Tourist hot spots for hiking, rock climbing, and biking are Hell’s Gate National Park, Mt. Longonot and Mt. Kenya, and Tsavo East parks.

Horseback Riding

Set off your journey in a car and finish with a horse ride. Drive to Hell’s Gate and watch wildlife from the back of a horse. Horse riding is offered in; Tsavo East, Chyulu Hills, Aberdares, Mt. Elgon National Park and Hell’s Gate National Park.

Mountain Climbing

Climb the slopes of Mt. Kenya and enjoy the changing flora as you ascend. Walk through an alpine meadow in the clouds as you brace yourself against the frigid winds that swoop down to where the land becomes rocky and desolate. Conquer the continent’s second highest mountain and feel what it’s like to stand almost on the “roof of Africa.”
True conquerors conquer Mt. Kenya. It lies about 140 km North, North-East of Nairobi with its Northern flanks across the Equator and is part of the national park.  Its three famous peaks are – Batian (5200m) and Nelion (5188m) while the most popular point is Lenana (4985m).

Another mountain to climb is Mt. Elgon, which requires no technical climbing skills to get to the top. There are several routes to the peaks accessible to any moderately experienced hiker. If you prefer a gentler stroll, a number of well-marked nature trails lead around the Elkony Caves.

Always full of options, Kenya offers yet another fantastic climbing location: The Aberdare Ranges. The summits can be reached with little more than a strenuous high-altitude trek. Centrally located in Kenya, Aberdare National Park is accessible by road and air, making it a pleasant single-safari destination.
The peaks include Lesatima (4,001m), Table Mountain (3,971m), Kinangop (3,906m) and Kipipiri (3,349m).

Nature Trails (Walks): The silent refreshing adventure

Escape the constraints of a vehicle and lose yourself in Kenya’s stunning wilds. Having worked none-stop for sometime, there is nothing as refreshing as a walk in our cool quiet nature trails where the only interruptions are birds singing and trees whistling. You deserve it, we offer it. Don’t deny yourself.
Nature trails can be tour guided or self guided. Night walks are also a fantastic option. Nature walks can only be carried out in parks that offer unique wildlife and scenic beauty which will keep you transfixed in wonder.
Parks that offer nature walks include Nairobi Safari Walk, Kakamega National Park, Ndere Island National Park, Tana River Primate National Reserve, Shimba Hills National Reserve, Kisumu Impala Sanctuary, Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks, Mt. Kenya National Park, Aberdare National Park, and Mt. Elgon National Park.

Underwater Adventure: Marine Parks

Snorkelling and scuba diving offer unique, once in a lifetime experiences within our marine parks. Refresh yourself as you play with the dolphins and admire the coral gardens. KWS ensures your underwater adventure is equally breathtaking.

Other adventure activities are: diving, wind surfing, water skiing, and glass bottom rides. To relax after rigorous activity, visitors can then enjoy fantastic Kenyan weather as they sun-bathe.

Kiunga Marine National Park (situated in Lamu) is the only marine park that offers wind surfing and water skiing.

Our five marine parks along the Kenyan Coast are;

  • Watamu National Park
  • Mombasa Marine National Park and Reserve
  • Kiunga Marine National Park
  • Kisite Marine Park -Mpunguti Reserve.
  • Malindi Marine park

Event Sites: Make your event adventurous

Forget “normal” think “exceptional” Give yourself and your guests a once-in-a lifetime experience in the park. Have anything from birthday parties, weddings, anniversary celebrations, team-building activities, company launches, and the list goes on in a serene, natural environment.

In addition to having a fantastic location, you get to exercise your creativitity as you landscape the event sites however you please. The possibilities are endless as one could begin with a game drive, then a sundowner where you watch the sun go down and eventually see the city lights come on, it’s like Christmas all over again, finally top it all with your event.  Set in especially beautiful or scenic spots, there are also some designated campsites that are for use by private parties. They usually offer no facilities- just pure natural beauty and can be used for bush dinners or bush breakfasts, brand launches and weddings.

The parks that have these campsites include Aberdare National Park, Mt. Elgon National Park, Tsavo West National Park, Nairobi National Park, Amboseli National Park and Mt. Kenya National Park.

Self-Catering Accommodation

To fully appreciate the unique range of natural beauty, wilderness and wildlife on offer in Kenya’s National Parks and Reserves, why not stay over and see more? Choose from our wide range of scenically located, attractively presented, and economically priced self-catering accommodation in most of our parks.

Tips on Planning an Adventure Holiday

  • Adventure insurance-take some time to find a policy that suits your style of adventure and chosen activity.
  • Find out the reputation of the tour operator organizing your trip and also get certification on the equipment that you will be using. Make sure also, that your equipment is safe.
  • Independent travelers should check their equipment and insurance documents before traveling and always carry an emergency number
  • Ensure that you undertake a personal fitness and physical ability test to prepare your body for the adventure experience
  • Select the trip that is right for you, your family and friends
  • Keep an open mind: Travel is a participatory experience that broadens our perspective and enriches our lives with new friendships, knowledge of the customs and traditions of others, and an appreciation for the place we call home.

http://www.soinafricasafaris.com

The show ends as the wildebeests heads south

The migrating wildebeests and zebras have now embarked on a southbound trek. Due to the short rain we had recently in the Mara, which extended south to central Serengeti, the wildebeest after staying in the Mara and north Serengeti, have now embarked on a south bound journey. For the past four months since the arrival into Masai Mara in early June this year, the wildebeests have been crisscrossing the border between Serengeti and Masai Mara. This is because of the prolonged dry spell in the region which reduced availability of fresh water in central and south Serengeti.

I have just come back from Serengeti and the first herds are now in central Serengeti while some are still in the north but all in a general southbound trek. In my observation though, I think the herds might head south then come to central or western Serengeti unless there is sufficient rain int he south over the coming month.
In Masai Mara, there are still herds concentrated in certain areas in the main reserve and on the conservancies. Some of these are thought to be the Loita herds and some of the Serengeti herds which will leave later. These year, most people could not understand why the wildebeests kept going into Serengeti and back to the Mara so many times unlike in recent years. This all had to do with the prolonged drought and lack of the short rains in August.
I will keep you updated.

http://www.soinafricasafaris.com

New Envoys Urged to Lobby Against Trade in Endangered Wildlife Species in Kenya Destinations Sites.

Kenya Wildlife Service has urged 32 newly-appointed ambassadors, high commissioners and heads of missions to help Kenya sustain advocacy on total ban on international ivory and rhino horn trade.

Ag. Director General William Kiprono asked the diplomats to help in demand reduction campaign on wildlife and wildlife products.

Ivory, rhino horns, reptiles, pangolins, and sandal wood are some of the wildlife and wildlife products being poached and trafficked for international black markets

While addressing their induction programme at KWS headquarters on Monday afternoon (October 6, 2014), Mr Kiprono asked them to use their diplomatic missions to lobby other countries to help reduce the demand for endangered species.

Africa range states have faced unprecedented poaching in recent past with 302 elephants and 59 rhino poached in year 2013 in Kenya alone.  Since the beginning of the year, 116 elephants and 26 rhinos to poachers has been lost to poachers.

“In the last six months, however, we have turned the corner and the worst is behind us. We hope to keep the poaching cartels on the run and make them face the fullest extent of the law,” he said.

He said that the government is fully aware of the magnitude of wildlife crime and has mobilized resources locally and internationally to curb the vice. Besides poaching, he pointed habitat loss, human wildlife conflict due to growth in human population and climate change as other challenges facing wildlife conservation in the 21st century.

He urged the diplomats to use their missions to encourage international community to invest in conservation areas and assure tourists that Kenya’s national parks and the country are safe destinations.

www.soinafricasafaris.com

KWS seeks partnership in raising awareness on plight of rhino

Ag. Director General KWS Mr. William Kiprono has advocated for sustained awareness campaigns on the plight of the rhino during a ceremony to mark this year’s World Rhino Day on Monday (September 22, 2014) at Nanyuki town, Laikipia County.

He also sought application of deterrent severe penalties for poachers and dealers in rhino products to robustly tackle the current high poaching threat to rhinos. 26 rhinos has been poached this year compared to 59 in year 2013.

In a speech read on his behalf by Deputy Director Species Conservation and Management Mr. Patrick Omondi, Kiprono said that all of the world’s rhino species are under threat, mostly from poaching for their horn.

The horn is mainly used for traditional Eastern medicine. However, rhino horn does not have any proven medicinal properties.

“This day is therefore dedicated for actions and activities to raise awareness and let the world know that we care about the plight of rhinos,” he said.

There is currently an alarming rise in the number of rhino being killed in Africa affecting both the Black Rhinoceros and White Rhinoceros population. The three Asian species, the Greater One-horned rhinoceros, the Sumatran rhinoceros and the Javan rhinoceros are also threatened by habitat destruction.Kiprono said that KWS is committed to combat this vice by modernizing its security operations, systems and troops deployment.

“Will ensure that troops and field operators use modern equipment and embrace the latest and appropriate technology in their day to day operations to stop any further poaching incidences,” he said.

KWS, County governments, private and community sanctuaries have been working together to minimize threats posed to rhinos. Cumulatively, Aberdare’s National Park, Solio, Olpajeta, Oljogi, Lewa, Borana and Illngwesi host more than half of Kenya’s rhino population currently estimated at 1041.

Other stakeholders who participated in the event included local communities, County Government of Laikipia, World Wide Fund for nature (WWF), Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF), African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and Association of Private & Community Land Rhino Sanctuaries .

World Rhino Day, now in its fifth year, is a global phenomenon, uniting NGOs, zoos, cause-related organizations, businesses, and concerned individuals from across the globe in demystify the myths on use of rhino horns and to diminish the demand for the horn.http://www.kws.org/info/news/2014/30sept2014.html

Experience the Beauty of Kenyan’s destinations

Kenya safaris offer the traveler an unparalleled range of options. The incredible diversity of landscapes, cultures, wildlife and activities mean endless opportunities give you a true meaning of why Kenya safaris should be apriority to you. With so many choices at hand, some people find the prospect of planning a trip quite daunting. It doesn’t have to be that way.

In Kenya destination sites, it is very easy to plan and prepare for a safari that is as individual as you are, and that satisfies your own personal needs, suit your budget and interests. If you are planning a trip, use this website to explore Kenya in advance, and decide where you would like to go, what you would like to see and what you would like to do. Here are a few important first points to think about:

Kenya offers a diverse range of environments all within relatively close proximity to one another, and has an excellent domestic travel infrastructure. This means that you can choice to either stay based in a single location or to move around the country and see a range of different places.

Your first decision should be how long you want to stay and how much you want to see. Staying in a single place lets you explore that area in great detail. In wilderness areas, this is the best way to really get to experience many facets of an ecosystem.
Kenya’s rich diversity of wildlife means that no two experiences in the wild are ever the same.

Each day you’ll experience and see completely different things. Spending time in a single location also allows you to really get to know and learn from the local cultures, and to get to know locals on an individual level.

Alternatively, it is possible in Kenya to take a safari to a completely different destination every single day. This is a good option for travelers who like variety of experience and environment. In a single trip to Kenya, you can visit tropical forests, beautiful beaches, and deserts, climb mountains and explore the wild.

Another choice is to decide on 2 or 3 destinations and spend a few days exploring each one. The choice is yours. When you are planning your trip, think about how many destinations you’d like to visit and how long you’ll spend in each one.

www.soinafricasafaris.com

Sharon C

George Adamson’s 25th Anniversary Memorial at Kora National Park – Kenya coast region

Kora National Park, popularly referred to as ‘the last wilderness’, will be hosting guests from diverse backgrounds to mark iconic conservationist George Adamson’s 25th Anniversary Memorial.

George Adamson also known as “Baba wa Simba”, a British wildlife conservationist took care of orphaned lions and later released them to the wild. The George Adamson memorial is a fundraising event whose key objective is to help in the conservation of wildlife, mostly lions whose numbers continue to dwindle in the country due to various reasons, among them poaching.

“Plans are underway to make the Park a Lion Sanctuary to protect the king of the jungle, the event will also promote the park as a popular tourist destination”, said the Assistant Director of Eastern Conservation Area, Mr. Simon Gitau during George Adamson media launch event at Kora National Park.

The event will take place from 29th to 30th August, 2014. Guests arrive on 29th at the campsite and one is required to carry camping gear. The main event will be on 30th August at the graveside of George Adamson in the sprawling park. Lots of activities have been lined up for the two days in ‘the last wilderness’ Park , including beach Volleyball, treasure hunt, storytelling, watching George Adamson’s films and climbing the rock where George used to climb every morning and shouts ‘who is the king of the jungle’. This is an adventure not worth missing.

The charges are:

  • Individuals (Citizens/Residents/Non-residents) – Ksh. 5,000 per person
  • T-shirts alone before and during the event – Ksh. 1,000 each
  • KWS Staff – Ksh. 2,500 per person
  • Corporate – Ksh. 50,000 (for 10 people and below)

Mr. Gitau is assuring visitors that security will be enhanced during the event, adding KWS will seek partnership with the surrounding counties namely Tana River, Meru and Isiolo County to promote tourism in the expansive park.

The Kora National Park was gazetted in 1973 as a reserve and gazetted as a park in 1990. It comprises of an area of a little over 1700 km2. This triangle of dense woodland and scrub is limited along its 65 km northern boundary by the Tana River, which rises in the highlands between Aberdares and Mount Kenya, before commencing its 700 km passage to the Indian Ocean. The western boundary follows a straight line from Tana River which a joint boundary with the adjacent Mwingi N. Reserve, while the eastern boundary runs along Mwitamyisi River.
The land surface slopes gently from an altitude of 490m in the south-west and about 270m in the north-east. Central areas comprise of an undulating peneplain through which Basement ridges protrude above the surface as rocky inselbergs the highest of which are Mansumbi 488 m, Kumbulanwa 450m and Kora Rock 442m. The park also has several seasonal rivers.It is  in the coast region in Tana district.
It offers various attractions include:Pristine wilderness, Inselbergs, Tana River with Adamson’s Falls, Grand Falls and Kora rapids, diverse birdlife George Adamson’s grave.Though it also have various activities like Pristine wilderness, Inselbergs, Tana River with Adamson’s Falls, Grand Falls and Kora rapids, diverse birdlife George Adamson’s grave among others.Discover this amazing sites in Kenya safaris.
http://www.soinafricasafaris.com

Sharon C