Sunday, 8 December 2013

November; A month of Rain, Motorbikes, Buffalo and Golf!

November is generally a quiet month with the short rains. All this rain is giving another good boost to our ever-expanding vegetable garden. Nothing can beat fresh, over flowing bowls of salad with the sweetest cherry tomatoes on our table everyday! The porcupines are particular fans of these bush treats!

Josh’s sister Carissa got married on Ol Maisor down the road, many of her friends were out from Australia, UK and various other parts of the world so many of them came and spent a few nights with us in camp before and after the wedding, there was more socializing and enjoying the camp rather than game drives, but when we did go out the wildlife was great, lions, buffalo, elephant and many others.
Dusty Helmets stop in to stay with us at Ekorians’sMugie Camp

Mid month we had a group from Dusty Helmets stop in to stay with us at Ekorians’s Mugie Camp, this adventurous group were doing a two week motor bike safari from Nairobi, to Laikipia and down into the harsh Suguta valley. They spent one night with us, leaving their bikes outside the Mugie Sanctuary so as not to disturb the game. The hot, tired, group enjoyed feeding up and having refreshing showers before taking on the hardest part of their safari.

The Suguta valley,although beautiful, has an exceptionally harsh climate where temperatures can easily reach over 50’C. For more information on these exciting safaris check out their website –

A family of keen golfers came in for a long weekend, and took advantage of the amazing golf course also giving their young son the chance to have a game.   The course is looking stunning with all the rain; the new greens that were completed earlier in the year are really looking amazing.   We had a few stray balls that kept the caddies busy for a while in the tall grass off the fairways.  This family was very happy just having down time and enjoyed the sights and sounds of Ekorian’sMugie camp.  We had a few drives and saw great wildlife, the two big pride males had killed a warthog down on the shores of the Mugie dam and were eating it amongst the bees who had a hive in the bush they were trying to hide the kill, the Giraffe were also having a good look at the lions as they ate their way through the warthog.

We had two guys from Zimbabwe on a mission to find and photograph some big buffalo, one big buffalo in particular that hangs out on the plains behind Ekorian’sMugie camp.  Like many things when you really want to find them they are no where to be found, for three days we searched high and low and saw some amazing bulls, only to find the largest bull in the final hours of the last afternoon which was a great relief for everyone.  The weather was fairly chilly for the days they were in camp with cold misty mornings clearing out into beautiful afternoons.

On the whole they had amazing game viewing, we saw three different groups of cheetah one morning of which two young males were very tame and happy sitting right next to the car while we got great photo’s, over 500 buffalo, lions, elephants, grevy zebra, hartebeest, bat-eared fox’s and many more exciting things.

We have started to clear all the long grass off the big island in the Mugie dam, which is very exciting. We are going to build a simple structure there to be able to get away from the midday sun and enjoy a picnic lunch in the cool of the papyrus thatched roof while waiting for that monster catfish to strike or just simply enjoy a dip in the water, there is nothing quite like this huge swimming pool that you can take a dip in as well as Kayak around and hope to catch the Elephants in the water at the same time.  It’s a great spot for sundowners for those that are willing to take a late paddle back to shore.

All in all November has been fairly busy with little bits and pieces coming through, its been great with weather as its not been to wet, the wildlife has been fantastic and we are looking forward to all those who will be visiting us in December, Welcome all

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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Ekorian's Mugie Camp Top 25 Highlights

No 25: Last light in camp

No 24: Tusker time!

No. 23: Hole in 1?

No. 22: Sundowners

N0. 21: 1-2-3 take off………

No. 20: Freshen up

No. 19: Time out

No. 18: Miles and Miles of Africa

No 17: Who’s watching who??!

No. 16: Trouble? Not us…

No. 15: Swapping raincoats for sun hats!

No. 14: Who’s the hunter?

No. 13: You can run, but you can’t hide!

No. 12: Mugielove…

No. 11: A king is born!

No. 10: Flying High at Mugie School

No. 9: Comparing safari notes

No. 8: Exploring the endless skies of the Laikipia Plateau

No. 7: Ok, I know I am a wingnut

No. 6: Checking out the view

No. 5: Fun in the pool!

No. 4: Cuteness!

No. 3: I’m watching you!

No. 2: Lions Mating

No. 1: Ekorian’s Mugie camp at Dusk

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Tuesday, 5 November 2013

October Activities Around The Camp

Ekorian’s Mugie Camp shut down for the first ten days of October due to the arrival of Maia. This gave all the crew a nice break to get back home and put their feet up for ten days.

On the 11th October we were happy to have Mark Ross back with us for his second trip this year. He is a great sport and organized the first group of guest to go on the horse riding transfer to OlMalo.  He spent two days at Ekorian’s where we had a great time with a resident family and the grandparents from the US. The kids were of a great age and they enjoyed all the activities. They were totally exhausted by the time the sun had gone below the horizon. 

The first afternoon was spent with the lion cubs, which were on their best behavior; they love to come right up to the car and see whose new guests. 

We visited the bloodhounds, which fascinated, as well as entertained the whole family. We then moved onto the Mugie Schoolto be met by Bernard the headmaster and given a tour around the school facilities.

On the morning of the 13th we waved good by to the riders as they climbed onto their horses and headed across Mugie and into thewideopenLaikipia plateau.
The grandparents, being golf enthusiasts decided to play a round of golfon Mugie’s beautiful course before taking the vehicle across to OlMalo to join up with the rest of the family the next day.

It has been a particularly windy month drying up the grass as well as a large amount of water in the general area.   As it dries up we really start to see so much more plains game,which are attracted by the huge Mugie dam just above Ekorian’s camp.  The wind is putting the elephants off spending time in their enormous swimming pool as the constant noise of lapping water disrupts their sense of hearing so they cant hear danger coming up behind them.

The baby season is still on going, with tiny elephants-so well protected by their mothers we are excited to catch a glimpse. We are especially enjoying seeing a tiny Grevy Zebra on the Maasai plans. He has huge ears and long gangly legs, which he is finding particularly difficult to co ordinate.

The lions on the other hand have been spending quite a lot of their time out side the property which always gets us nervous. The general surrounding community sees the lions as threats to their livestock. This means they are not particularly safe and can come into harms way at any time.  The times they have been back we have had good viewing of them and the cubs.The two males had bad limps so we are wondering it there is a new pride in area trying to take over.

At the end of the month we had a busy few days with a large group from William Hill UK. William Hill has taken on a local school as a project and are helping develop the school, with new class rooms, Staff accommodation, clean water and much much more. Their night at Ekorian was their final night of R&R in Kenya and they thoroughly enjoyed a few luxuries, like hot running water, which they hadn’t had for the 10 days before. We hope to see them again when they are next out in a few months time to do more work on the school.

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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Weekend Safari To Lake Bogoria

Landcrusier with sundry camping gear and ample sustenance
15 Oct 2013

August kicked off with a weekend safari to Lake Bogoria. We loaded up the trusty Landcrusier with sundry camping gear and ample sustenance.

As the crow flies, Bogoria is only about 50km from Ekorian’sMugie Camp but the winding roads led us on a merry dance reminding us why most of our guests choose to fly into one of the two local airstrips. We reached the lake and soon found ourselves battling the aftermath of very heavy rainfall. The tracks through the park were submerged and any attempt at forward progress was a gamble.

A stuck and semi-submerged motorbike up ahead proved insufficient deterrent and we promptly joined the floundering motorcyclist. Our wheels continued turning but our car ceased moving. Water filled the cabin to waist-depth. Distressingly, this wasn’t plain, harmless rainwater, this was sulphurous “soda water” from the volcanic geysers in the lake. The smell of sulphur and dead flamingo (which bobbed unhappily and upside down nearby) was quite overwhelming and the girls battled with this while the boys splashed around in the corrosive brown water, battling ineffectually with rocks and shovels.

Finally a Range Rover came to the rescue and we were pulled out a little after 10.30pm. We’d wallowed in this skin-burning water for several hours and there was many a sore to show for our troubles. A welcoming bottle of whisky back at camp went some way to compensate…until our early start the following morning that is!

Up at Mugie we have been closely following the progress of our lion cubs who are now becoming quite the playful, curious gang of five.

We’ve been treated to many a display of their play-fighting and kitten-like toying with their mothers’ tails.  We are very lucky that the mature members of the pride don’t see us as a threat and allow us to sit less than ten meters away and watch. A couple of the cubs even fumble right up to the car and take a good long look at us…until one of its siblings pounces and they both roll over in a grappling ball.

Our helping Brit Henry was joined by an itinerant Brit called Charlie who dropped in to lend a hand for a couple of weeks. He was new to the ways of Kenyan safari life and was evidently charmed by the close proximity to so many interesting animals. At Ekorian’s Mugie Camp we often hear lions calling close at hand as they pad down the track at night. The trumpeting elephant and even a skulking leopard made themselves heard during his stay. His wide-eyed outsider’s awe gave us a fresh perspective on how lucky we are to have all these animals to ourselves and safely protected by the sanctuary’s fences and guards.

This month it seemed that all the wildlife at Mugie was feeling broody.

The breeding herds of the various antelope species were always closely followed by competitively-rutting bachelor herds looking to win a harem. Countless knock-kneed zebra tottered along after their mothers and we occasionally glimpsed a week-old elephant protectively surrounded by the rest of its herd. The burgeoning populations of all our animals bode well for the future of our little camp and of Kenyan safaris and wildlife in general.

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