Monday, 18 August 2014

High Season Is Here!

With High season in Kenya and comes some high end game spotting!

The Mugie sanctuary is green and lush and the game is making the most of it.

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Just to mention a few, we have spent the days watching lions hunting and munching, bat eared foxes on the prowl, porcupines as they scurried toward their holes at dusk, cheetahs prowling, and for me, probably the most exciting of all – a giraffe having her baby!

It was a case of being in the right place at the right time. And especially lucky for our car full of guests that got to see it as well! The mother was obviously struggling with the birth as she had the calf only about half way delivered for the whole time we watched her. She was trying not to hold up her herd so kept with them when they moved forward. Not wanting to further disturb her, we decided to leave them and come back at another time. When we found her the next morning she had successfully delivered the male giraffe, and managed to stay with her herd. We have checked on them regularly and when last seen, he was healthy and rambunctious. which was great to see.

We have been making the most of our new sundowner spot too.  With a bomb fire surrounded by panoramic views, G&T in hand what a great way to finish a day on an African safari.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

June 2014 ... An Amazing Month Of Game Sightings At Ekorian's Mugie Camp!

This month at Ekorian’sMugie Camp has brought a few brief,but very effective, rainstorms. It’s lovely to watch the tropical showers move in, we can see them approaching, usually from the north. They look like such ominous clouds and the last time it poured there was an inch of rain in less than an hour! So camp is looking very green and lush, with grass growing like mad and flowers in bloom.

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And it must be that time of year, as there seem to be so many animals with young. Zebras with foals scampering after the herd, buffalo with calves quickly learning the ropes, and the other day we were delighted to see a very young, and very rare, Jackson’s Hartebeast! My favorite is the elephants with their calves, still finding that trunk a real struggle, and often with an older sibling helping look after them.

We had an amazing sighting yesterday – a female cheetah with five cubs! Joseph spotted them (I don’t know how he saw them!) and we drove closer to them. It was the first time I’d seen cheetah cubs and they are so sweet, sitting and watching them was such a treat. We’ve named them Baharti, Lucky, Chance, Esperanza, and Geluk – luck in Kiswahili, English, French, Spanish, and Afrikaans. In the hopes that they’ll survive the many predators that they may face: lion, leopard, male cheetah, eagles, etc.


This morning our guests saw Brutus, the huge buffalo with the enormous boss, and he is something! Identifiable by his sheer size, he stands out from any crowd. One of the guests is a very keen birder, and though she’s only been here a day, she was chuffed to have seen fifty-four different bird species so far.

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There has also been a lone male elephant that seems to have discovered that the island on the dam has excellent grazing. He swims out to it and climbs up the north facing side. And then he munches away! One afternoon we were going there for a picnic and waited on kayaks on the dam, until he climbed down and swam off. He looked mildly irritated that his grazing had been interrupted!

It’s been an amazing month of game sightings; there’s been so much to see!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Why I Love Kenya!

Written By Lizzie Odegaard

It’s very fitting that this month’s theme is “Why I Love Kenya” as my return to Kenya has reminded me not only that I love it here, but why. I couldn’t wait to come up to camp again, anxious to move from the confines of crowded Nairobi to the wide-open expanses of Laikipia. It was such a joy to see Josh, Donna, and Kiara again, and meet their newest family member, Maia.

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There have been a few changes at Ekorian’s Mugie Camp from a year ago when I was here. The path now winds behind the tents, giving guests a lovely walk along a murum path and past beautiful, now established, aloe beds. And at night the path is lined with solar lanterns, lighting up the way.  On most nights I saw our resident waterbuck on the path in front of me! The bush babies have now made themselves at home in the roof of the mess tent, they’re cute and endlessly entertaining.

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It was lovely to sit around a roaring fire, that hasn’t changed! But there is truly nothing like the African night sky – the bright stars seem to stretch on for miles. Maia’s blessing was moving,  and such a wonderful chance to catch up with everyone! Kayaking on the dam was as fun as before but now that the island has been mown and a shelter has been built, it is better than ever. We kayaked to the island, fished, had drinks and bitings, and kayaked back!

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The pride of lions has also grown since I was last here. The cubs still act like cubs, playing silly games with each other.  As the building of camp is long since over the herds of elephant, zebra, giraffe, impala, waterbuck and buffalo, to name a few, are coming right near to camp, which made game viewing from my tent veranda even more rewarding.

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I met Tala the baby giraffe at Mugie as well. She’s four months old and has grown heaps since she was rescued as an orphan by a goat herder when she was just a few days old. She is so friendly, and really likes having her  neck scratched. She gets fed a liter of milk three times a day, and sleeps in her own, custom made pen for shelter and protection at night. During the day Tala roams around Mugie, browsing to her heart’s content – she especially seems to like young Acacia trees, and Margaret, her own askari, is never far behind. It’ll come as no surprise that she has easily found her way into the hearts of everyone at Mugie.

It’s such a priviledge to be back at camp and seeall the constant reminders of why I love it at Ekorian’s Mugie Camp and in Kenya.

Friday, 7 March 2014

February: Safari, Wildlife, Golf and a splash of rain

The days turn into weeks and weeks into month, where do the months seem to go??

And its been another great month full of Ekorian adventures. We have had a mix of all sorts of interesting people staying with many different interests from Doctors, to Golfers, Farmers, Engineers, and Journalists.

The wildlife has been incredible with some super sightings; We had an amazing morning watching the lions taking on a bull buffalo, watch video below

Many more great cheetah sightings, and the large Mugie dam has be a greatmagnate to all the wildlife. Elephants are always such a treat to see while they swim and wallow around the dam. With February and March being such dry months it’s a great time of year to watch this special spectacle!

Most of us can easily google over baby animals for hours, and we have spent time watching a few new little people join the vast Mugie animal family. One particularly special scene was a tiny Elephant only a few days old, still wobberly on his legs, we watched as his little family help him get over a ditch and across the road. The way these animals make constant contact with each other is very special and heart warming.

With the grass drying up and the winds picking up during the heat of the day we decided a good fire break around Ekorian was in order so with thanks to Mugie ranch and their team consisting of a tractor and harrow as well as a fire fighting team and the Ekorian crew we cut and cleared several tracks around the camp to then burn the grass between to two lines. This has work out very well, although not very pretty to start withwe were lucky enough to have an inch of rain shortly after which got the green shoots coming though, these are now being enjoyed by our resident Impala, Buffalo and Waterbuck.

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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Buffalo Battles With A Pride Of Lions

A pride of lions take advantage of a lone wondering bull Buffalo, what they did not anticipate was a herd of about 200 buffalo were within a kilometer and heard the commotion, the herd came running in to help the bull just in time to save his life!

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

January: Hot Cloudless Days, Chilly Starry nights and Elephants Practicing their Tumble Turns

jan01.jpgWe have been having typical Laikpia weather this month with cloudless skies, the nights have been frosty and the days sweltering. Most mornings we have had a heavy mist set over camp just before the sun comes up and quickly drives it away.
Tea delivered to your tent, with a cheery smile is a great way to start the morning while we wait for the animals to come out of their warm hiding places to find a good spot to soak up the morning rays!

With the dry weather the Elephants have been making the most of the Dam, coming down regularly for their swim. You just can’t get enough of this incrediblesight.

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One evening we came across an elephant swimming over to the island for his evening sundowners of cherry tomatoes and sweet green grass, he was having such a great time getting there bobbing up and down in the water, for some time all we could see of him was the tip of his trunk before he came splashing up to do a complete tumble turn with his legs up! Not the most elegant style but lots of fun!

More great sightings of the eastern lion pride, with the new little family who joined the pride late last year, what fun it is to watch the family dynamics. The older cubs are certainly not going to let the new little guys get away with much. No spoilt brats around here and they certainly do their side of the family discipline.


We have been seeing a new group of five lionesses with a young male roaming around which is great, maybe they will join up with the main pride which would make it a pretty large group of hungry cats! Poor Zebra!!


Back in camp the Bush Babies have discovered the tasty bugs that come out in the Mess bathroom when the lights are on at night.  Cheeky things don’t mind checking on you while you are there!


Tuesday, 7 January 2014

December 2013: A pinch of culture, a dash of colour and dollop of exciting game viewing made an excellent Christmas feast at Ekorian’s Mugie Camp!

Its been a busy month starting with a road trip to the Maasai Mara. A long drive from Ekorian’s Mugie Camp, but we had a great few days at Alex Walkers Serian; this camp has a stunning location on the Mara river and we had some amazing game viewing, as usual, the Mara always puts on a show! It was so lovely to be spoilt in another camp before coming back Mugie to take on the busy Christmas season.

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To start the Christmas rush we had some Canadian visitors who loved a good walk. So we decided to join the bloodhounds on their daily excise. They gave a great demonstration on how they work and then we headed off to the Mugie vegetable patch and Khat(Cathula Edulis) garden.  Mugie has one of the largest single plantations of Khat. It is fascinating to see how it’s picked and wrapped in banana leaves ready to be sent off.

We ended our walk with a much appreciated picnic lunch on the golf course. The dry season is also aloe season, and the golf course islooking beautiful in full aloe bloom.

The next day we packed a picnic lunch and headed off to Kaptuya Conservancy. This is a community conservancy set up by the local tribe of the area- The Pokot. These people have very little exposure to the outside world, unlike the highly exposed Samburu and Maasai tribes. They gave us a tour of their Boma and a demonstration of their traditional dances.

We then enjoyed a picnic lunch over looking the Great Rift Valley and Lake Baringo. On the way home we stopped off at a little villagewhere our guests got to see what everyday town life is like and what is sold in the local “supermarket”- a small little hut which sells a few essentials such as sugar, maize meal, a few beads, motor bike parts, and …!

diary_cheetah.jpgOur favorite Nairobi guests where back for the 3rd time this year. Maybe they just can’t get enough of us? This time they fitted in a game of golf and on their way back to camp a cheetah nearly ran into the car after an impala, she killed it close by and we all had a great sighting of her devouring it.

We started work on the Island last month, which is nowready! What a great spot it makes for picnics, sundowners, fishing and it even makes a great helipad; talking of which, the Ol Malo helicopter tried it out on the 24th, taking their guests to do a spot of fishing on the island before coming in to Ekorian’s Mugie Camp for the night.

What a way to arrive!

This was a bunch of high-spirited guests who had a good party until the early hours of Christmas morning! They then helicoptered out to return to Ol Malo in time for their Christmas lunch leaving us to welcome alovely group from San Francisco.

We had loads of fun with these guys who were ready foreverything on offer, including a ferocious game of volleyball against our staff team, proudly, the Ekorian team showed everyone what they were made of and beat the guests fair and square!

They had some good golf, or some not so good, but great fun. They also made the most of the Kayaks and the youths had some fun water wars!  We were even invited to visit a samburu circumcision ceremony. This is an extremely colourful event, with the samburu dressed up for the occasion in their magnificent beads and bright coloured Shukas.

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diary_lion_cub.jpgThe wildlife has also been magnificent this month. One family was lucky enough to catch sight of a female lion introducing here new cubs to the rest of the pride, what a special moment!

We bought the New Year in in style with a few drinks around the camp fire at midnight and then again at midday on the 1st we had a few more drinks to celebrate New Year Alaskan time with our Alaskan guests on the Island while waiting for the Elephants to embark on their daily swim in the dam, before a delicious picnic lunch under the island shelter!

So here’s to a great 2014 ahead! And we are looking forward to sharing more of Mugie’s splendor in the New Year!

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