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A few days ago I was watching my ever wonderful safariLive and we were sitting with the Musketeer coalition of cheetah with presenter Scott Dyson. He was chatting with a lovely German couple who help fund the Mara Meru Cheetah Project. They relayed to him they are going to be funding the new Mara Leopard Project, not sure if that's the name, starting next year!! Meaning real documentation of the leopards of the Mara! They just got approved. You guys, I can't tell you how much joy this brings to my heart. I love leopards and I feel they get brushed aside in the Mara because they are 'hard to find' but there seems to be a high density of leopards in the Mara itself both in the Reserve and Triangle, and I know there's a decent population within the Conservancies as well. I don't know how many of you know this but I started my own Facebook group, once WildEarth annoucned they were going to the Mara, to help document and keep identification notes on the different leopards seen in the Mara by photographers, lodges and what is found on safariLive, which isn't many since WE don't spend very much time searching for them. I want to be able to help create a database for the big cats and I do hope I can be of service to this operation.
NoviceSafari16 posted a topic in AfricaGood afternoon We have started planning for a special family holiday in July 2018 and are actively exploring Conservancies and tented safari camps in Kenya. We have already performed quite a bit of research and are interested in hearing from the Safaritalk community. Please review our below, self-developed "Safari Profile" to gain insight into our safari goals and provide us with your recommendation and reasoning for: "The single, best Kenyan Conservancy and Camp that fulfills all, or 90+%, of our safari goals." Thank you for your time to respond to our inquiry and we look forward to hearing from you soon! Best Personal Regards, Darryl & Catherine FAMILY SAFARI PROFILE: Family of 4 adults (ages 54, 53, 23 and 21) Safari Date: Mid-July 2018 Total # Nights in Camp: 7 nights & 8 full days in camp (not incl travel time to camp/Nairobi) Total # of Safari Camps: Prefer 1 Kenyan Conservancy and Camp. Will consider max of 2 Conservancies and Camps (based upon objective and additional cost) Safari Theme & Goals: Family & Photo Safari Must-See Wildlife include:Big Cats - Lion, Cheetah, Leopard, etc… Big Grazers - Elephant, Rhino, Hippo, Giraffe, Zebra, Oryx, Gazelle, Antelope Must-See Landscapes include:Sunrise and Sunsets Plains, Savannahs, Kopje Valley River, Watering Hole, Lakes Rock Cliff Close views of Mt Kilimanjaro and/or Mt Kenya Tented Camp Must-Do Safari Activities:Camp owned and operated, open-side/top 4x4 safari vehicles (4 adults + guide/driver) - e.g. modified Toyota Land Cruisers Guides must be annually trained and certified by Conservancy Private Game Drives (day and night) Off-road Game Drives Private Walking Safari with Samburu or Masai Guide Horseback Safari Sunrisers and Sundowners with panoramic views Relaxing at camp - reading, playing games, sleeping (hammock or the like), listening to music Fitness & Exercise (jogging and/or yoga) Safari Camp Preferences: Camp Location:Elevated camp position overlooking plains and savannahs with hills and mountains in background High probability for, and frequency of, in-camp encounters with large wildlife Predictable, short game drive (< 40mins) to view large wildlife Predictable, short game drive (< 1hr) to experience a variety of landscapes (see Must-See Landscapes above) Camp Style & Quality:Permanent Tented Camp that is camp equivalent of a full-service Marriott hotel or W hotelAll camp products, services, activities, and amenities are owned and operated by Camp and/or Conservancy All camp products, services, activities, and amenities are of excellent quality, function fully, reliably, and as intended “Upscale Casual” style & comfort Private & quiet camp ambience (e.g. peaceful, bright, solitude) Down-To-Earth with Family and "Locals Only vibe" “We expect our safari experience to be hot, cold, sweaty, and dirty! We expect an adventure - with reasonable comfort and amenities. Not Desired:No Excessive Glamping - we are not seeking camping equivalent of Ritz Carlton, Four Seasons, or St Regis hotels “We should not feel like we are staying in a downtown full-service luxury hotel and visiting the national zoo" No "Bare Bones Camping" - quality equivalent of sleeping cots/bags and “a hole in the ground for a loo.” Close proximity to many, loud, and obnoxious tourists and traffic Daily rain, high humidity, and cloudy skies High season for mosquitoes and other biting insects General Safari Experience Questions: Based upon your recommendation and reasoning, what specific safari goals are we unlikely to fulfill? Why?What Kenyan Conservancy and Camp would you recommend to achieve those unfulfilled goals? Is there a great deal of "wildlife and landscape overlap" with your first recommendation? What is the estimated travel time between the 2 camps? What can we expect for cost per person per night (not including travel to/from Nairobi) for each camp? For each camp, what specific fees/costs are typically negotiable? non-negotiable? highly variable based upon season?
1) Name of property and country: Asilia Africa, Namiri Plains, Serengeti, Tanzania 2) Website address if known: www.asiliaafrica.com 3) Date of stay, including whether Green Season, Shoulder season or High season pricing (if known). Low/Green season, March, 2015 4) Length of stay: 2 nights 5) Why did you choose this camp or lodge to stay in? Based upon what? I read about this property on TA and saw it had a meerkat family (which was not around when we were there). There are two pet meerkats that are the property of the owner. 6) How did you book the property, direct or agent? Were your enquiries dealt with quickly and efficiently? I did the initial research and then contacted Troy at True Africa who arranged everything. 7) How many times have you been on Safari? 4 visits 8) To which countries? South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Namibia. 9) Which properties have you been to previously that you are comparing this one to? A small tented camp similar to Dunia Camp. 10) Was the camp/lodge fenced? No, security was required for all night movement outside of the tent. 11) How many rooms/tents does it have? 9 tented rooms 12) What tent or room did you stay in? Did it have a good view? Was it overlooked or private? We had views over the waterhole. 13) How comfortably furnished was the room/tent? The rooms were large, comfortable, well furnished and clean. Excellent bathrooms with flushing toilet and bucket showers. 14) Did you like the food? If yes, please state why. If no, please state why. The food was excellent. 15) Was there a varied menu offering multiple choice? If vegetarian was a suitable alternative offered? (Did you have to request this in advance?) Yes there were different things on offer. 16) What is the default dining arrangement? Single tables or communal dining? Do the guides/managers host at mealtimes? Yes, hosted dinners each night. 17) How good were the packed breakfasts/lunches if staying out on game drives? Fantastic. 18) What are the game drive vehicles? Please include photo if possible. Open vehicles and also one enclosed vehicle with a pop top that needs to be booked in advance if required. Ideal for during the wet season. 19) How many guests per row? 2 20) How long were the game drives and were they varied in the routes taken? As long as you wanted. 21) What are the standard game drive times? Are game drive times flexible: i.e., if agreed in advance, can you go out earlier than suggested and stay out later, i.e., not returning for lunch but taking supplies with you? Yes, completely up to the clients. 22) Is this a private conservancy/concession, and what is the vehicle/lodge density like? 23) If in a National Park, what is the vehicle density in the immediate vicinity? Very little cars, quiet and remote. 24) Are you able to off-road? No 25) Are there rotation policies for sightings i.e., You face the risk of queuing or being bumped from a sighting. N/A during our stay 26) What wildlife is this property known for? Did you get good sightings. Big cat country, great migration and plains game. 27) How was the standard of guiding? Fantastic 28) If you had a bad experience with a guide, why? Did you report the issue to management, and if so, how did they deal with the issue? N/A 29) If you had a very good experience with your guide, please give reasons why: friendly, informative, happy, proactive and helpful 30) Were staff attentive to your requests/needs? The service was good (little slack) but guiding, location and sightings were unbelievable. 31) Does the property support a local community conservation initiative. If so, please provide brief details and website address if known. Yes, Asilia has many conservation iniatives. 32) Safaritalk trip report link: 33) Any other pertinent details you wish to add: Namiri Plains is a new property opened by Asilia approximately 90 minutes from the Seronera Airstrip in the Serengeti. The property is a tented camp offering guests the opportunity of some of the best game viewing in Tanzania without the crowds. I visited Namiri with my parents who were first time safari travellers in April this year and was blessed with fantastic sightings, an unexpected arrival of the great migration (due to unseasonal weather), a wonderful room/view and lovely staff. Due to heavy rains in the Seronera area we extended our stay for an additional two nights which allowed us to enjoy our time even more. The area is renowned for their big cats especially the lions and cheetahs. We did manage to get an exceptional sighting of a large male leopard who crossed our path as well. We all loved our time at Namiri and even with the wet weather I have no hesitation in coming back next year for another 8 nights. Yes there are some problems with the service but I was there for the animals and our guide was fantastic. Lots of stories and photos from a brilliant time. Our trip was made stress free by using Troy from True Africa who arranged everything for us and provided my parents with the trip of a lifetime. I have already used him again for my next trip in November. 34) Please add your photographs of the property below, with headings.
Doing a search on this site I could find only two trip reports on the KTP so thought this would be a good place to start with a trip report. Nestled between Botswana and Namibia in the North Western corner of South Africa is what was formerly called the Kalahari Gemsbok Park which now makes up part of the larger KTP. The Kgalagadi is a harsh land, and Kagalagadi means the Great Thirstland. As would be expected it is arid. At the same time it has a remarkable beauty and a host of animals that survive in this wonderland. This journey will show you each camp, the accommodation, what you will pay for it, and what you can expect to see in the camp and surrounding area. We will start at the northern most camp, Grootkolk, and work our way south down the Nossob Riverbed, across the dunes, on to the Auob Riverbed and finish at the Southern entrance of the Park which is Twee Rivieren (meaning two rivers) In my opinion the KTP is arguably the best Park on the planet for big cats (you can get really close to these) and raptor sightings for the price you pay (relatively cheap compared to other Parks). Black Shouldered Kite with Beakfast Red Necked Falcon You will enjoy many of these sightings to yourself and there are also the little cats, African Wildcat and Caracal. Honey Badgers and Brown Hyenas. Aarwolfs and Aaardvarks. Suricates (meerkats) and some very special antelope. Rollers and bee-eaters, waxbills and shrikes Beautiful sunrises and sunsets and the red sands of the Kalahari. You do not need a guide to do the KTP. You can get a flight to Upington form Johannesburg or Cape Town and from Upington to Twee Rivieren is a comfortable 2.5 hour drive on a tarred road. Overses visitors will need to hore a car and price will depend on what you get. To get to Bitterpan and Gharagab Camps you will need a 4x4 woth low range as you will be driving the dunes to get to these. For the rest of the camps juts a vehicle with high clearance is rfecommended so that you visisbility is not restricted - the sand ridges at the side of the road ar high in places. Be warned, once you get that red sand between your toes, you will just want to return again and again. All this time effort, you might ask what is in it for me: 1. To share the magic of South African Parks with you. 2. To reach an international group of like minded people to show the challenges and threats we are faced with in conserving these areas so that we can discuss possible solutions. I will post in the Rhino Poaching Topic shortly.
The lions of Naboisho We recently had a guest at Naboisho Camp share with us his footage of a young Lion Pride spotted near the camp. Thank you to Victor for sharing this with us! Please enjoy the short clip below and read on to find out more about the Lions that roam the Mara Naboisho Conservancy. The Lions of Naboisho One of the major issues outside the Maasai Mara National Reserve is the increasing pressure from the Maasai on wildlife and natural resources. One way of enhancing wildlife conservation outside protected areas is the creation of conservancies where important areas with known lion populations are transformed into a kind of semi-protected areas where the numbers of Maasai settlements and livestock herds are managed in a way to maintain a sustainable balance. In order to know where these conservancies should be placed and what benefits they will have, it is essential to understand the exact movements of the lions in time and space” – Mara Naboisho Conservancy By achieving this, it will be possible to advise the Maasai people about when and where not to graze their livestock during certain times depending on where the lions are situated and thereby avoid direct confrontations between Maasai and lions. It is about achieving the goal where the Masai people and the wildlife again can live in harmony as they have done before. The Mara Naboisho Lion Project is supported by Kenya Wildlife Trust and Danish Zoological Society. Read more about what is being done to help conserve the numbers and habitat of the Lions of Naboisho on the Mara Naboisho Website. If you would like to visit the Mara Naboisho Conservancy then please get in touch with your local travel agent to help plan a stay at our Naboisho Camp. Or you can also make an enquiry directly with us. Watch the video here>
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