New Year Safari

After a wonderful holiday at Pangani to welcome in 2008 I got back to Arusha to join Marc Baker on a safari to the Western plains of southern Serengeti.

January is always a strange month to safari, as, a full year in advance, it is quite difficult to predict how much rain will fall. Remember the rain fall patterns dictate just where the big herds will go. Normally this is covered by visiting two camps within the Serengeti ecosystem – one to the West or centre of the plains and the second to the East of these extraordinary grasslands. Only when one crosses these plains completely do you realize the size of them.

Our 8 guests for this short safari could only get away for a few days so I had to decide just one location that would give us the very best on offer. Sayari South camp is ideally sited for this as it is sited on the Western Edge of the plains where there are big prides of lions, great scenery and from there we could explore the plains to witness what still for me is the greatest wildlife spectacle in Africa - the movement of over 2 million large mammals out on to the grasslands.

If it had rained more we would have had to drive more, but conditions were perfect and during 3 days our wildlife encounters were varied and plentiful.

Marc Baker and guestsMarc Baker and guests

Kopjes make for excellent look outsKopjes make for excellent look outs

Simba Kopje lionessSimba Kopje lioness

Young hyenas suckleYoung hyenas suckle

I highly recommend SAYARI SOUTH CAMP for these slightly off peak seasons times of uncertainty as the resident predators there are rewarding and you can drive out to find the big herds if it isn’t too wet. Try it for December and January or May and June and if a very dry February or March happens change your booking to this scenic area.

The strip of land that runs south from Lake Magadi to Moru Kopjes to Kusini is well visited but it is so varied in topography that many little secret valleys remain.

We saw over 50 lions in just two days, a great leopard sighting and two cheetahs that allowed us close. One morning we came across over 30 hyenas in one spot. The elephants, buffalos and other species were also enjoyed in abundance.

So, Happy safaris for 2008, best wishes Paul Oliver.

A departing LeopardA departing Leopard

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