12, 13 December, Porini lion camp, Olare Motorogi Conservancy, Kenya
Situated on a conservancy adjacent to the Masa Mara, this camp is run by the same management as the amboseli camp. The advantage to the conservancy is that there is limited access to just the few companies that work in the area, and those companies are not limited to staying on the park access roads like they are in the Masa Mara. So we could go up close to the lions and cheetahs: they did not seemed bothered by us at all.
They have two lion prides in the area, and also two cheetah mothers with their cubs. One of the lion prides is over 20 lions. And one of the lion mums had three babies that were three weeks old. They were just learning to walk, and we could see the mum still picking them up by the scruff of their neck.
Like Porini Amboseli, there are no fences between the tents and the park. The animals are able to freely roam through the area. This is not a problem during the day, but after dark they require us to have staff walk us to our tents. Both nights, we were awoken by very noisy grazing. The first night, it was a hippo, and the second night was a cape buffalo: we stayed in the tent!
We got to watch the cats very closely. It is amazing how similar their behaviour is to house cats. One of the similar behaviors was how house cats play with mice, birds, etc. The mother of the 4 cheetahs had captured a baby gazelle… and the cubs were playing with it, learning how to hunt. It was a good life lesson for these endangered cubs, but it was hard to watch for more than a few minutes.
We were here for two days. Next stop is Moshi and Arusha in Tanzania to pickup Mark, Kirsten, and Heather. Next safari starts on Monday.