With the rains, the whole conservancy has turned very green and is thus teeming with wildlife. Herds of elephants, buffalos, zebras, elands, gazelles and giraffes all decorate the plains with a spread of the whistling thorn acacias.
With a presence of so many herbivores, there are bound to be a lot of predators from the little jackals to the largest carnivore – the lion.
The Jackals have done it again!
Sometime last year, I reported two jackals killing a male impala just outside Porini Rhino Camp after chasing him around and fighting with him, to eventually win the battle. All this was lucky for some clients who had been with us then.
Last week, I was sitting with clients in the mess tent watching the animals coming to drink at our camp water hole. It was a late afternoon just before the evening game drive; we heard the sound of animal struggling in the bushes. A waterbuck ran in the direction of the noise and managed to distract whatever was in the bush, as a female impala suddenly escaped from there. A moment later, two jackals came out from the same bush and started tracking her.
The female impala was slow – she had been injured and was limping away to freedom. This was not her lucky day. The jackals followed her and found her…unbeknownst to them – so did another set of predators – the hyenas. Two of them came running in their direction. As the jackals caught up with the female and started their hunting tease, the hyenas reached the party and joined them. However, hyenas are not players – one bite put the poor impala out of her misery as she left this world. I was sad to also realise that she was pregnant! This is nature.
A rare sighting at Porini Rhino Camp!
A morning after we had our breakfast, we heard the vervet monkeys making loud noise on top of one of our big yellow backed acacias. One of the staff members went to see what it was and called me.
Come and see! A female leopard with her two cubs was playing just a few metres away from tent no 4. This was an exciting moment for us. We watched them at their cat play for a bit, and suddenly they stiffened as a hyena came out of the bush to drink water at the camp water hole. The leopards started moving away, and we followed them not too far from tent no 2. We saw a baby zebra carcass close by. We went to inspect some footprints and realised that these had been a day old. It seems the leopards have been around our camp at least for a day or two. What a wonderful sighting!
Blood Thirsty Predators!
One moment, the camp was quiet, and the next it suddenly looked like a carnivore restaurant set up just outside! Our waiter was in the mess tent one morning, and to his surprise found two wild dogs in the river bank! As he got closer he saw a male impala that had been dragged into the river! The dogs had been feeding on it, but before they could get much out of it, they were called away by their pack members into the bushes. Little did they know that on their return they wouldn’t find an impala. As soon as they disappeared, the jackals and hyenas found the scent of the carcass and enjoyed a hearty meal to the bone!
A pride of three female and two young male lions have now made Porini Rhino Camp their home. I believe this is most certainly due to an increase of herbivores close to camp. Although we rarely see a lion kill, we see this pride many times and hear them roar at night! What a sound in the stillness of the night! At some point, the two big males had moved to a place called Mutoro.
At night, our two bull buffalos can not be missed as they walk through the camp and eat their grassy dinner. Elephants have also paid us a visit but not always during the night. The rest of the herbivores love the waterhole and keep us entertained from morning to evening.
The night continue to be alive with its nocturnal sightings – these include the genet cat, bat eared fox, zorilla and aardvark.
Signing out from the Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Daniel Mamai – Head Guide at Porini Rhino Camp