We have had the most exceptional safari experiences since May in all our camps and lodges. Despite all the travel warnings, the threat of terrorist attacks and Ebola we have had fantastic Safaris this year with many stories to tell.
At Sasaab the wild dog and lion viewing is exceptional. We saw two cheetah cubs with mum in the reserve, killing food almost daily. There has been loads of elephants along the river at the lodge too so guests are getting up close and personal experiences!
At Solio we have seen loads of lions and and rhinos.
In the Mara Malaika the cheetah gave birth to 6 cubs, whilst another female gave birth to 4 but lost them due to vehicle harassment. These cheetah are being monitored by the Mara Cheetah Project and the Sala's cheetah car, preventing too many vehicles at the cheetah at one time and encroaching on the females hunting.
There are lions all around Sala's Camp at the moment - all twelve cubs from last season survived in the Sala's pride thus making the total number in this pride to 21 (commonly called a ‘super pride”). Last week we seen them killing a buffalo at 2:15 am right in front of the Honeymoon Tent and then the following morning eating wildebeest in front of the mess!! What a sighting both of those were ....
There are also Gnus all around Sala's Camp and loads of leopard along the sand river. I anticipate the migration will return to Tanzania early this year due to it being very dry in both the Mara and Serengeti.
I also went to Congo with journalist, Martin Fletcher (to read Martin's feature in the Financial Times on this trip click here). This was a fantastic trip with gorillas and active lava lakes. I was the first tourist to stay at Bukima Camp - where you literally walk out of camp to start trekking for the gorillas.The lodge at Rumangabo (Mikeno lodge) is still fantastic and a real adventure for the outgoing tourist.
Patrick Holowesko joined Martin and I to climb Nyiragongo Volcano in Virunga National Park and we were the first tourists up there since April 2012. The huts were a bit in ruin but the experience was amazing. The 5 hour almost vertical hike was worth the spectacle of the lava lake below. The chaos and excitement in Goma is palatable…for anyone who is feeling adventurous I recommend a trip to the Congo – we can also include a 2 hour boat trip across Lake Kivu to see the lowland Gorillas at Kahuzi Biega.
We have re-located our beach destinations for the near future to Mnemba Island off Zanzibar. This is a magical place with exceptional food, service, diving and snorkelling. We took the kids recently and had a blast. We seen the turtle hatching and 98 turtles hatched whilst we were there.
All in all the season so far has been amazing.