It’s been six weeks since Tristan passed away and we continue to miss him everyday. Somehow, he is still very much present in all our lives, and no decision is made without thinking, what would Tristan say...his legacy will live on in exactly the way he would have wanted, and the safari that ran last month is testament to that…we know how delighted he’d have been to read the following…
At Offbeat Mara Camp we offer a traditional tented safari experience that conjures up all the romance of yesteryear. Huge luxurious canvas tents with king size beds and en suite bathrooms are carefully positioned throughout the bush to offer breath taking views and the perfect amount of privacy. Wildlife roams freely and from your veranda alone, you will feel entirely immersed into safari life.
We are currently half way through our high season, which certainly kicked off with a bang, as the herds of wildebeest made their way North from the Mara River and our little camp welcomed the first of the lucky guests who got to see it, in all its glory.
I have ridden all my life. I grew up on a farm in England, and from a racing and eventing family, I had no other choice. When my own (very) amateur eventing career came to end, prior to university, I wasn’t sure what my ‘horsey’ future would entail. So ending up running a yard of 30 safari horses at Sosian in Kenya was an unexpected dream come true.
The Dagoretti Horse of the Year Show was a huge success for the Offbeat Safaris’ horses. On Wednesday the 17th February 6 Deloraine horses, 4 syces, Cindy and myself made our way to Nairobi.
After having had some lovely rain on Sosian Ranch following a long dry season, Sean Outram, the General Manager, came across this big bull elephant determined to make the most of the water and mud that was now around.
Horses have faithfully served man for millennia. Great empires have been built from horseback, they helped to win wars and were the forerunners of modern mechanized agriculture.
Until recently scientists believed that there were 100-200,000 lions living in Africa, but current information suggests that the number has dropped dramatically to approximately 30,000. Most of these are in protected National Parks or managed hunting areas, but elsewhere lions are being killed at an alarming rate. Unless urgent action is taken, they may be completely wiped out from the unprotected areas lying between parks.
The Mara-Serengeti ecosystem is unique for many reasons. It supports the last great wild herds of large herbivores left on the planet. Figures and estimates vary but there are well over 1 million wildebeest and maybe 300,000 zebra that migrate in two distinct areas and 200,000 other large herbivores add to the variety. Cape buffalo, giraffe, eland, topi, hartebeest, Impala, waterbuck, warthog, and two types of gazelle are very prevalent in the Mara and migrate much less if not completely sedentary, especially in the Mara ecosystem.
Sosian Ranch is 24,000 acre property in the heart of the Laikipia, which is part of the greater 56,000 square km Ewaso ecosystem in Northern Kenya. Sosian, like many of the other properties in Laikipia, is determined to prove that livestock and wildlife are not mutually exclusive but are in fact beneficial to each other.
It is now well over 10 years ago that Tristan asked me to jump in his plane and head to Meru National Park for the weekend. Having never been to Meru I lept at the chance, grabbed a few clothes (“not too many, it’s damn hot up there” Tristan said) and off we flew.
Our head of security recently saw this old female elephant with a suspected snare on her front right leg. Thanks to the help of Matthew Mutinda, a KWS vet and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy we were able to tranquilize her and remove a 4 strand wire snare which had become embedded in her leg.
I am just back from 19 days of safari ably assisted by Daisy Soames who is back for her 4th summer of safaris.
June is often slow to get going on the riding safari front but this year we had two tidy groups with a core of six, plus a few extras for a few days on each.
The first safari went out from 13th-20th June. A jolly hand over lunch where the new group met the old took place at Olare Lamun on 20th June.
In March we left a very dusty, dry camp. The Olare Orok River had come to a complete stand still with only a few pools of water big enough for the hippos to wallow in. They had all moved into the smaller rivers and streams due to the pressure and overcrowding in the Mara River. The noises of hippos battling for their stretch of river every evening was remarkable. One evening, whilst having a sundowner by the fire we had to take cover as two male hippos ran out through the bushes, and in to the river behind the shop tent!