Earlier in the month we had a phenomenal sighting of a lioness leaping for the kill quite literally. A few of our guests had headed off to the Mara reserve to hopefully catch a glimpse of one of the ever famous incredible crossings, and our guide saw a disturbance a little way off – there was a bit of a stir going on. So taking a detour they went to explore.
Sosian has a long-standing relationship with the British Army in Kenya, who bring their troops out to Laikipia to train in preparation for places like Afghanistan. Northern Kenya offers much of the necessary characteristics required when it comes to terrain, altitude and huge areas of uninhabited land.
Hundreds of wildebeest cleared the airstrip to allow the chartered plane to come to a land. Twelve guests including couples, families and lone travelers unloaded into the 4x4’s as we made our way to the first camp. Eyes were on stalks as a Megan and Simon pointed out the differences of Thompson and Grant gazelles that filled our eyes, as well as the fashionista’s of the antelope world - the yellow booted, blue jean wearing topi. Even a bunch of giraffe came to welcome us to the Mara, fluttering their gorgeous lashes. We really could only be on the plains of Africa.
The Mugie Triathlon brings you an opportunity for fun and adventure in the beautiful Laikipia landscape.
Swimmers glide across the Mugie Dam, cutting through the glassy morning water to the far side. Here, team mates will tag their bicyclist and individual competitors will quickly transition, for the 20km bike across stunning Mugie, reminded that gazelle and zebra in the distance. Racers run the final leg, 5k to the finish!
Sosian have worked with Lion Landscapes since its conception and have developed a strong working relationship when it comes to lion conservation in Laikipia.
The goal of Lion Landscapes is to secure a landscape that supports a viable population of wild lions, or any other pinnacle carnivore species. To do this it must also support healthy wild prey populations, healthy habitat, and be successfully addressing poaching and conflict issues between people and large carnivores.
August was our busiest month, not only this year but in Offbeat history! The beginning of September has been jam packed too. It’s been a whirlwind with all sorts going on; in and around camp, as well as guests seeing the most fantastic sightings.
A visit to Mugie isn’t complete without spending some time with Tala the giraffe. Her towering presence is hard to miss around Mugie Headquarters as she pokes her head in at the workshop or peers in at those working away at the main office. And she’s quite a noticeable addition to the herd of sheep or goats that she gloms onto for the morning, following the animals and their herder around the conservancy as she browses for food.
With the month of August being at the pinnacle of the safari season; horses, vehicles and guests were flicking in and out of the Mara like bees on honey. I assisted in 2/4 back to back safaris. The first group arrived on the 11th of August comprising of a mixed bunch, predominantly Americans. The first game drive from the airstrip to the camp is always very enlightening as more than often the fresh arrivals are witnessing African wildlife for the first time. The genuine look of pure excitement on their faces as they see their very first elephant really makes you appreciate the amount of satisfaction a place like the Mara has and what it can do for people.
Mugie is the epitome of “fun for the whole family”. With game drives and walks, fishing, walks with the bloodhounds, swimming, golf, and visiting Tala the giraffe, there is no shortage of things to do, but kayaking with the Mugie elephants that is a particularly awe-inspiring experience.
We chose to stay at Sosian Lodge because we’d heard about their excellent horses and riding safaris, but not all our family are riders. Sosian also have loads to do for non-riders, so it seemed like the perfect fit for us.
Our season is going brilliantly so far! We are now getting stuck into the thick of high season with the migration just around the corner. The wildebeest have started to make an appearance and are slowly trickling in.
It’s such a wonderful time to visit the camp, when everything is fresh and green and playful. The endless plains of swaying red oat grass have never been experienced in such profusion on Mugie and we cant get enough of it.
Trying to compose a descriptive illustration of this safari in writing is simply immeasurable to the true feelings and emotions felt on what was undoubtedly one cracking adventure. In short I would recount its as being utterly breathtaking, amusing, educational and unpredictable leaving everyone fully satisfied at the end by having both seen and done the unexpected.
Last month Simon and Rosy put together a lodge to lodge ride in Laikipia using the Offbeat Horses. Offbeat in fact always include a Laikipia ride in our set departures, however the popularity of the Mara means that we do not always run them. This was the first time that I have done the Laikipia ride and I must say it was absolutely fantastic. The landscape and wildlife varies so much from the Mara that it makes a wonderful change. We had a fantastic group, some return clients from New Zealand who had done our Mara ride last year and were keen to experience something different.
Since the last ride in March the horses (and staff) have enjoyed a great break before the season started again in the beginning of June.
Along with our annual visit to England for Badminton Horse Trials in May, we had another huge fixture in the diary.
Every river, stream, and water whole is brimming; and the animals are looking fat and happy.
We closed for the month of May to work on camp maintenance. This saw the good old sewing machine back in action as the tents came down and the canvas was patched up and replaced where it needed to be. Camp is looking lovely, and we are all ready for the high season.
We are so excited to start the new season on such a good note. Offbeat Mara Camp has had a face lift! Only this time not to our front of house but behind the scenes!
After the recent flood, and consequential damage that we incurred; in April and May, rather than being closed, we have been very busy working away and rebuilding our entire back of house.
Mugie conservancy is incredibly proactive in supporting eco-friendly and sustainable living. The world at the moment is desperately trying to address the issues of global warming and the general mismanagement of our environment.
At Mugie the hands-on efforts in; education, improving the standards of living, supporting the idea of a cohesive community and giving the community at large the opportunity to get involved and learn how to develop is really admirable.
Although the last 12 months were marked by some challenging changes in dynamics I am incredibly proud of how our Offbeat team have pulled off another incredible year.
We completed 19 safaris since March 2017 with Simon Kenyon and Joss Craig as our intrepid guides, beautifully backed up and hosted by Imo and Megan, and we have shown 155 guests the Mara at its best from horseback………
We kicked off the month experiencing extremely high temperatures. It is as if the sun has moved down a notch or two..... It’s officially dry season in Laikipia! Fortunately as we are perched on a hill we do enjoy quite a breeze which helps keep us cool. It is getting quite windy in the evening at the moment which makes for a good excuse to have the fireplaces lit, unfortunately not so much for the elephants who get quite a fright from the howling wind - we must say it is hilarious watching them scurry into the bushes.................