sosian-1

It's the fifth day since I arrived at Sosian and I'm into the second day, and ninth draft, of composing my first blog entry for the Lodge. As August's resident 'gappy', I am required to recall what's been going on, and this, my first task, is already proving a challenge with so much that has been happening.

There have been game drives, swan dives, bush dinners and camel rides, football matches, Freida, wild dog and cheetah. The lodge has been full with guests and the ranch brimming with game. Big cats have dominated the evening drives with lion, leopard and even cheetah, conveniently appearing as the first gin and tonics are poured. Elephants, too, have been spied in abundance, often seen cooling themselves in the river, and this morning a pack of wild dog were found not far from the lodge marking their welcome return after an absence of several weeks.

The horses are looking well, despite the dry conditions, and have been busy riding to bush breakfasts and cantering alongside game. It's a little harder to get as close to wildlife from horseback than in a vehicle but, for all those equine-inclined, watching a giraffe pass through the frame of a horse's ears makes for an utterly unbeatable view.

It's only been five days but what is becoming evermore apparent is that "once in a lifetime" experiences are everyday occurrences here. From watching cheetah hunt impala, to leaping off waterfalls, here's to the next month at Sosian...

Daisy Soames

 


RESIDENT special offer...

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We are continuing our RESIDENT special offer of a 30% discount
at
Offbeat Mara
Sosian
Offbeat Meru


This offer applies to all new bookings that book & stay between now and 30th September 2014
(Conservations Fees payable in full and this offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers)
Contact bookings@offbeatsafaris.com for more information

We look forward to welcoming you!

 
Copyright © 2014 Offbeat Safaris, All rights reserved.

A morning walk with Offbeat Mara

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We were heading up the hill on an early morning walk a few days ago, when we saw four lionesses in front of us walking towards Lion Ridge. We stopped and watched them as they slid into the bushes and out of sight. As we were getting to the top of the hill, we heard a lot of commotion coming from the other side of the valley where the Lionesses had disappeared into. 

The Lionesses had walked into the two new males of the Offbeat Pride; they had been lying on the rocks catching the early morning sun. There was a very noisy and brief conflict that lasted for about a minute. We watched and listened from the other side of the valley and could see the lions scrapping and darting in and out of the bushes. 

One of the females in the group has been looking after the surviving cubs from the previous Offbeat Males. The females were all quickly chased off; the two males especially targeted the female who has been with the cubs from the previous Offbeat Males. We saw her running down, off lion ridge, quickly through a heard of wildebeests and zebras and down into another valley. The other females moved to the other side of Lion ridge away from the males. It was very interesting to see the different behavior towards the individual who has still not bonded with the new males.  

Being at a height and on foot, we had the advantage of watching them interact, without them being at all influenced by our presence or the presence of a vehicle. It was a very exciting moment to watch the whole scenario take place on foot. This would not have been seen form a car! 

We carried on with our walk heading down into a valley where no roads have yet been made, so it is still very wild and beautiful.  We looked for a safe place to cross the Olare Orok River, as the rain further upstream had brought the water up. We jumped across the rocks that were above the water and headed up to a delicious breakfast that had been set up for us.

Photographs by Andrew Lettsome

 



Exciting sightings and action packed safaris...

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Sosian is thrilled with our newly thatched pool house which has been put to good use this month.  With a well stocked bar and tennis court behind, the pool house is ideal for chilling out after a full morning of safari activities and a swim to cool off!
Perfect for lazy lunches and siestas in the shade, it is also another beautiful place to have dinner, with a blazing fire and candlelight, providing the peaceful Sosian atmosphere. 
All the best from Simon, Rosie & the Sosian team
MORE FROM THE OFFBEAT COLLECTION....

OFFBEAT RIDING SAFARIS
Masai Mara

The season started in mid July with an 8 day set departure ending with two days at Deloraine which went extremely well. The horses were all in very good shape after a few months off and a few weeks of work to get them back to a good level of fitness. We had 11 guests from all over the world and we were lucky enough to see four of the big five from the back of a horse  including an amazing viewing of 3 black rhino in the Mara Triangle and some very relaxed bull elephants. The lion viewings at our Olare Orok campsite where impressive as ever and we even caught a glimpse of the new males from the horses. We were also relieved to see that with the new take over of the pride the young cubs we saw last year managed to escape and we spotted them near leopard gorge.
In addition we are pleased to introduce a new member to the team, Christeen, who will taking over all the riding bookings from Sarah over the following weeks.  riding@offbeatsafaris.com remains the primary contact for reservations.

Best wishes from Archie, Imogen and the Riding team

OFFBEAT MERU CAMP
Meru National Park

July has seen both families and solo travellers at Offbeat Meru Camp.  The new family tent has been an instant hit and is a great improvement to the camp.  With, generally, private game drives for families and lots of activities to keep all ages busy it is a great family experience.  Finding big game in Meru is not a difficult task so youngsters are easily delighted!
As for the solo travellers, Meru is always a popular choice for the seasoned safari goers who are looking for something different and away from the masses.  Not only are the large numbers of elephant, buffalo and rhino a big attraction but the superb birding and botanical opportunities continue to make Meru such a popular alternative to the normal 'circuits' that can become overused.
Daily flights  to Meru and a connecting flight to the Mara have made Meru National Park an increasingly popular choice and long may it last!  The park fees that every guest pays is a direct contribution to the upkeep of this special area and even more importantly to the safeguard of the rhinos here...who need all the help we can give them.  
Hope to see you soon!
                     Craig and the Meru team

OFFBEAT MARA CAMP
Mara North Conservancy 
  

The migration is in full swing!  Over the past 3 weeks we have been watching the crocodiles grow, the lions grow and the amazing numbers of wildebeest and zebra grow. It is a feast for all, including all the hundreds of tiny creatures that live of it all too.
The crocodiles can go up to 6 months without eating after the migration…and they’re certainly making the most of it! The lions are choosing their prime cuts before moving on to their next hunt, leaving plentiful fresh food for the hyenas and other scavengers. The next generation of hyenas have gained their confidence and are coming out in to the open for their first time to join the feast. 
We have had two cheetah brothers who hung around in the Conservancy for a few days and walked right past camp at breakfast one morning. Eager not to miss them we followed them and enjoyed their unique behavior and hunting skills.
The Offbeat Pride have taken up residence again on Lion Hill, and are making lots of appearances in front of camp during sundowners and early mornings, we hardly need to leave camp for a thrill! 

Salaams from Kyle, Lara and the team at Offbeat Mara

 

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OFFBEAT MERU CAMP
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For ENQUIRIES please contact

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Our NEW mailing address is:
Offbeat Safaris
PO Box 825 - 00502
Karen
Nairobi



Our NEW physical address is:
Office 64
The Stables
Karen Road
Karen

Nairobi

Special Offer!

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Elephant Encounters in the Mara

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As we haven't had our normal rain fall this year the rain showers have come a little later than expected. However we can always tell before it rains as the elephants come down from the hills, where they go when the land is dry.



 

We have had some lovely sightings if the elephants, especially two the big family herds. Unlike a lot of elephants in Kenya at the moment (due to the threat of poaching, elephants have got shyer or a little more aggressive) these guys are all very relaxed. 

Kyle has had some lovely walks following them across the ridges and watching them graze and interact with each other with no interest in his being there.

We had a lovely encounter a few days ago, at a new sun downer spot we have found on the top of a rocky kopje looking down the Olrare Orok River.  We climbed to the top of the boulders and watched a family of elephants emerge from the thickets below us. At the same time the offbeat lion cubs were practicing their hunting skills with a herd of Zebra on the ridge opposite, so our attention turned to them.

A little later we saw the elephants had moved off out of the river bed for the night. Just before dusk one of the guests and the managers had to "mark our territory" before heading home. We climbed up a little to the covered area behind us, as we looked up we had to take a double take, as the boulders on the top seemed to have turned in to Elephants! About 20 feet in front of us were the family of elephants we had been watching earlier. They has silently moved up the hill behind us. Hiding behind the rocks we were able to safely watch them for about 10 minutes or so before it got too dark. So we had to leave our giant friends to get back to camp for supper. 

We all felt very privileged for them to have let us watch them so close. 

 

 

 


Voting is now open for the 2015 Safari Awards!

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Please take a minute to vote for Offbeat Safaris.

To vote click on the link below:

http://www.safariawards.com/voting/

Thank you!


Kicking off the season with superb game viewing.....

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As Archie returns from assistant guiding in Botswana and the Offbeat horses are well into their fitness program, we are getting ready for another outstanding season of riding with the migration in the Masai Mara.  There will be plenty of exciting news to come over the next few months and if you want to get in on the action contact us now on riding@offbeatsafaris.com

Spaces are now very limited but you can still sign up for our Laikipia ride (31 Aug - 10 Sep) which is set to be one of the best on record.  With little rain, riding across this dry country has resulted in game viewing optimised to the maximum....don't miss out on this very special experience.
Best wishes from the Offbeat Riding Team
MORE FROM THE OFFBEAT COLLECTION....

OFFBEAT MERU CAMP
Meru National Park

Well what a fantastic start to the season. Frank the giraffe has been throughout the camp, making sure that his gardening skills don’t go unnoticed; he is becoming quite a valuable member of our team here!  As the Acacia Tortillas trees have started to drop their seeds, quite a delicacy amongst the herbivores around these parts, elephants, buffalo and all sorts of other animals have wondered around camp. They tend to give us our space as much as we give them theirs.
Incredible sightings of lion have been seen by all; currently we have a pride of six, whose territory includes the whole area around camp. We have also had some magnificent leopard and rhino sightings in the sanctuary.

As the holidays get into full swing, we have had several family groups through. Children of all ages have learnt how to make bows and arrows and the art of traditional fire making!
We are looking forward to a busy action packed month for July!
 

Regards from Craig and the Offbeat Meru team

OFFBEAT MARA CAMP
Mara North Conservancy

It’s been an interesting and noisy few weeks at Offbeat Mara, with the grunting from the local migration of wildebeest surrounding camp, and the thunderous roar of lions from the Offbeat Pride.  Two new males have taken over the Offbeat pride, leaving all the females with cubs fleeing to new areas to keep safe. Unfortunately, one 10 month old cub didn’t quite make it.  In camp during dinner one evening, we found him quietly seeking shelter in a bush behind the cars. Sadly in the morning we found his body just outside of camp. However there have been sightings of one of the old males and a female with five cubs not far from Lion Ridge. We wait in anticipation for what will happen next!  
All our guests so far, have taken the opportunity to explore the Mara on foot. We have recently started walking safaris and Kyle, a trained walking guide, has discovered some wonderful walks and seen lion on foot on almost all of them. Guests have been enjoying walking to bush breakfasts and sundowners, from a short stroll to more athletic hikes!

 Kyle, Lara & the Offbeat Mara Team

SOSIAN LODGE
Laikipia

Sosian would like to introduce our wonderful new tree house by the Acacia Dam!

Whether you are having a picnic, or just sitting with a sundowner, you will see a huge variety of animals coming to drink at the water. Most frequently seen from the concealment of the Tree House is a boisterous male hippo, who likes very much to show off his teeth with a large yawn of warning! 


We expect to be using the tree house a lot over the next few busy weeks...come and experience it for yourself!

Salaams from Simon, Rosie & the Sosian Team


Out with the Old, In with the New

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At the beginning of the season we noticed The Offbeat Pride were very dispersed. And we hadn’t seen any of our females or their cubs for a while. This being, because two new young males have kicked out our older two and taken over the pride. 

During dinner one evening in camp, we were alerted by Ken, the waiter that there was a lion sitting in the bushes behind the car, 30 metres or so behind us. The night watchman led us to a safe spot, where we could watch it and work out what was going on.

With the roaring of lions getting closer and closer, the little thing was terrified; enough to come into camp and seek safety. We knew it was fleeing from the ne­­­

w males who were on a mission to get rid of the previous blood line and to make the females come back into aestrous.  

We returned to our dinner discussing this predicament and the cruel realities of nature. During pudding, one of the Males came in to camp looking for the escapee, but the noise of us around the dinner table kept him at bay. 

We had to let nature take its course and leave them be. When we woke the next morning, the spot the cub had been laying in clearly showed it was in no good way. We heard from the watchman that the lions had come back into camp a few more times and the cub moved off into the bushes behind camp. We found its little body. It had bite marks along its back and a pierced lung. Its mother hung around for the next two days and the males came back in a number of times as well, to check that it was dead. 

We started to worry about what had happened to the prides other cubs. After talking to guides from other camps about it, we heard that some other females with cubs, the right sort of age as ours, have been seen in other parts if the conservancy. 

 About 4 days later another unexpected thing happened, our old males made an appearance again! Along with them, our females with their cubs! So as you can imagine the roaring at night is spectacular!

 


We are on the move!

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This month we are focusing on one activity per property which you will see outlined in the sections below.

We would also like to announce that after nearly 7 years of operating the office from Sosian, we are now moving to Nairobi.  Paul & Shiro (reservations), Lilian (operations) and Antony (accounts) will all now be based at The Stables, in Karen, Nairobi, whilst Charlotte (marketing & consulting) will remain at Sosian.  All phones numbers and email addresses remain the same and the new postal address can be seen below.  For any of you in, or passing through Nairobi, please come and see us!

 
Best wishes from the Offbeat Team
ACTIVITY FOCUS....

Riding at SOSIAN
Laikipia


Over half our guests at Sosian will saddle up and venture out into the bush on HORSEBACK with one of our experienced riding guides.  Game viewing in this way is hugely rewarding as you blend into the landscape and become part of the natural eco system.  With excellent horses and some extra fun in the form of a cross country course, riding at Sosian is an unmissbale activity for all abilities.

Click here for a detailed factsheet on riding at Sosian.



 

Walking from
OFFBEAT MARA CAMP

Mara North Conservancy


Offbeat Mara Camp are thrilled to announce that they are now offering WALKING SAFARIS.  Kyle Ray, the new manager, holds a firearms licence and is an experienced walking guide.  Exploring the bush from foot has to be one of the most rewarding ways to see and understand the African bush.  From the Big Five, down to the Small Five, Kyle will make walking from Offbeat Mara Camp a super alternative to game drives.

 
Click here for a detailed factsheet on walking safaris from Offbeat Mara Camp



 

The Rhino Sanctuary at
OFFBEAT MERU CAMP

Meru National Park



The stunning, yet still underused Meru National Park is a true hidden treasure, especially when considering the huge eighty square kilometre RHINO SANCTUARY.  With approximately 40 white rhino and 20 black rhino it is one of Kenya's top rhino viewing destinations.  These prehistoric animals have become well accustomed to vehicles and photographic opportunities are excellent.

 This is definitely not something to be missed whilst staying at Offbeat Meru Camp.



 

Walking & game drives with
OFFBEAT RIDING SAFARIS

Masai Mara, Laikipia, Amboseli

Offbeat Riding Safaris are of course synonymous with game viewing from horseback.  However, all our guests also get to experience the bush from foot and vehicle too.  Whether you WALK to the top of an escarpment for sunrise or GAME DRIVE into the Mara Reserve for excellent photographic opportunities, safaris are varied and catered for everyone. 

Equally, non-riding partners are very welcome and will be well looked after by our team of guides and spotters.  Riders and non-riders always meet up during the day for bush lunches and the riders will also join game drive and night drives.

 To find our more contact  riding@offbeatsafaris.com

For ENQUIRIES please contact

bookings@offbeatsafaris.com


Copyright © *2014* Offbeat Safaris * All rights reserved.


Our NEW mailing address is:
Offbeat Safaris
PO Box 825 - 00502
Karen
Nairobi



Our NEW physical address is:
Office 64
The Stables
Karen Road
Karen

Nairobi


 

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