Thursday, August 20, 2015

Interesting Game

Have you ever witnessed this interesting  before?Try your luck this
season on Kenya camping safari  you might be lucky to see more than this.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

The season has come!

Now there is plenty of food to lions,leopards,cheetahs
and others.You won't miss some dramas while on your
masai mara safari.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How do you respond to an attack?

The thirsty zebras were interrupted when they sensed
that there is danger. Come and witness for yourself on
kenya budget safari how a herd  of zebra respond to an  
attacked  member.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

'The coward one'......

In the traditional African society, the Hyena has been branded 'the coward one'.
This has been due to the way of feeding of the hyena. Known as a scavenger, the hyena is actually a great hunter and scavenging only makes 5%- 10% of their meals.
They rarely leave any evidence especially because they devour everything. For example they can make a kill in the night and the only sign will be light blood stains.

In the recent years the complexity of the hyenas has been revealed. Lots of time has been dedicated to studying them. This article is about hyenas and their survival tactics in the savannahs of Kenya. They range throughout sub-Saharan Africa in savannah, arid areas, and open woodlands. So far they aren't present at the coast.

There exist three species of hyenas in Africa. Two species are found in Kenya.
The most common being the spotted hyena, crocuta crocuta.
They live in groups called clans and the clan is under the leadership of the oldest female, the alpha female. Interestingly, the females are dominant over the males and are heavier than them. The females genitalia are very masculinized which contributes to their being aggressive. Such sex dimorphism is not common with other wildlife. This is due to the presence of higher level of testosterone in the female's body than that of the males.

A distinguishing feature with the hyenas is the 'haunch-back' and short hind legs. They hold their head low when they walk. Usually the head has a rounded skull and long ears. They have extremely strong jaws and a complex acidic digestion system. This is one of the factors that give them a step ahead for survival. They are capable of ingesting bones, horns, hooves and the tough animal skins.
Only the hair is not digested and this usually comes out in the form of bolus or locally referred to 'hyena hair ball'. All this bone matter that they eat is what makes the hyena feces chalk-white.

They hunt in packs in a way that could be termed as ruthless as they do not have a killing bite. They lack in hunting technique and most cases they run down their victim to exhaustion. Usually they attack their prey and tear chunks before their victim dies.
It is interesting to know that lions steal lots of their kills. It is true that hyenas do the final cleaning by chewing the bones and the skins left by others. In some cases the hyenas have succeeded to steal from the lions but in most of occurrences the reverse is more common.

The reproduction and life cycle is not seasonal. The females do not however mate with their members of the clan. They can take any other wandering male for mating and discard him. Four months is the gestation period and usually give birth to up to four cubs. These are usually black in color with some others having small taint of black.  A weird thing that happens with the cubs is competition over who nurses first.
This in most cases result in fighting for dominance. The looser usually starves to death and this is only with the female cubs. Hyenas, unlike other wildlife take very long to wean their cubs. It may take between 14-18 months. The female can lactate up to 12 months with milk that is very high in protein percentage.( 14%). The cubs start following the mother to the point of kill when they reach 1 year.
They do not bring back food to the den. They eat to their fill on the spot.  
The female cubs stay in the clan of their birth but males are kicked out when they reach around 2 years. Apart from playing with the cubs the male has no role in upbringing of the cubs.

One clan can have between 20-100 members, all on the matriarchal system. All the members are related. Each clan digs its own den which comprises of deep and long tunnels to accommodate the clan. They mark their territory through anal sac secretions. This is a paste that they use to define their boundary and is deposited at the edge of their territory. That is their home-territory that they protect and intruders are not welcome. They have a greeting system of sniffing each others genitalia and also as a way of identification or recognition within members of the same clan.

To the untrained eye, it is difficult to differentiate between males and females. This is because of the physical resemblance of the female's genitalia to that of the male. But in any case they are female organs. The females are not hermaphrodite as some have claimed at first sight.

Hyenas have 'toilets' whereby all the members go to deposit their dung. This adds to the boundary markings of their territory.
They communicate in a number of ways: When about to attack the tail is held high, when it is held forward over the back, it is a sign of excitement.  And when frightened they hold the tail tucked between the legs. When there is presence of food, this is the time you hear the famous 'hyena laughter' especially in the night. This laughter
is a call to other clan members and can be heard up to 3 kilometers away.

It is important to note that though hyenas portray cowardly behavior, they can be extremely dangerous. They should be left alone, least intimidated and their respect awarded to them.  

Peter K. Philip
Natural Track Safaris

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Elephants language.

Have you ever known how elephants communicate?
plan your Kenya budget safari to learn their language.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Things about the flightless bird.

The ostrich is flightless bird that actually native in the country. It is the largest living bird and has managed to generate a lot of curiosity among people due to its large body size and inability to fly.

The ostrich belongs to the ratite family of bird. The male ostrich is called a rooster while a female ostrich is called a hen. The ostrich’s eye measures almost two inches across which makes it the largest eye of land animal. The ostrich is the largest and heaviest living bird in the world.

The bird is flightless bird for many reasons. 1st it has small and loose feathers and does not have a breast bone which is common to most birds. An ostrich can go onto life for almost fifty years.

An ostrich habitat varies and though they were initially found in the savannah region and certain parts in the country. Female ostriches have the uncanny ability to recognize her own eggs, even if they are mixed with those of other female ostrich in their communal nest.
An ostrich hen can lay somewhere between forty to hundred eggs in a year. One ostrich egg weighs 1.6kg or 1600 grams, which is equivalent to the weight of about twenty four chicken eggs and takes two hours to hard boil. An ostrich egg hatches in forty two days. Ostriches are very powerful birds much so that a single kick to a predator like a lion , dogs or hyena could prove to be fatal.

Ostrich can run at a pace of up to 70 km/h. thus, they can outrun most land predators such as lions, leopards and hyenas. A fully grown ostrich has one of the strongest and most advanced immune systems known to mankind. Despite being a flightless bird, ostrich have wings which serve much other purpose. Ostrich hold their wings out to help them maintain their balance when they run, which specially comes in handy of the suddenly change direction while the main purpose of their wings is to display them along with their tail feathers during courtship. To show dominance an ostrich holds its head up high and lifts its wings and its tail feathers. To show submission, the head, wings and tail drop down.

When an ostrich senses a danger and cannot run away, it flops to the ground and remains still with its head and neck flat on the ground in front of it. As the head and neck are light colored, they seem to blend with the soil which makes it look like the ostrich has buried its head in the sand. Ostrich meat resembles beef in its appearance and is cooked in a similar manner as the beef. This meat is very low in cholesterol and is almost free of fat. Ostriches are omnivores and they eat whatever is available in their habitat at different times of the year, they mostly eat plants, especially the roots, seeds and leaves. They enjoy munching on insects like locusts and small animals like lizards.

They get adequate amount of water from plants they eat. Although they drink water if they reach a pond or water holes. They prefer to live in groups which help them to keep predators at bay. Due their long necks and keen vision, they can see long distances and from a distance. The ostrich has only two toes on each foot, which helps to give it more speed while running.  

Peter K. Philip
 Natural Track Safaris

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wildebeest migration

This world famous migration is a circle of life
which, in simple terms, means that there isn't a
start or an end. Only where the herds are located
at a particular time. The big determinant is the
availability of pastures.   The plains of Ngorongoro
Conservation Area in Serengeti are a favored spot
as grass abounds and the wildebeest find a safe
place to graze. It is also here that over 500,000 new
calves are born and many are taken by the nearby
waiting Jackals or Hyenas.

New borns have little time to strengthen their legs.
As soon after birth, the “pilgrim" continues.

By April, the rains are over in southern Serengeti
and the plains have dried up. The great herds then
gather and face the long march northwards and
westwards. The natural lawn mowers abandon
the exhausted grasslands of southern Serengeti to
head for the already tall grass of the Western
corridor, near the shores of Lake Victoria.

The pioneers of the migration movement are
the majestic herds of zebras. They prefer the long
stems of the coarse grass. This way, they leave behind
shorter grass which is favored by the wildebeests.

In late June to July the mass start pouring into
the Kenya Masai Mara reserve where fresh, tender
and mineral-rich grass is already waiting. Here
they meet the resident Mara populations which
add up to about 150,000. Also commonly referred
to as the Loita plains herds, they spend most of the
season northeast of the Mara. When it gets dry, they
pour into the interior of the Mara in search of greener

The migrating herds spend roughly 3 to 31/2 months
in the Mara crossing through Sand River, which is a
tributary of the Mara along the boundary of Kenya
and Tanzania. They trek westwards and cross the
Mara river and sometimes the Talek river. Usually
around this time heavy rains on the Mau Escarpment
(origin of Mara River) fill the Mara river to the brim.

This is a good time to watch the trunk-looking
Crocodiles, while they await the forthcoming feast.
Finally, the gnus (wildebeests) venture into the river.
This gregarious coordinated behavior of the herds,
usually teamed with zebras, creates an unimaginable scene.
Just what the cameras have been waiting for.

They wander along the river looking for a
convenient crossing point. This is a moment
filled with tension for both the gnus(wildebeests)
and the audience.

They survey for a less steep and with no obvious
danger. Finally, one takes courage and plunges
into the river and magically the rest falls onto
the footsteps and in one organized line cross the river.

In addition to the crocodiles, accidents also occur.
The river’s current can be too strong for some especially
the young ones. Or simply getting stuck between the rocks in
the river and breaking limbs, a direct ticket to the jaws
of the giant crocodiles. Finally, the crossing is done
and the trek to their unknown (or known)  destiny continues.

In the month of October, they are already heading
to Serengeti where the rains have treated the southern
grasslands to lush, green carpet of rich grass. Once
again, they are heading to the southern plains, where
a new generation will be born to start the cycle of
life all over again

 Shared by Peter K. Philip
Kenya luxury safari
Natural Track Safaris