Last year in September Monique’s clients Julia and Phil Williams went on a 10-day safari to Ilkeliani and Entim, two eco-friendly tented camps known to offer an authentic under canvas safari experience in top game viewing areas of Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve.
And the wildlife certainly did not disappoint! To rattle off just a few of their sighting in those ten days: lions feeding on a kill, lions mating, lions chasing a hyena, a jackal with cubs, the rare black rhino, several leopard sightings (some really close), and three cheetah killing a young impala.
Not only that, but because they travelled in September they were in the Masai Mara at the same time as the huge wildebeest herds of the Great Migration. The size of these herds is impressive in itself but the real drama happens during the river crossings. Entim Camp sits on the Mara River and is perfectly placed to witness this wildlife spectacle - the Williams saw three crossings during their stay!
Here are a few video clips and some feedback from their “holiday of a lifetime”.
“When we arrived, we crossed the bridge and were greeted by welcoming staff. The setting is wonderful, the deluxe tents are extremely spacious, comfortable and well appointed. This camp is a great combination of being surrounded by nature and wildlife whilst enjoying luxury."
Rare Sighing of a Serval Cat Killing a Hare
Serval cats have large ears and an acute sense of hearing, enabling them to detect their prey even when it’s underground. Here you see this beautiful cat: eyes fixed on the opening of the burrow, ears pricked, listening for the right moment to pounce.
Since servals are nocturnal creatures it’s rare to see them hunting in broad daylight. And, although an opportunistic predator, their primary prey is rodents. So while you may see a serval hunting a mouse in the long grass, it really is something special to watch one catch and kill a hare.
Buffalo Chasing Lions
Here’s how it happened: “One evening we saw quite a few vehicles parked in the distance watching something but Edward decided he would take us in the opposite direction. This showed what a superb guide he was because he had spotted something much more interesting: there was a large herd of buffalo, restless as there were three pairs of lions in their vicinity.
"We saw two of the pairs of lions chased away and one buffalo actually caught the rear end of a big male lion with its horn – not everyone has seen that!”
Sunrise near Ilkeliani Tented Camp
This short but beautiful clip filmed near Ilkeliani Camp shows four giraffe silhouetted against a sunrise. Even if you don’t consider yourself to be a morning person it’s hard not to fall in love with those peaceful dawn moments on safari, surrounded by the twittering of birds as the colours bleed into the landscape.
Find out more about Ilkeliani Camp
“We were warmly welcomed by Kat and David at this beautiful camp in a great setting beside the Mara River. The tents are spacious but with a luxurious and cosy feel, and the décor is very tasteful. The dining and sitting areas are open to enjoy the views, and the evenings chatting around the campfire were the perfect way to relive the day's adventures.”
Successful Crossing of the Mara River
I’ll let the Williams set the scene: “We saw some amazing sights, including three crossings, one of which was exceptional. Everyone else was following the wildebeest in their indecision where to cross but Pedro advised we should to wait at this particular one, we trusted him implicitly and we were right to do so. We had the best view and there was only one other vehicle with us.”
Zebra Crossing the Mara River with One Casualty
A zebra herd takes the plunge at a point where there are a few massive Nile crocodiles on the opposite riverbank. One of the crocs starts swimming directly towards a smaller zebra. The young zebra doesn’t even seem to see the crocodile coming although, when attacked, it puts up a good struggle. However, that first croc is soon joined by a second and then a third while in the background you can hear the zebra stallions’ high-pitched alarm call … not for sensitive viewers!
Lioness carrying young cubs
And finally: “The icing on the cake was Pedro’s decision to check out an area with a female lion which supposedly had cubs. We watched the female for a while but no sign of cubs, Pedro decided to move on and located her sister who was carrying her tiny cubs less than a month old. We watched her pick up and set down each one in turn until they reached the security of an overgrown ditch.”
Find out more about Entim Camp
If this sounds like your kind of trip, take a look at the itinerary for this safari: Masai Mara Tented Safari. Our you can read more of Julia and Phil’s feedback on our website: Holiday of A Lifetime.