As we count down the days to the reopening of the camp, its all hands of deck to prepare ourselves for the upcoming high season. The camp is showcasing some delightful colours after a fresh sprinkling of rain. We are excited to continue with our extensive activity portfolio from escorted walking safaris to horse riding; night game drives to sipping on a sundowner and watching wildlife from a hide.
The following is a list of wild animals found at Manyara Ranch Conservancy. We may have missed a few and will update this list from time to time.
Bat Eared Fox
Bushbaby ( )
Eland (East African)
Genet Cat ✝
Honey Badger (Ratel)
Hyena (Spotted) ✝
Hyena (Striped) *✝
Impala (East African)
Jackal (Black Backed)
Kudu (Lesser) *
Mongoose (Bushy Tailed)
Oryx (Fringe Eared) *
Spring Hare ✝
Wild Dogs **
Wildebeest (White bearded)
Zorilla (Pole Cat) *✝
* Rarely seen on a normal safari but common on Manyara Ranch
✝ Mostly seen on night drives on Manyara Ranch
** Rarely seen but known to den on Manyara Ranch
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The rains have set in, but there is plenty of action on the Conservancy. Elephants are around every corner and a large number of bull herds have been sighted. Excitingly, a recent walking safari was fortunate enough to encounter over 120 eland. The calls of the camp lions have been heard by staff nearly every night. The three lion clubs are looking big and strong, with one male cub developing a lot quicker then his siblings. Our own migration is also occurring on the Conservancy. Hundreds of wildebeest are calving and guests have sighted large numbers of newborn calves.
It was all hands on deck last week when an injured bull elephant was discovered near camp. In need of urgent attention camp staff called for Dr Chuma from neighboring Tarangire National Park. With the support from camp staff and the Ranch’s anti-poaching team, the elephant was successfully darted. Dr Chuma identified the injury as an old snare wound that had worsened over time. The team worked quickly to administer long lasting antibiotics and cleaned the wound to prevent further infection. Thirteen minutes later, the elephant woke and was reunited with the rest of his herd. The Conservancy would like to thank Dr Chuma, the anti-poaching team and camp staff for all their help and team-work.
Night drives are one of our feature activities and one that has been very productive so far. Two nights ago, our 5 guests continued on a night drive after enjoying a bush sundowner only to come across a cheetah with an impala kill just 800 yards from camp. It’s not the first time we see cheetah at night. In June we took a film group on a night drive who filmed an ostrich being killed by cheetah a little further from camp. We know there are 3 male cheetah that specialize in hunting ostrich on the Conservancy – already a rarity in itself, but we are now believe there are other single cheetah in the area. We will be collecting photos of the cats to determine how many live in the area and so are pleased that we managed to get some good shots, some of which appear below.
This past weekend, Craig Sholley and John Butler, both from the African Wildlife Foundation’s Washington offices, visited the Conservancy for 4 nights. They collected footage for AWF’s 50th anniversary which will include a piece on the importance of Manyara Ranch Conservancy and the cooperation with nearby National Parks. We also had guests in camp and so they obtained some good footage of our tented camp camp, the environment and wildlife in the area. One particularly good scene was a family herd of elephant crossing over the open plains from Tarangire just before sunset which I have included below as I think they are rather good.
During the stay, we had visits from the Tanzania AWF and TLCT management who were also interviewed for the film, not to mention the Park wardens of Tarangire and Manyara National Parks between which the Conservancy is situated and therefore positively impacts both areas.
We look forward to seeing the final film which should be released later this year.
Dr. Colin Beale from the University of York (UK), visited Manyara Ranch during three days at the end of July to explore birdlife in the area. Dr. Beale is carrying out research into the changing distributions of many savannah bird species as part of an EU funded project looking for impacts of climate change on savannah habitats. As well as searching out nesting colonies of weavers, he started compiling a checklist of birds of Manyara Ranch to help visitors appreciate the diversity of birdlife in this area.
Three days of walking and driving resulted in a total of a little over 170 bird species, including a number rarely seen on the northern safari circuit. A total of well over 300 species is likely for the ranch, so there are many still to find as migrant birds from further afield join the resident crowds. Dr. Beale will be back to bring the bird list up to date.
A pride of lions are making regular night-time appearances in camp after visiting the waterhole situated a hundred yards in front of the dining tent. They seem very happy with the presence of Zebra, Wildebeest and other game that now hang out by the camp. Chris our camp manager, says there are 4 lions in this particular pride, with another pride of 6 about a mile away where the lodge will be built.
Bernard Kissui who studies lion in the Tarangire ecosystem, is a frequent visitor to the Conservancy and has been monitoring lion in the area over several years. He will be particularly encouraged by this news and the presence of another pride of 22 lion that Chris encountered within the conservancy about 10 days back. Their presence is a sure sign of the rapid recovery of wildlife in the area.