We have had a super high-season this year with plenty of wildlife all around. While a trip to nearby Tarangire is always an experience to remember, many of our guests comment that they really look forward to returning to the exclusivity of Manyara Conservancy. There is nothing quite like the freedom to roam at will where and when the mood dictates.
With memorable elephant and lion activity in camp on a regular basis and draw of the dam behind camp, there has been plenty of activity to keep our guests busy. Large herds of zebra and wildebeest have decided that the Conservancy is just as attractive a location as the parks – just the way it should be.
This year, we have added a few more species to our animal list. These have been seen in the past, but we are pleased that they are once again back. These include a pack of African Wild Dog, a lone Hippo Bull and Gerenuk which appear amongst the impala from time to time – great camouflage. Click the picture to enlarge.
It just keeps on getting better at the Ranch with three new lion cubs sighted this month. Our guests were fortunate enough to witness these playful and inquisitive cubs, as well as have the unique privilege to name them. Therefore we are proud to announce the arrival of Enzo, Babi and Nala to the Conservancy. We shall determine the sex of the cubs in the weeks ahead and let you know.
Three 19-month old lions currently on the Conservancy have progressed out of their childhood and are today practicing their hunting skills at the dam most afternoons. Unfortunately, Duffus the male lion has been ruining the hunts; much to the entertainment of our clients and to the disappointment of his two sisters.
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.
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.
Once an area where wildlife feared to venture, Manyara Ranch Conservancy is now a haven, with many species taking up permanent residency. Surveys conducted in 2004 revealed a number of wild dogs denning in the conservancy, and today we continue to sight this rare and vanishing species of East Africa.
Recently, six dogs were sited in an area deep inside the conservancy. With the help of AWF, game scouts continually protect and monitor the Manyara Ranch Conservancy allowing the conservation of endangered wildlife and their habitat.