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Why Governor’s Camp loves December in the Masai Mara

December in Africa is a special time. Maybe it’s the wonderful heat. Maybe it’s the freshness the rain brings. Maybe it’s the festive feeling the holiday season creates which calls for more time spent exploring with loved ones or toasting the African sunset.

tent-view

Governor’s Camp hit the safari-style nail on the head when they shared why they love December in the Masai Mara:

Following the short rains in November, the grasslands now look green and is beginning to grow again. This dense new carpet of green growth contains many nutrients for the plains game; white tissue paper flowers grow across the plains. The Baboons love to feed on these flowers. Early mornings are around 18 degrees Celsius, midday around 30 degrees Celsius and evenings are a balmy 26 degrees Celsius. There are often scattered bursts of rain in the afternoons, settling the dust and cooling off the day.

Sunrise, masai mara Photo courtesy of Patrick Reynolds

Sunrise, masai mara Photo courtesy of Patrick Reynolds

With the Wildebeest mostly gone, elephant families return, crossing the Mara River on a daily basis and fanning out in the Marsh areas. Watermarks on their bodies show the river levels and the youngsters swim across. They are frequent visitors to camp feeding in the forests.

Elephants Masai Mara. photo courtesy of George Murray.

Elephants Masai Mara. photo courtesy of George Murray.

The majority of the plains game from impalas, gazelles, topi to the warthog have had their young and now the process of rutting has started. Males are busy re-establishing their territories especially after a shower of rain, as their scent markings will fade. The impalas are the most raucous as the males chase each other around, white tails fluffed out, heads held high in the air and letting out a loud series of grunts. This serves to assert their dominance as well as impress the does. The females, already in season, will not relent or be impressed so easily, they will make sure their male suitor has stamina. Thomson’s Gazelles will run miles in pursuit of a female. It will be another 6 to 8 months before we see the offspring, which will tie in well with the lush grass, brought about by the long rains in April/ May. Warthogs are busy defending their young, families graze close to their burrows ready to dart back down at the first sign of danger. Giraffe are plentiful passing through the woodlands and campgrounds.

There are large clans of Hyena on the plains; they will compete strongly with each other and lions for food. We have seen hyena clan’s busy scent marking their territories and clashing with rival neighbouring clans, often to the death.

Hyena: Photo courtesy of Joelle Delloye.

Hyena: Photo courtesy of Joelle Delloye.

Lions from the Marsh Pride frequent the Musiara Marsh, woodlands and plains close to Governors Camp. They hunt warthog, waterbuck, buffalo and Grant’s Gazelles and there are often cubs within the pride. There have been frequent leopard sightings in the forest between our camps. With the explosion of young antelope on the plains the cheetah have been hunting well.

Lions, Masai Mara. Photo courtesy of Darrell Davison.

Lions, Masai Mara. Photo courtesy of Darrell Davison.

A bit more about Governor’s Camp:

The luxury safari camp is positioned in the forest along the meandering banks of the Mara River, in the Masai Mara National Reserve. Luxury accommodation is in 37 en-suite, privately located tents lining the riverbank.

river-tent

December is a month for appreciating life in all its forms and for taking the time to take it all in… preferably relaxing in the Masai Mara while you do so.

Governor’s Camp Contact:
Web: www.governorscamp.com
Email: info@governorscamp.com
Tel: +254 733 616204

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