In this issue we once again invite you to share the updates from our safari lodges, each of which represents the combination of the very best of what is on offer at these destinations. Marasa Africa is one of the largest providers of high quality, comfortable and charming lodges in East Africa.Please enjoy the newsletter and do let us have your feedback.
Best Photo This Quarter
Michiel Reinecke, General Manager – Mara Leisure Camp
August 10th is World Lion Day, an apt time to share this uplifting story of two lion brothers from Murchison Falls National Park, Clarence and Bernie.
Clarence and Bernie were a dominant coalition in Murchison’s Falls National Park, when in 2011 Clarence got caught in a snare and lost his hind left leg. However Bernie took on the leadership mantle from his previously-dominant brother and showed incredible compassion, protecting him from rivals. Meanwhile the female lions in the pride adjusted to the new dynamic and hunted for the three-legged brother.
Sadly in 2013 Bernie was caught in another snare and eventually died from suffocation. Once again, Clarence’s chances looked very poor without the protection of his brother.However, Clarence was recently spotted by our guides, still at the head of the pride feeding on a buffalo kill, and even mating with lionesses in the pride.
This story is both extra-ordinarily uplifting but even more so depressing because both brothers were victims (as are many other lions and other animals every year) of snares in a supposedly protected area.
For more on the story also read the blog from last year as part of world lion day here.
Honouring Staff Honesty
In June, Paraa Safari Lodge security guard Odida Jack Ochan received a bicycle as a token of appreciation from the Director of Operations for Marasa Africa, Mr Anil Ghei, as a reward for his honesty. He’d found $26,000 in a lost bag belonging to guests at the Explorer’s Bar lounge at 2am one night. He went ahead to hand it over to Mr Kezysztof Cichowski, team leader of the group.
Hippos are part of the Chobe Safari Lodge family – it is common to see hippos grazing by our swimming pool! There are some incredible and interesting facts about the hippopotamus. It is the third largest living land mammal, after elephants and rhinos. Its hide alone can weigh up to half a ton, and it’s meat was considered to improve human female fertility in ancient Egypt.
A great way to see hippos, other wildlife, flora an fauna at Chobe Safari Lodge is to go on a nature walk.
Chobe welcomes George Ochiel as it’s new General Manager. George is a self motivated, highly experienced senior professional in the hospitality industry. He possesses an impressive track record with over 29 years in the hospitality industry, 16 of these being as acting General Manager in various organisations. He has worked with The Tamarind Group at the Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi, and Welcome Inn Hotels at Diani Sea Resort in Mombasa. Marasa Africa is proud to have George on board and we are positive that he will add value to continue to improve standards and experiences for our discerning guests.
The situation with predators in Uganda typifies many of the issues facing predators in other parts of Africa. Growing human populations in enclave villages within the national parks, and many others just outside park boundaries, cause a great deal of pressure on the human and wildlife population, resulting in both human-wildlife conflict and sustainable development challenges.
The Uganda Carnivore Program is dedicated to the monitoring, research and conservation of predators in Uganda. Their current focus is primarily in the northern sector of Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park. They are working hard to find solutions for both the wildlife and the people of this area, and Mweya Safari Lodge is committed to helping this unique conservation program succeed.
To download a one-page information overview on the Uganda Carnivore Program, please click here. To read the "Updates from the Field" blog and learn about their current activities, please click here.
Bush Dinner Proving Popular
Mweya Safari Lodge’s bush dinners still remain a firm favorite as an activity that adds tremendous value to your visit. Be sure to make this part of your itinerary when making your booking. This awesome experience includes sundowner cocktails, Bush BBQ Dinner, minimum of 4 people per booking. For more information please visit our website.
Goodbye to a dear friend – Mukisa
Mweya Safari Lodge’s rescued Marshall Eagle, aptly named “Mukisa” – meaning lucky one, pictured above, was rescued some 4 months ago after being hit by a vehicle on the Kasese Road. After days and days of treatment and hours of care, we said a sad goodbye to our beloved “Mukisa”, as shortly before 6am he was caught by a Leopard where he was sleeping. We hope he rests in peace and thank our team who, with determination and patience, helped with his rehabilitation.
Brand new mountain bikes, purchased by The Aberdare Country Club, now allow our guests to enjoy exploring the trails and paths in and around the Club’s vast private gardens and The Sanctuary. Get close to the wildlife and get some rewarding exercise at the same time! What a great way to get fit – cycling close to giraffe, warthogs, zebra, gazelles and a plethora of other wildlife.
Marasa Africa is proud to be associated with Pack for a Purpose, a scheme we tied hands with some years ago in Uganda, and which we have now brought to our Kenyan properties. Guests give children, at a chosen local school near each lodge, educational items they can benefit from by bringing these items with them from abroad. A recent guest at The Ark, Benita Malhotra (Florida State College professor), brought supplies and books for Ikumari Primary School.
Certificate of Excellence 2014
The Ark is ever so pleased to announce another recognition for 2014. This prestigious award recognises businesses that consistently earn top ratings from Trip Advisor travellers’ reports. A big thank you to all our clients, supporters and fans! Come stay with us!
Photographic Safaris Like No Other
Premier Safaris, known for providing some of the most intimate Safari experiences on earth, recently launched its first Uganda specific photographic safari to give participants a unique glimpse into the “Pearl of Africa” ensuring not only an informative Safari but also extended gorilla and Chimp tracking experiences to focus on the primates that Uganda is known for.
This unique access provides enhanced photographic possibilities for photographers to enable them to capture the primate diversity as well as the behaviour and interactions of the wildlife in Uganda. Premier Safaris will meet you on arrival at the airport, and assist through customs to ensure your trip to the microcosm of Africa is a smooth one. Join the set departure in June or let us arrange a tailored version that suits your photographic needs.
Albie Venter, a recent client, did a write up with some extraordinary photos.To view these, do have a look here
Premier Safaris Guides – We Owe Them Everything
Premier Safaris would not have the reputation it has if it wasn’t for it’s key asset – its guides. Recently we had the following feedback from one of our groups, the Steeb family:
These are late in coming, but we wanted to say how much we enjoyed our safari to Murchison with Robert. He was an excellent, knowledgeable, and kind guide who ensured everything was taken care of (including doing his best to arrange a successful lion sighting!). Even the flat tires added to the adventure and we appreciated his professionalism and ability to handle this.
If you could please pass on the attached photos we would be grateful! I will recommend Premier Safaris and Robert to anyone who is interested in an adventure in Uganda.
Wesley for the Steeb Family”
The Steeb family while on their adventure with Premier Safaris guide, Robert Bulega
Certificate of Appreciation Uganda Safari Guides Association
Marasa Africa was recently presented with a certificate of appreciation by the Uganda Safari Guides Association (USAGA). We are honored to provide support to the guides within Uganda and hope to maintain and grow our support of the hardworking efforts from guides in the industry. We also thank rangers all around Africa and Uganda that keep our wildlife, and tourists safe in the field.
And that’s it for this issue, we look forward to hosting you, your friends and loved ones at our wonderful and spectacular properties in some of the most stunning destinations on the continent. Please do reach out to us if you have feedback regarding the newsletter
ATCNews : Prof. Dr. Wolfgang H. Thome is the publisher of ATCNews, Eastern Africa’s leading aviation, tourism and conservation news blog of its kind. Wolfgang has over 45 years of experience in the tourism, aviation and conservation fields in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, covering all aspects of safari operations, hotel operations and air operations. Since 1992 he resides in Uganda, previously living for 17 years in Kenya.