In June we did a one-week inspection of Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve lodges and camps. At 55,000 km sq, Selous is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Africa by far, and with lakes and ecosystems created by the mighty Rufiji River flowing through the it, has some wonderful birding as well as huge elephant and hippo populations, buffalos, lions, leopards, crocs, a variety of plains game, and some scarce rhinos. Thanks to the river and lakes, all the lodges offer boat based game-viewing in the afternoon, and walking safaris are also easy to arrange.
I've just finished editing my wildlife images from our June site inspection tour of the conservancies of Lewa, and Ol Pejeta in central Kenya, and Mara North, Naibosho, and Olare-Motorogi conservancies bordering the Masai Mara National Reserve.
Erroneously, some potential visitors look down on the conservancies bordering the Mara National Reserve, the state-run reserve, and think them an inferior safari destination. The conservancies are in fact the prime locations for wildlife viewing as they only have a limited number of lodges or camps on them, only half-a-dozen each, compared to over a hundred and thirty for the National Reserve, ensuring a much lower number of tourists and vehicles. There are no white minibuses here, and these reserves are the choice venues for film-makers and professional wildlife photographers.
Not only is the wildlife viewing superb, but the conservancies work closely with the communities whose land they lease, and provide incomes for many local families, as well as allowing grazing in times of need. The conservancies and camps have trusts that build schools, clinics, and develop grassroots projects that empower women and youths.
Ever dreamt of diving dramatic walls or coral gardens without another dive operation around? If you are going to Africa, Pemba could be the place for you.
A few shots from the varied diving in Chole Bay, from a macro muck dive to the big fish experience of Kinasi Pass and the numerous coral gardens,, there is something for everyone. In season the shallow wall outside the bay is fun too, and the west coast has seasonal Whale shark snorkelling. .
Photographer, conservationist, dive and field guide, teller of bad jokes.