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Bush Telegraph Newsletter

September 2013

 

 

KENYA'S ELEPHANTS GONE IN TEN YEARS, 



Predicts Dr Leakey from the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

  

His statement was made in Nairobi during August when he shared his chilling prediction that Kenya's elephants could be entirely wiped out by poaching over the next ten years.

  

In a separate report from SKY News, 41 elephants have been killed by cyanide poisoning in Zimbabwe in a single incident. This could also kill hundreds of scavenger animals that feed on the remains. 17 tusks have been recovered valued at USD 120,000.

  

The Uk Daily Mail and Guardian newspapers report the poaching of elephants in Africa has dramatically increased, with an estimated slaughter of 25,000 animals in 2012. The trading in illegal ivory has doubled since 2007. 


 

Governors' Camp Collection News August 2013 

  

 

The migration has been in full swing in the Masai Mara over the last month, there have been dramatic river crossings and thousands of wildebeest covering the plains. With all these animals around the big cats have been busy hunting and guests have been enjoying some spectacular wildlife viewing. In Rwanda manager Nelis took a trek to see the formidable Susa Gorilla family and at Loldia there has been plenty of wildlife viewing both on the ranch and at Lake Nakuru National Park. 


 

 

We hope to welcome you to this magical corner of Africa sometime soon.

Sincerely,


Governors' Camp Collection 

 

 

Masai Mara Game Report August 2013 


Weather and grasslands 


Over the past month we have had cold mornings at around 14C and with hot days at 28C, although the evenings were pleasantly cool. There were a few scattered rain showers with hail on one day. Grasslands are short and dry throughout the Musiara and Bila Shaka plains, the low land depressions of Paradise Plains have a little more grass coverage. The water level in the Mara River was getting low until rain up stream caused it to rise a little. 


 

Photo courtesy of Patrick Reynolds 


 

General game 


 

Large numbers of wildebeest and zebra crossed the Mara River within the first ten days of the month. Between the 4th and the 8th huge numbers were seen crossing at the mortuary crossing point, it is here that many perish trying to climb up a wet and slippery vertical river bank wall. There are lots of crossing points on the river, the main rocky crossing point is also used alot, large crocodiles haunt these points and predate on wildebeest and zebra as they cross. On the 3rd and 4th there were animals crossing nearly all day with a large surge at midday surprisingly only one was taken by crocodile and around 50 animals were trampled, the wildebeest through numbers and pressure for space to climb out found an easier route a little downstream. Later in the month there were a few smaller crossings. 

 



 

Photos courtesy of Maina Wachira 


 

Large numbers of wildebeest and zebra can be seen in the Lookout Hill area and on the Burrangat Plains and Ronkai Plains. On the 21st and 22nd there were good numbers crossing below the Mara Bridge. On the 25th there was a good crossing of an estimated 1,000 animals at 3.30pm with none being taken by crocodile.

 

Some grassland areas above the Ronkai depression and on the Burrangat Plains were burnt in early July and with more rainfall than in the Musiara region the wildebeest and Zebra have been on the move circulating. On the 30th at 11.30am there was a large crossing on the Talek river heading in the direction of the Burrangat plains. At 3.30pm on the Mara river below the Mara bridge a large build up of Wildebeest but none crossed apart from a handful of Zebra who then promptly crossed back.

 

Elephant come and go between Musiara and Transmara, earlier this month many Elephant were being seen in the Transmara perhaps due to pressure from the wildebeest and zebra that had moved into the Musiara area. There are many young calves in these family units. A few large tuskers as in bulls have passed through the Musiara and Marsh with two large bulls being in Musth. On the 12th a large tuckered bull was seen mating near the BBC campsite, there ended up a huge commotion as a large entourage of female Elephant seen rushing around back and forth. We have enjoyed lots of wonderful sightings of elephant crossing the Mara River on the late mornings and early afternoons and at night many elephant have passed through the camps, the Teclea Nobilis trees seem common fodder for Elephant to feed on and knock over. 

 

 


 

Photo courtesy of Raymond Morris 


Large herd of Cape buffalo have been residing in Bila Shaka and the Marsh, the marsh lions have fed of some of them and Hyena have been seen taking two calves. On the 25th they moved away from the Bila Shaka and moved into the Marsh count of nearly 500 animals was seen crossing at the Calvert. A few large solitary bulls become habituated and reside close to the camps; it is not uncommon to see solitary bulls close to human establishments.

 

Topi are well spread out with females showing signs of heavy pregnancies, there could be calves being born very soon. Topi prefer pastures with green grass that's medium in length and with a good leaf structure. The dense populations can be found where grass pastures persist through the dry season, such as plains bordering depressions due to seasonal flooding. With their short muzzle and mobile lips Topi tend to make small bites at a slow bite rate.

 

A handful of Cokes Hartebeest in small herds will be seen scattered across short grass plains. Bila Shaka, Rhino ridge, topi and paradise plains seem good places to see them. They will be calving soon as they are not far behind the topi, Numbers of cokes Hartebeest have dwindled in the last few years, perhaps due to habitat loss and poor rainfall patterns, they have a similar feeding habit to that of the Topi, yet they are not as tolerant as Topi in dry times.

 

Spotted Hyena will be seen in all areas where there are vertebrate ungulates present. The Bila Shaka, Rhino ridge and Paradise plains are good places to see clans with cubs or activity involving larger cats like lion. On the 20th near the Mortuary crossing point one Spotted Hyena was seen eating the remains of another, this may have been aggression linked with a neighbouring clan where members of one clan can if they get the chance is to murder those members of another clan.

 

It has been observed that members of multiple hyena matrilines frequently cooperate to defend their kills and territory against lions or those hyenas from other clans; they often risk serious injury or death of a member. Spotted Hyena fall into the category of gregarious carnivores who engage in a variety of behaviours, such as cooperative hunts of large vertebrate prey, they have prompted many observers to conclude that these gregarious predators must possess a certain degree of intellectual powers.

 

Serval cats have been seen more regularly again with one female near Bila Shaka being much habituated and will even venture close to a vehicle; also guests have photographed it catching its prey. Serval cats are generally quite reserved cats and those that are being seen frequently is a bonus. 


 

Photo courtesy of Ushwin Desouza 


On the 9th in the evening a Wildcat was seen in long grass near the Marsh water way, this is the first sighting of the year although some have been seen before and not recorded.

 

Hippo densities when water levels are low have caused many pods to closely converge which cause the males to be aggressive towards one another. They still will be seen feeding late in the morning and starting out early in the evenings. 


 

Photo courtesy of Bernard Kashu 


Eland can be seen on Paradise plains Bila Shaka and Topi plains. Earlier on in the month there was a large breeding herd on the East side of the Musiara Marsh. A few large Bulls have been seen near Paradise and Topi plains.

 

Within the woodlands and open grassland verges Impala in large breeding herds with many of the ewes who have new fawns have been gathering. Leopard, black backed Jackal and male olive baboons will prey on these fawns. The males form bachelor groups and the young rams are kept from breeding until they are old enough by the older rams. The males have long lyre-shaped horns, during the rut the rams are very vocal and will snort and roar, the impala ram is the only ungulate that is able to vocalize his status by a roar. Ewes when excited will run about and kick their hind legs up almost to a vertical position and this is known as 'empty kicking'. Olive baboons like the same habitats. With troop sizes in excess of 50 individuals, there have also been many infants born recently. The male baboons are larger than the females and only stay in the troop until they get pushed out by younger males. After a six months gestation, the mother will give birth to a single infant (rarely twins) and will care and nurture her young one with great tenderness. The mother and new arrival are the focus of the troop; infants are born with a bright pink face and black fur. They cling to the mothers belly for easy access to milk and protection against the elements. By the age of two moths the infant learns to ride 'jockey style' a fantastic way to get around and see the world, it is at this stage they start trying different food stuffs such as grasses and flowers. They are weaned at about a year old.

 

Grants and Thompson's Gazelles remain mostly on the shorter grass plains, the Musiara Marsh still holds a good numbers of Grants Gazelles with many of them close to the marsh grasslands and there are a few Thompson Gazelles as well, although some of the males appear to be suffering from mange. On the open short grass plains many Thomson Gazelles have given birth to fawns; females can have up to two fawns a year with a gestation of only 5 months and will conceive again 2 - 3 weeks after giving birth.

 

Thomson's gazelles are often found in areas where livestock graze and open grasslands after many animals have left, feeding on the short grasses exposed by cattle. Here, they are an easy target for Cheetah and black backed Jackals particularly with young fawns. Black backed Jackals and Cheeath have been feeding off these new born fawns quite frequently.

 

Bohors Reedbucks are being seen more often with habitat loss they tend to compromise on the shorter grass plains areas.

 

We have had some good sightings of Black Rhino. Giraffe are plentiful near Paradise Plains, the Musiara Marsh and woodland areas of the river. Male Giraffe are seen wandering between herds with some males coat pasterns being dark as Cadbury's chocolate. 


 

Photo courtesy of Nina Sunden 


Warthogs piglets have arrived and there many sows with young piglets. The typical gestation period is five  - six months. When they are about to give birth, sows temporarily leave their families to farrow in a separate hole. The litter is 2-8 piglets, with 3-5 being a very typical number in the Mara ecosystem. The sow will stay in the hole for several weeks, nursing her piglets. Warthog sows have been observed to nurse foster piglets if they lose their own litter. This behaviour, known as Allosucking, makes them cooperative breeders. Warthog piglets are very susceptible to sudden changes in temperature and this is a main cause of piglet deaths, they have no subcutaneous fat and little epidermal hair often rapid changes in temperature can be fatal, predation from large savannah eagles, jackals, lion, leopard and cheetah, it is a harsh world out on the open plains when they are out foraging.

 

A large African Rock Python was seen in the evening of the 26th near Bila Shaka, it is the same one and very close to the area that was seen two years ago eating a male Thompson Gazelle.

 

Lion

 

Marsh pride - the four Musketeers, Siena, Charm and Bibi with their 10 cubs of varying age groups are being seen between Bila Shaka the airstrip and the Musiara Marsh. One of the cubs is 9 months old, three cubs are now eleven months old and the other six cubs are 15 months old although one of them is a little younger which was abandoned by Bibi. They have all been feeding off zebra, warthog and buffalo. They killed a buffalo near Bila Shaka on the 18th and another on the 25th; the grassland plains are relatively quiet since the zebra and wildebeest moved over to the Transmara.

 

Lioness Jicho at the end of last month had three cubs, one cub was killed by a martial eagle on the 1st of August and later on it was scavenged by a Bateleur eagle. On the 21st below the Marsh causeway she was seen eating a warthog she had killed the evening before and then she was joined by Siena and Bibi, there was a scuffle with Siena and in the ensuing chaos Siena killed and partially eating one of Jicho's cubs, they then chased Jicho up the side of Rhino ridge. Jicho finally left with the one remaining cub and headed towards the marsh. And on the 31st Jicho had another encounter with Siena, in the early morning near the river bed called Silanga, Siena had killed the last remaining cub, guides that morning saw Jicho returning to look for the dead cub and caught up with Siena who promptly and aggressively was seen chasing Jicho. This is strange behaviour considering Jicho is related to Siena. Sad news as we have been following these little ones since they first appeared from the Marsh and Jicho has tried to be a good mother but Siena has rejected both her and her cubs from the pride. She was last seen near the north end of the Musiara Marsh once again being chased away by Siena. We will continue to follow their story and keep you updated. The other two breakaways Lippy and Kini were being seen east of the marsh and as far as the eastside of Bila Shaka they have also been latterly feeding off warthog and Topi


 

Photo courtesy of Kim Lippert 


Modomo and the other three breakaways spend much of their time near Rhino Ridge and Topi Plains; here they have fed off many topi and wildebeest. There are three cubs that are 7 months old and two that are 15 months old. They have been seen near the gardenia tree on some occasions this month.

 

The Paradise pride; four females and two cubs at a little over two months old, two cubs that are 7 months old and two that are over a year old, all have been residing near the croton hill at Paradise. They have been feeding off wildebeest, warthog and zebra. The younger cubs are doing very well and have been accepted well into the other pride members and older cubs. Mid month the lions from the Paradise Pride came across a porcupine out on the plains after toying with the little fellow for a while and not really knowing what to do with him the porcupine made a lucky break and slipped away unharmed. 


 

Photo courtesy of Julius Kisasi 


The morning of the 25th one of the lionesses looked quite badly scratched up and guides thought there has been a skirmish between the lionesses a new male? It was noticed on the 26th evening that three of the Marsh pride Males were seen heading in the direction of Paradise and perhaps to those lionesses. In the late afternoon of the 28th one of the paradise lionesses killed a warthog near the Warburgia thicket at paradise; it was though she was looking for her cubs and then came across a warthog boar that was foraging, she took the opportunity and brought down the warthog, these suids are quite vulnerable when foraging while in kneeling.

 

Leopard

 

Romi and her 10 month old male cub are being seen frequently in the woodlands near the BBC camp and also the wooded areas near the Marsh. Romi and her male cub have been seen on the grounds of IL Moran Camp with one of the Dik Dik being taken on the 12th August. They have both fed off the many Bushbucks that are in the woodlands.

 

In the evening of the 25th Romi and her male cub were seen in the woodlands near the BBC thicket, they had killed a male impala and had first eaten it on the ground and then taken it up into a Warburgia tree. On the 29th late in the afternoon they had killed another impala and this was taken high into the trees. 


 

Photo courtesy of Rob and Michelle Dolton 


The female leopard with two 3 month old cubs has been seen near the Serena pump house area and also near the Kifuko ya Nyoka crossing; they have also been feeding off Thompson Gazelles and impala fawns. Leopard cubs are similar to that of the larger cats like lion in that cubs will start to eat meat when they are approximately two months old. This female and her two cubs have been seen often.

 

At the mortuary crossing point there is still the large male; this leopard is often seen in the croton thickets particularly where the wildebeest come down to cross the river. He covers a home range that includes the Warburgia thicket some 3 kms away, he was seen her on the 19th high up a Warburgia tree.

 

Cheetah

 

Two males are being seen near Bila Shaka / Rhino ridge. They were both seen near Bila Shaka on the 28th and were hunting Thompson Gazelle. Malaika who is near the Lookout hill area we have heard has split up with her male cub, at 16 months old it is a little early perhaps.

 

There is the solitary female often seen near Topi plains and also near the conservation areas that are adjacent to the reserve. She is very active with Thompson Gazelles and their fawns, she was seen with a fawn in her mouth on the 24th, and this is an extraordinary way of killing its prey. Her one male cub left her a few months ago. 


 

Photo courtesy of Raymond Morris 


The female with two cubs (a male and female) who are over one year old are being seen in the conservation areas on the Olare Orok and Ntiaktiak River. They have been seen as far as the double crossing and also on Topi plains. Early on the month they were near the croton thicket under Emarti and were with a Thompson Gazelle they had recently killed, recent game drives into the conservancies have been seeing them, the last sighting was on the 27th at 10.00am.

 

Walking in the Mara North Conservancy.

 

Cool mornings with an easterly breeze to start the day crowned by some stunning red and orange sunrises.

 

Early in the month there were good numbers of Wildebeest and Zebra throughout the MNC, on the 18th many of them had moved out and down towards the reserve and crossed the Mara River, by the 21st there were a few scattered herds of zebra and some solitary bull wildebeest holding onto territorial grounds, they appear to look vacantly and standing as if waiting for the bus that would never come. 


 

Photo courtesy of Patrick Reynolds 


Many Thompson and Grants Gazelles are on the short grass plains; recently there have been many Thompson fawns of which many will fall prey to Black back Jackal, Cheetah and Martial eagles.

 

On the open plains above there are good numbers of Impala within the Acacia woodlands, either in breeding herds with young fawns in crèches of mixed age groups and or male Bachelor herds on the periphery of these breeding herds.

 

Elephant have been moving though in to the MNC later in the day and this is perhaps due to pressure from wildebeest and zebra. Large bulls have been resident within the Acacia Gerrardii woodlands a few trees have been fed upon or knocked down; this is no harm in some respects in that it allows for more grass to come through. Acacias Gerrardii is named after William T. Gerrard, who was an English traveller and naturalist. This acacia provides tannins and sucrose which the Elephant like, when they have been feeding heavily on these trees there is a distinct smell given from the stripped bark. 


 

Photo courtesy of Raymond Morris 


Giraffe are seen moving from one feeding ground to another, one particular herd has 32 animals; they like the acacia species and the males also feed on stronger smelling leaves like the Warburgia and Croton Dichogamus which has a leaf with a strong aromatic smell when crushed. In these mixed breeding herds many of the calves of varying age groups remain in a crèche while the mothers move about sometimes some distance away to feed.

 

Eland also browse on the fruit of the croton. Small herds of eland are on the northern grassland plains and also a small herd towards the Mara River.

 

Olive baboons, black faced vervet monkeys and impala are resident in the Acacia woodlands and on the grass verges of the Olare Orok River. There is a small herd of breeding Buffalo who move from the Mara river to the southern grassland plains, there is still good coarse grass in the alluvial fans that run into river beds when rainfall is heavy and this is good Buffalo habitat, there are a few solitary bulls about between the salt lick and the rocky croton hill.

 

The lioness that has three young cubs are now approximately 3 months old. They are being seen in the croton gorge that runs down from the salt lick. There are up to 13 lion that can be seen with three females and 6 cubs of varying age groups. On the 19th at 8.00am; two lionesses were seen walking briskly across the eastern plains on the edge of the acacia woodlands on seeing us they disappeared quickly into the croton thicket near the salt lick.

 

Spotted Hyenas are in large numbers across the open plains, they still are feeding off the few wildebeest and zebra that are still here. Some of these clans are in large numbers; the top plains the clan numbers are in excess of 30 individuals. There is an Aardwolf den site near the rocky ridge on the other side of the Olare Orok River. On the 2nd we saw a male and female Aardwolf bolting out of an old aardvark burrow.

 

- Patrick Reynolds Il Moran Camp Manager and Governors Camp Collection Walking Guide.

 

 

A trek to see the Susa Gorilla Family

 

Around 09:10am and at 8240ft above sea level we started our ascent to the 38 strong Susa family. The trek to this family is considered to be the hardest and longest of all the families viewed by tourists. Two sets of twins, many small babies and juveniles, 9 adult females and 3 Silverbacks makes this a very sort after family. One hour and twenty minutes later after a 1200ft steep ascent, we reached the park boundary. After a short briefing from our guide, Vincent, we entered the park in search of this amazing family. At around 10000ft we came across the armed trekkers who spend all daylight hours guarding this family. 


 

Everyone checked their cameras and had a quick snack and a sip of water before we made the final few 100ft to the Gorillas. What a sight!!! Babies everywhere, with moms and Silverbacks keeping a close eye on the little ones as they, very much like human babies, have the ability to find trouble and risk injury in the safest places. They were hanging of thin vines, performing acrobatic manoeuvres on the smallest branches and overlooking a steep drop into the ravine below. Every mother's worst nightmare!!! The younger of the two sets of twins, were staying close to their mother's side and looking very healthy. I was very privileged to photograph the 2 week old newcomer when it climbed over it's mother's back to get a better look at its human spectators. From our right came one of the smaller babies standing upright on its mum's back, as she moved through the undergrowth. A real little showman! This little guy had us all in hysterics.

 

Some of the Silverbacks showed scars from a recent altercation with the Pablo Family. The Pablo family is the biggest family in the Volcanoes NP and probably in the whole of the Virungas. There are 48 members in this family and is one of the 9 research families found here in Rwanda. 


As every other time, the voice from the head guide announces "5 minutes left, please take your last photos". Hate hearing that but fully understand the importance of not overstaying our time with the Gorillas. We started our descent back to the vehicles. On arrival, each trekker was presented with a certificate with their name and the name of the Gorilla family visited!

 

A perfect morning spent up in the Volcanoes NP amongst these magnificent creatures! I do remember thinking when sitting amongst the Gorillas, that life just does not get any better than this!!!

 

Photos and text by 

Nelis Wolmarans Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge Manager 

  

 

News from Loldia House

 

August has been rather cold with a strong wind blowing off the lake, the wind brings the water hyacinth and then takes it away again. We have been entertaining guests from as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

 

We have been enjoying some good wildlife viewing on the ranch. There was an interesting scenario between two buffalo and a hippo - one buffalo kept walking towards the hippo who was not going to give way. In the end the hippo did give way as the buffalo charged at him - the hippo took off into the lake causing a huge wave! 


 

Photo courtesy of Justin Grammaticas 


Guests at Loldia have been having great sightings in Lake Nakuru Park:-

 

6 lions decided to climb a fallen tree and were lying in the shade keeping cool - good sighting for Nakuru, they also saw 4 black rhino and 5 white rhino on the same trip.

 

Guests seem always to see rhino in Nakuru Kenya Wildlife Services have just done a rhino re-location moving rhinos out of the park to control numbers. Flamingos are few on Lake Nakuru sadly, but that is due to the lake being so full of water. A family saw a 13 White Rhino all together on one trip. Another group of guests were incredibly lucky in that they saw a female leopard with two cubs in Nakuru. Loldia House has also had two sightings of a Leopard one during dinner.

 

Lake Ol Odian [small lake] is proving to be wonderful as thousands of greater flamingos have moved there as the food supply is much better than Nakuru now. 


 

Photo courtesy of Justin Grammaticas 


There are a couple of large pods of Hippo with youngsters and of course many verities of water birds. This lake is a real gem as it is not far from Loldia and is such good value in what there is to be seen, and is more sheltered than Lake Naivasha.

 

Loldia garden is of course still amazing for the number of different birds. There was an official bird count for the whole of Lake Naivasha - we have not had the official figures yet but the people who were counting were impressed with the number in Loldia's garden. 


 

Photo courtesy of Justin Grammaticas 


Loldia has had a little rain which has helped with the grazing for the animals on the back plains and of course the garden.

 

Heather Wallington, Loldia House Manager. 

 


 

News from The Hemingways Collection

 

2013 is speeding by at an alarming rate! It's been a fantastic year for The Hemingways Collection - Hemingways Nairobi opened in April 2013 and are receiving some very flattering reviews (particularly about the food, thanks to the amazing chef, Barry Tonks);
Ol Seki Hemingways Mara camp is enjoying some incredible game sightings as the Naboisho Conservancy goes from strength to strength; and Hemingways Watamu is boasting almost daily sightings of the Humpback Whales. 


Hemingways Nairobi - eat, relax and enjoy! 

 

Hemingways Nairobi strives to be so much more than just a hotel - it is a first class experience in the calm oasis of the beautiful suburb of Karen. The care and attention to detail is of primary importance and as mentioned above, food is a key part of the Hemingways experience.

 

Take for example the delicious steaks served in the Brassiere Restaurant. All their Beef is now 'Premium' Morendat crossbred Black Angus Beef, they are a cross breed of 3 steers 50% Angus, 25% Boran and 25% Simmental "making the quality of Beef the best you will find in Kenya" 180 days fed on corn exclusively for Hemingways dry aged for 21 days and hand cut in house every day in the 'Old Butcher Style'. Have we whetted your appetite?!

 

Hemingways Nairobi's bar, aptly called 'The Bar', is now open! The Bar has a great selection of beverages to choose from ranging from local and international beers to the wine cellar with over 50 bins from across the globe, a great selection of over 80 spirits including very fine Cognacs, a beautiful selection of Single Malt Whiskies and even a boutique Rum. In addition there is a cocktail list of 25 cocktails featuring classic cocktails such as Ernest Hemingways' favourite the Daiquiri aka Papa Doble to contemporaries such as the Mango Chilli Mojito and of course the ever popular Champagne Cocktails. The décor is intimate yet upmarket with a feel of the private gent's club; a host of leather Chesterfield sofas on fine Italian marble in front of the fireplace all under the eye of the master barmen tending to your needs at the mirrored backdrop bar. As if that wasn't enough one can sit back and relax on the bar terrace and take in the views of the Ngong Hills. 


 

We are also delighted to announce that the Spa is now fully open. The Spa at Hemingways Nairobi offers a collection of unique treatments designed to de-stress and revitalise both the mind and body. The Spa invites you to discover the Anne Semonin made-to-measure facial and body treatment collection created for clientele seeking efficiency and absolute high quality service. The Hemingways Spa is the perfect way to begin or end the perfect holiday! 


 

Good fishing continues with big tuna arrivals

 

Written by David Slater "Honeylulu"

 

With reports of big yellowfin tuna being seen and caught from different areas, at Shimoni, the North Kenya Banks and the Watamu banks, it looks as if a good run of these exciting fish is about to materialize. Several years ago, with huge shoals of mantis shrimps around, these big tuna virtually took over the fishing scene, with monsters of over 100 kgs being caught and boats catching up to a thousand kgs a trip, but when the shrimps disappeared after a few years, so did the big tuna.

 

Neptune from Malindi Kingfisher boats has had several days out on the North Kenya Banks, and together with Eclare had trips with both a good black marlin each and several tuna up to 30 kgs, while the former boat has now just returned from a trip with a huge black marlin of 331 kgs as well as twelve big tuna and a silvertip shark, weighing the marlin as it died on the line during the fight. A fantastic catch early in the season!

 

From Shimoni, Simon Hemphill reports that the boats have seen big shoals of large yellowfin, with both Kamara II and Broadbill boating a fish nearly 30kgs -these fish are hard to catch, but on the right day with rain showers they turn on and take the baits, and this fishing should improve in September, peaking normally in October in former years, although they have been absent in recent years.

 

Excitingly, these tuna are usually accompanied by some big marlin, particularly blues, so we look forward to news in the next few weeks of some of these explosive battlers.

 

The biggest tuna so far was a monster of 66 kgs caught on Alleycat on the Watamu Mountains, with one almost as big at 64.5 kgs on Ol Jogi in the same area, and the former boat has also had two good days on the Banks with a black marlin each day, one of about 80kgs and one of 140 kgs, with a sailfish on the first day and two sail, eight yellowfin, a kingfish and a wahoo as well as the bigger marlin for an amazing day, and only a few miles out from harbour! The same area yielded two small black marlin one day for Unreel, while 11 year old Josh Cornelius released a sailfish and Tarka had a black marlin and a bull shark of 140kgs so plenty of action here.