Safari Stories

Nightlife at Siana Springs, Maasai Mara

Above: Elephant feeding in the lush swamp in Siana Springs Conservancy
Copyright Rupi Mangat

Published: Saturday Magazine 16 June 2018


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Spirit of the Masai Mara blending into the hills. Copyright Rupi Mangat

Nestled in the craggy hills of Ngama from where the springs that give the wildlife haven its name, Siana, the sound of water and the wind add to the drama of the day. I scan the copper-coloured bare cliffs of the hills where the leopard hides. The view of the Masai Mara from up the hills is unbelievable. Continue reading “Nightlife at Siana Springs, Maasai Mara”


Forest Fragrances

In Ngong Road Forest

Above: Swallowtail at rest wth wings open in Ngong Road Forest. Copyright Rupi MangatIt’s a drop-dead scent.

Stopping in my tracks, I sniff the air and look around, all the time inhaling the fragrance deeper. It’s from the tiny white flowers in bloom on the gorgeous tree in front of me, the Schrebera alata.

The rains have brought a burst of scents, colours and flowers in the forest that is the first time for most of us to enter, a part of the Ngong Road Forest. It’s a chilly Sunday morning. The track ahead is laden with local trees including another show stealer with lilac-pinkish flowers, the Cape chestnut. “The tree has flowered earlier than usual,” comments Fleur Ng’weno the eminent naturalist. Continue reading “Forest Fragrances”

Jade & Silver

A walk with Kenyan artist Camille Wekesa on her current exhibition titled Jade & Silver

Above: Camille Wekesa at her art exhibition Jade & Silver with the Jade Sea (Lake Turkana) and the shades of the petrified forest by the lake.

Published in The East African Nation media 2 June-8 June 2018

Camille is sophistication personified and a walk with her around her current exhibition which was exhibited at Muthaiga Country Club this month (May), showcases two diverse Kenyan landscapes she’s painted using different media. Having studied art in Italy, she’s held several exhibitions around the world.

Continue reading “Jade & Silver”

Tsavo in the Rain

With the vultures watching

White-backed Vultures atop the trees by the side of the red road of Tsavo Copyright Rupi Mangat
White-backed Vultures atop the trees by the side of the red road of Tsavo Copyright Rupi Mangat

The White-backed Vultures atop the trees by the side of the red road of Tsavo give the game away. There has to be something in the sea of grass. We stop. It’s stunning scenery – a low ridge of black lava outcrop, long luscious grass topped with purple heads and one of the conical hills that make the Five Sisters. Continue reading “Tsavo in the Rain”

Chasing Chameleons on Chyulu Hills

Above: Chyulu Hills from Kilaguni Serena Lodge in Tsavo West Copyright Rupi Mangat

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Rediscovered Chyulu Hills Blade-horned Chameleon that hadn’t been seen in nearly 40 years in Chyulu Hills (and considered extinct and found by Spawls in April 2018) Copyright Stephen Spawls

“Look out for chameleons on every tree and bush,” l asked the Kenya Wildlife Service ranger as we drove very carefully through the tall lush grass growing over what is supposed to be the road. Heavy grey clouds sat atop the stately peaks of the Chyulu Hills draped luscious green.

The ranger looked at me incredulously.

Continue reading “Chasing Chameleons on Chyulu Hills”