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Best conservancy for leopards and other big cats (late May)?

San Francisco...
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Best conservancy for leopards and other big cats (late May)?

Hi,

We will visit the Mara area at the end of May next year ... we are most interested in the big cats, especially leopards. No offense is intended to the other animals, that's just what we want to see! :) Anyway, we are thinking of just staying in one place rather than doing a big "safari tour" that takes you to a different park or whatever every day -- too much time spent in transit, not enough watching game! So, if we will stay in just one place, at that time of year, where do you think would be the best conservancy to stay in to maximize big cat viewing and especially to maximize our likelihood of seeing leopards? Thanks in advance for your advice.

London
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1. Re: Best conservancy for leopards and other big cats (late May)?

Have just posted two reviews before I saw your post.

Leopards are actually in the conservancies in some number s but usually more difficult to see. However, when I go to Porini Lion in Olare Motorogi Conservancy I usually expect to see one each day. There are a number of resident leopards and I have been seeing Fig since she was a cub - she is now most chilled out and is often found in one of her favorite spots on top of a Hammerkops nest. there is also a leopard called Porini who was born below tent 5. Acacia, Figs mother is often seen too and she is not at all shy.

As for lion and cheetah they are in abundance - one of my earlier reviews was entitled "the best place for big cats." Cheetah hunts are common too.

I also often stay at Porini Mara camp in the Olkinyei conservancy and in March this year we saw three leopards. Two on one day! the one we saw in the evening was sitting in the open and my first reaction was that it was a cheetah as we were just not expecting another leopard sighting. My son got some great photographs.

How long are you going for? the two camps are under two hours of game driving from each other. There is also the Adventure Camp in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy. The great thing about Olkinyei is that only Porini can use the conservancy and the cats don't get crowded. You can stay with a pride for hours and just watch them doing their thing.

Olkinyei was the first Conservancy in the area and if you stay ther eyou can also game drive in Naibosho Conservancy. So all in

You should check out the reviews on TA and see their web site www.porini.com -its the Gamewatchers website and I always book with them as they get good deals from most of the camps.

The only issue is the time of year as many of the camps are closed in May - but check it out with Gamewatchers.

Fordingbridge...
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2. Re: Best conservancy for leopards and other big cats (late May)?

For guaranteed time in the company of leopards then the very best place is Londolozi in the Kruger, SA. Maybe you could add it on after your Mara trip as there are direct flights from NBO to JNB.

We stayed there 5 years ago & spent a whole morning following a pair of argumentative adolescent males. Apart from that wonderful experience we also had sightings on 3 other game drives.

Nairobi, Kenya
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3. Re: Best conservancy for leopards and other big cats (late May)?

I've been to Kicheche Bush Camp twice in the Olare Orok and found that the predator sightings were superb

including leopards. There were also plenty of cheetahs and lions to be seen. You'll be very happy either there or Porini Lion Camp.

Nairobi, Kenya
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4. Re: Best conservancy for leopards and other big cats (late May)?

Try Ol Kiombo area in the Mara. We stay at Mara Intrepids and have had great leopard sightings including several kills, leopard mating. The Big Cat Diary was shot in this area. Also stay for 4-7 nights to have better chance f sightings.

Sacramento...
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5. Re: Best conservancy for leopards and other big cats (late May)?

We just returned from Porini Lion camp. We saw over 50 lions during our four days there. We also saw 3 cheetahs, and one leopard (Fig). The area was beautiful, so green and lush this time of year. Great area for big cats!

San Francisco...
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6. Re: Best conservancy for leopards and other big cats (late May)?

Thank you all for your wonderful information -- we truly appreciate it. Porini and Naboisho won’t be open during the time of our travel. Please help us to pick from among Little Governor, Intrepids, Kicheche Bush, Elephant Pepper, and Saruni camps. What we want to see most is the big cats! We care a lot more about that than the luxury of the camp so any hints about the best places for cat-viewing will be awesome!

nyc
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7. Re: Best conservancy for leopards and other big cats (late May)?

Believe Elephant Pepper is still closed thru 1st week of June. The others are opened end May.

Intrepids w/ about 25/tents is in the Reserve; Kicheche Bush w/ 6/tents is on Olare Orok Motogori. Little Governors w/ about 17/tents gets great reviews. Saruni w/ 6/tents is probably the nicest but the farthest north on Mara North conservancy, however really close to the short grasses where we came upon lots of Cheetah and Leopards. Your choice, I guess.

Montreal
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8. Re: Best conservancy for leopards and other big cats (late May)?

Hi

Would your answer be the same for the month of March? We too adore the big cats-especially leopards. Do we increase our odds by staying in one camp or dividing up our time in different areas?

Nairobi, Kenya
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9. Re: Best conservancy for leopards and other big cats (late May)?

Same would be true for March. I personally would stay in one camp, as the guides all communicate with each other. That way your one guide knows what you have seen, what you like, etc., and will make it a more memorable experience. Mara Intrepids has never failed us for big cats - but try and stay at least 4 nights for better chances for Leopard and Cheetah.

Perth, Australia
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10. Re: Best conservancy for leopards and other big cats (late May)?

Would also like to jump in here, my husband and I are thinking of going in late December. What is the likelyhood for the big cats at this time? If sightings are going to be low, we will pick another destination - would love some ideas. Thanks!