Simba mingi in the OOC

Monday, July 19, 2010

Posted by Sara Blackburn at 11:23 AM

This month I’ve been generously offered a base at Mara Plains camp in the Olare Orok Conservancy for a fortnight. Bordering both the Mara North Conservancy and the Masai Mara National Reserve, the OOC is a beautiful area full of long grass, twisting luggas and rolling hills m, and is full of lions. It’s a hugely important region for conservation – lions and other large carnivores don’t adhere to political boundaries, and there is a constant movement of predators across the conservancies.

There are three camps in the Olare Orok Conservancy – Mara Plains, Porini Lion Camp, and Kicheche Bush. I’m hoping to get all three camps involved in lion monitoring – it’s an exciting time for the project and myself, and there’s certainly no shortage of simbas!

OOC1There’s plenty of cubs in the OOC – a good sign that this population is thriving 

Shivani Bhalla, from the Ewaso Lion Project, has already been to Porini Camp to engage the guides in lion monitoring. Together with the guides she managed to identify some 50 individuals in the conservancy, which covers approximately 23,000 acres. Shivani does fantastic work in Samburu, working hard to save lions throughout the region. Please check out her work at

OOC2An OOC lioness watches the wildebeest flood in 

It’s going to be an interesting and action packed few weeks – it’s common knowledge that the two main prides – the Motorogi Pride and the Engoyonai Pride – are at war. It will be very interesting to find out just how many of the previously identified individuals remain in the area, and which pride comes out as the top cats. With the migration well under way and gazillions of gnu pouring in, there’s already plenty of activity on the plains.

A big thank you goes to the Richard and the staff at Mara Plains for the opportunity to work within the OOC. Watch this space for some new lion faces and exciting stories!