Last updated on October 7th, 2020 at 11:36 am
Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy (The only bear in Africa)
Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy where you find the only bear in Africa is a salient spot on Kenyan Map, it has been in my bucket list for a long time. I have been anticipating this untapped gem and yes, the day came.
Located 225Kms (140Miles). It is supposed to be a 4hrs and 30Mins Drive but because of the roads, it is a 6hour drive.
So that morning I had to wake up at 4:00 Am. We were to meet at Nairobi CBD at 5:00 Am. The thrill that came with the pondering tomorrow am going to see the only living bear in Africa, up-close and personal made me an insomniac.
Well, by 4:00 AM certainly I was up, took a cold shower like Amerix advises, dressed up and by 4:30 AM I was on the road to meet my travel buddies. Though you can do it solo, there is something about doing these trips with friends.
Sometimes it is not about where you are travelling to but who you are travelling with, however with Oljogi Wildlife Conservancy. I can do it Solo any day, that place is not only incredible but also charming. By 10:00 Am we were already at the gate ready to explore Oljogi. We started with:
The only bear in Africa (potap) Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy.
He’s locally known as Potap (Russian for bear) the only living bear in Africa. He’s a magnet at the Ol-Jogi Game Reserve in Laikipia in Kenya’s Rift Valley. It will be the first time to see a bear. I was envisaging to see Potab. The first time I laid my eyes on him I was glitching in disbelieve. I was discerned after he made a loud growl a sign of saying hi to us.
Our guide Mr Daniel started to narrate how Potab came to Kenya and how he survives given Kenya`s climate. “Potap was brought to Oljogi wildlife Conservancy when he was only four months. He`s now 16years old weighing 490Kgs” said the guide. He continued to tell us more, he said potab was donated from Moscow. Visitors like us got a chance to interact with the grizzly bear with the Majestic strolls, growling to us.
Bears have a lifespan of between 30 to 35 years, Potab being 17 years now, we will still have him around probably for another decade. I will be back soon. The guide continued, “To ensure he attains his full life expectancy.
Potab on daily occasion feasts on food fit for a king. For breakfast, his menu ranges from 10 loaves of bread with three litres of milk, to oat porridge, assorted cheese and honey” quipped the guide.
“His supper includes fish, beef, rice, 10 boiled eggs and sweet potatoes. Fruits include watermelons, tree tomatoes and avocados” Said the Guide. As now we were given time to take numerous pictures.
The guide led us to another Special, Cheetah known as Tsavo, the name came from Tsavo national park as she was adopted from there when she was only four months. Cheetah is the fastest animal on earth, clocking 93 km/h (Maximum, In Short Bursts, Running) I was going to pose with her.
An open cheetah pen. Imagine the most unimaginable dreamscape where you and your friends can live out your experience. Most unique and memorable safari in Africa. Offering the ultimate exclusive safari experience, Ol Jogi has a prime position in Kenya’s beautiful Laikipia region.
The guide didn’t say much apart from facts about the cheetah, certainly, we posed with her and moved to;
The guide Daniel continued, “We are extremely privileged to have so many wild dogs visit the conservancy recently. Sadly, these remarkable animals are endangered, with fewer than 700 packs worldwide and 70 of those in Kenya”, I asked him a question, “Aren’t they social and how do they hunt?”
He answered, “African wild dogs are highly social, living in packs it is the female who first scatters once mature. Typically, they hunt by approaching prey silently before chasing it in pursuit at up to 66kmh”.
He quipped. He told us, African wild dogs are classed as endangered by the IUCN, as they have disappeared from much of their original range. The most up to date global estimates from the IUCN Red List is just under 7,000 wild adults in probably fewer than 700 packs worldwide.
The Laikipia and Samburu county wild dog populations in Kenya are the largest known within the country but this may be because they are the best studied. Laikipia is estimated to be home to approximately 17 packs.
Being in the middle of Laikipia County, Ol Jogi is critical to the region’s wild dog population. The numbers of packs using it vary as the territories shift around, which they do at regular intervals. Despite relatively intensive research and monitoring of the Laikipia wild dog populations by the Kenya Rangelands Wild Dog and Cheetah Project not all of the Ol Jogi packs include collared individuals.
The last data available indicates 21 adults in 3 packs regularly using Ol Jogi and two more packs comprising another 20 adults pass through the property intermittently. A friend asked, are they about to be extinct? Daniel Said, “Despite habitat fragmentation, human-wildlife conflict and all of the other challenges that wild dogs face.
They seem to be making a remarkable recovery from their near-extinct status in the previous century. We are delighted to see wild dogs with consistent frequency at Ol Jogi and we continue to retain a key interest in the pack dynamics that occur over the years”.
The Lion, Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy.
Now we were focused on this male lion with the black mane weighing up to 150 – 225Kgs from the look and a shoulder height of around 1.2 meters.
Just a little knowledge about lions, when it comes to claws, lions have four on their back feet, but five on the front where the dewclaw is found.
The dewclaw does not show in their spoor (footprint) and acts like a thumb that is used to hold down prey. As of today (2020) this lion is 12years old. Lifespan: In the wild, the lifespan of lions is approximately 15 years, however in captivity, it can be as long as 30 years.
Talking birds are birds that can mimic the speech of humans. There is debate within the scientific community over whether some talking parrots also have some cognitive understanding of the language.
In Ol Jogi Conservancy wildlife we have a white Mimic Parrot known as Pauline, shes adorable just like her name. She loved everybody, talked to everybody, she seemed so happy, certainly, she enjoyed our company.
This was another anticipation, meeting Bupa the Elephant and family, we met Francis, his best friend, he has spent the last 25 years caring for Bupa, spending nearly every day together and their magic bond is certainly undeniable.
African elephants are highly intelligent and have a very high convoluted neocortex, a trait only the humans, apes and dolphins have.
This allows them to display a variety of behaviours such as grief, compassion, playfulness and learning. Though unlike humans Elephants can have babies until they’re 50 years old.
The lifespan for elephants is between 50 – 70 years but the oldest Elephant to have ever lived (1917-2003) he was named Lin Wang, who died in a Taiwanese zoo at the ripe old age of 86. The interaction with Bupa was sentimental, they say Elephants never forgets perhaps Bupa will never forget me.
Juvenile Greater Kudu, Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy.
Their numbers are affected by humans hunting them for their meat, hides, and horns. Their horns have long been prized in Africa for use as musical instruments, honey containers, and symbolic ritual objects.
The greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros) is a woodland antelope found throughout eastern and southern Africa. Despite occupying such widespread territory, they are sparsely populated in most areas due to declining habitat, deforestation, and poaching. The greater kudu is one of two species commonly known as kudu, the other being the lesser kudu
Canyons of Africa.
Daniel our guide was now repeatedly telling us time was not on our side and we had to cross across about 1kilometer to these amazing canyons in the Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy. One of the several unique attractions of this paradise. On reaching our destination we were filled with awe, such a beautiful sighting. This was due to soil erosion but turned out as an attraction sight.
Late edit: I always keep in touch with the Official resident Guide Daniel, he informed me that; unfortunately Tsavo the cheater succumbed to kidney failure Dec 2019.