Big Cat Research Week – Led by Big Cat Researcher, Bill Given
January 19 – January 26th, 2017
This is your chance to go out with The Wild Source big cat research team for a week (8 days/7 nights) in the field surveying and observing big cats. We will be able to include up to eight guests who will be split between two vehicles. Each vehicle is captained by one of our remarkable safari guides and joined by one of our wildlife biologists. Our mission is to find as many individual big cats as possible, but just as critically, spend significant time with each individual find. We will be looking for all three big cat species – lion, leopard and cheetah. For sure we will enjoy the full diversity of wildlife and take some moments to enjoy the great migration, elephants, giraffe, etc. and jump at the chance to view rarely sighted animals like honey badgers or smaller cats but we will have a very serious focus on finding and staying with the big cats.
The Ndutu area is a cheetah hot spot and in the 2015 big cat research week we identified 21 individual cheetah including eight different adults and 13 cubs of various ages, as well as three prides of lions. In 2017 we have a special second location in the remote eastern portion of the Central Serengeti, staying near the Namiri Plains that were closed for nearly 20 years as a cheetah sanctuary area. This region is also very productive for lions and leopards that utilize the stunning granite rock outcroppings (kopjes).
January is a critical time in our big cat research – it’s also the most fun and rewarding time! As the great migration floods into the area in late December we also observe a big influx of cheetah. We have found January to be a peak time for cheetah in the area and it serves as a nursery, typically with many mothers and cubs of different ages. What is so fun is January is the time that we are figuring out which cheetah is who. Over the past two years we have been collecting photos and documenting various distinctive spot patterns that can be used to identify individual cheetah. As we game drive and find each individual we identify if it is a known individual or a new cheetah to add to our research. Likewise, following the low season months, discovering the latest of lion pride dynamics at this time to see what changes have occurred since we were last in the area.
With the great migration of over 2 million grazers in the region, the grocery store is packed for the predators. This incredible concentration of animals, including the vulnerable young, makes this the premier location and time to observe hunting behavior of the big cats. As part of our research we document each hunt, what the target prey is and the result of the hunt.
Our research team will explain to you what data we collect, how we identify individuals, any history we know on the individual cats that we find and interpret the behavior we are able to observe. Your presence on the safari helps us fund our research and our important initiative of building local capacity by employing native Tanzanian wildlife biologists.
Safari Cost is $5,595 per person sharing, single supplement is free for the first two solo travelers
NOTE: price quoted above is a discount pay by check or bank wire price. Credit card price is $5,818 per person.
Cost includes two internal flights, accommodation, meals, drinks (except at the African Tulip), laundry, park fees, and guide/vehicle with no more than 4 guests to a vehicle. Safari is limited to 8 participants. There will be a guide and wildlife biologist in each vehicle.
You can view the itinerary details here. Feel free to Contact Me for more information.