The Musings of a Mouse - September 2016
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Laikipia, Kenya – Slightly hazy view of Mt Kenya.
Sitting in our mess tent this morning, I watched as Rambo, a six year old Masai boy walked off to school, his skinny little legs sticking out of khaki shorts, brand new socks, (slightly too large) and shiny black shoes. He was with his father, starting the 8 km walk to Doldol where he boards, so pleased to be going to see all his friends and keen to learn everything; an absorbent little sponge!
I wondered what life would bring him in the future: will he tell his children, as they listen all wide eyed, tales of the elephants being dodged on the way to school? Or will the elephants still be here for those children to see themselves?
An elephant conservation body just came out with the most depressing of figures; a 30% decline throughout all of Africa, (mainly through poaching) except Botswana, where there are too many for the ecosystem. The one good thing is that the Mara currently has a healthy elephant population.
Earlier in the year we helped to count Grevy zebra for a census, (by photographing the right hand shoulder) and are pleased to say that we have two resident Grevy here, and they had a very sexy time in May, so we are waiting to hear the pitter patter of tiny hooves across the rocks next year.
Our summer season seems to be nearly over – and I wish it was still going. Our campsite in the Mara is currently surrounded by millions of wildebeest on their mad annual migration.We had a very surreal moment in July in the Mara camp with the Vienna Boys Choir, who also had film crew with them. While we were sitting in camp in the middle of the day, (when the light is terrible for filming), we watched a few thousand wildebeest cross the Talek River, just above camp. As normal, they leaped off a high cliff and landed next to the river. One young wildebeest got his timing wrong and stopped at the bottom, when an adult wildebeest landed on his back and broke it. It was such a brutal incident and as I watched it, through my binoculars, I heard the boys practicing their scales in the mess tent behind me; such beautiful, innocent, clean voices. I felt I was in some type of continental space/time warp…
Milo set off to live in England for a while, working for a travel agent there and learning the art of selling safaris. London will be great fun, and full of friends, but he will be back to take over this business from his parents. We know the place he is happiest is setting off on safari, behind the wheel of a land cruiser; first game drive, first adventure!
When Charlie is not on safari, he is in design mode and building a house with a view of Mt Kenya, with a small crew. The croquet lawn and stables have come first, and we are watching the walls grow on the house now. He is building with a lot of over-sized cut yellow stone and it looks wonderful, spread over a small dry river bed with lovely big natural rocks and will be spectacular in time.