Musing of a Mouse, September 2021
Dry as a bone - Blue skies, brown grass and dusty dams
Thank goodness for intrepid travellers. We have been so lucky to be on safari this season with guests who flew across the world from the USA and Mexico to enjoy incredible trips in parks that we had mostly to ourselves, and the Mara only half full over the migration. Multi-generational safaris are always wonderful and we have been with a lovely family who first came on safari with us 32 years ago. Luckily for us we all think we look as young as we did then, it’s only the grandchildren who might disagree! We reversed our usual order of parks since the original safari dates had been set around competing in the Lewa Marathon, which was later restricted to only 40 community participants due to COVID, and the rest ran ‘virtually’. Still, it was fabulous starting in the Mara, and Shaba (at the end), came up trumps for us, with golden lions blending into the thick yellow grass, muddy elephants in the springs and plenty of other wildlife.
Our next safari was with a small family of 22 people! Their last safari was in 2005 - and
what fun it was to have all the grandchildren old enough to join us this time. Rock climbing proved to be competitive and swimming in the rivers too. Riding horses, bikes and camels,
we moved across Borana and Tumaren Conservancies, watching out for rhinos, elephants and lions, finishing with picnic breakfasts under shady, yellow barked acacia trees.
I was serenaded on my birthday in three languages and some of us drank too much tequila! Charlie’s dog Wally managed to catch a lift on the plane and told our guest Maria he much prefers to travel by air, even if it was a little cramped.
The mural on the large rock outside RESCUE (Reteti Elephant Sanctuary), a community owned
elephant orphanage in north Kenya, is a fantastic thing to see and gives a good idea what an
important job they are doing there. With the current drought taking place there are more
and more incidents of baby elephants falling into wells or being abandoned by the herds and
We also stopped in at Little Governor’s Camp for a balloon ride in the Mara and had a spot of
bother with the luggage handlers...
Milo has bought a few guests to our new house, we have five rooms ready and although some of them don’t have anything as conventional as curtains yet, they are all very comfortable and it’s now only the honeymoon suite to finish, the library to be filled and a roof put on the chapel and we will be ready to go. A few adventures with horses, and especially elephants, have kept us on our toes, and we thought Sophie illustrated her adventures
really well - quite a lot of artistic licence, but whoever put the whole truth between the event and a good story!
In May, we went north with some good friends to Lake Turkana, or the Jade Sea as it is known, going via the enormous hydro electric dam at Turkwell Gorge. The dam wall and turbines made us feel like we were in a James Bond movie! Quite surprising for northern Kenya. Huge storms rolled over that section of the northern frontier district, so we forged rivers, tried to not get stuck in mud holes and had a few damp nights. So much fun. We came
back via the Kakamega forest, the last patch of indigenous rain forest in Kenya. Being that it
was a rain forest, it did rain on us there too.
The government very sensibly put all hotel and safari workers into the first wave of inoculations, (together with the doctors, nurses, teachers, government officials, etc.). So we were so pleased to have ourselves, all our safari crew and builders with double inoculations in
good time for our safaris, mostly out of small rural hospitals. Kenya has just received a whole lot more doses from Europe and America, and hopefully we will speed up our inoculation programme. I never thought it would be a good thing to have over 50% of your population
under 18 years old, but with statistics as they are it does seem to be the case now.
Milo, Charlie and I are so looking forward to sharing our adventures and going on safari with you again. and showing you all the magical things Kenya has to offer. Have a look at our website for some inspiration (www.robinhurtsafariskenya.com) - there’s always more to see and more to do!