Musings of a Mouse, March 2021
Rocky Hollow, Laikipia.
March already, hot, dry and windy.
Our and our safari crew's heartfelt thanks go out to those wonderful families who travelled over Christmas and New Year, from North Carolina, England, Spain and Thailand, to come and share an adventure with us in the wilds of Kenya. Revenue into the game parks and conservancies could not have come at a more needed time.
We had Christmas in our Mara Camp, keeping up our safari tradition of a fat succulent turkey, stuffed with mango, cashew nuts and sausage meat, roasted on the coals in a safari oven, surrounded by kilos of hot crunchy potatoes and zebras on horseback (small sweet bananas wrapped in streaky bacon and cooked in the oven), salads, Christmas pudding and not forgetting the brandy butter. It was delicious and much appreciated, especially after a long
morning game drive. The Mara didn't fail us with so many lion, leopard and cheetah, plus
an extraordinary scene of 55 large crocodiles eating a long dead hippo in the Mara River.
We also saw a large swarm of bees, who fell in love with a pair of binoculars which were hastily dropped into the long grass. We had to make Milo a bee suit out of scarves, masks, hats and bandages on his hands. Not especially stylish, but very efficient for a swoop by in the Land Cruiser.
New Year was a real family affair, Milo was on Borana Conservancy in a very luxurious, huge private house riding with the elephants and rhinos (very lucky travellers). Charlie, Milla and Richie were riding across the Laikipia plains forging new safari routes (very adventurous travellers). I spent New Year's Eve drinking bubbly with the baby elephants being released back into the wild at Ithumba in Tsavo, a truly brilliant project (very happy travellers).
Fia and Monty managed to escape safari life for New Year and have a wonderful four day party (or was it a rave) just east of Shaba, outside the park on the river. Not many elephants came by, probably an indication of what they thought about the music.
Changes are coming into our lives as Milo takes on more in Nairobi and the mobile safaris, moving our stores and offices as well. I am told that my hand-written debit/credit petty cash returns are going to be banned (probably something to do with my hand writing) and it must be done online now! Charlie and I are concentrating on our new Laikipia project - the house and the horses. We have one more roof to get on, a few curtains to get up, a bit of furniture to buy and then we will be ready for everyone to come and stay with us. We will of course, continue to help Milo on any trips he needs us on. It is always such a great feeling to be back on safari and in camp.
The Laikipiac Masai, who are our neighbours, are part of a community cattle grazing project
we are running at the moment. For one month we have approximately be 650 cows on our land, all sleeping in one thorn enclosure (to keep out the pesky lions and hyenas), and grazing together in the day. The elephants have voted with their feet, as most of our water dams have
dried up now, so no competition there. The hope is that the cows will eat all the older grass that is still left, so that by the time the rains come in April, there will be plenty of space for good, fresh, nutritious green grass to come through.
We are so looking forward to our Easter and summer safaris, and are so glad that the inoculations are allowing people to travel with a little more ease and peace of mind. So
much of safari life is spent outdoors that it is not so difficult to embrace what is called
the New Normal. Let's hope the world has learnt a lesson from this pandemic - but maybe it will be as Oscar Wilde said: "The only thing you learn from a mistake is to recognise it next time round!" Positive thoughts and very best wishes to everyone.