Musings of a Mouse, September 2022
Huge great fluffy rain clouds come flying across the skies and we all get a little excited, but then they melt into the blue behind them and we get no rain!! It seems to happen every couple of weeks. The grazers like the zebra have voted with their feet and moved away from us to the ranches closer to the mountain, which get a bit more rain. However, the browsers, like the elephant, giraffe, and gerenuk are still here, sustained by the thick bush and trees,
they really are made for this kind of country and weather and seem to be surviving well.
Charlie and I are just back from visiting our migratory friends - the wildebeest in the Mara. The Mara has had great rain and the grass is long, thick, and delicious, just as well that 1.6 million creatures have come to eat it. The carnivores were delighted by the arrival of the wildebeest and we watched a couple of unsuccessful hunts, the hunting instinct was keen but the bellies were still a little full from their last meal for any real success! You may well ask why the chicken crosses the road, but we were asking why the warthog mother crosses the mighty Mara river with her three little piglets! The first spot she chose, she then rejected and went upstream of a big pod of hippos. The piglets all leapt in behind her and started to swim as fast as they could, at which point an enormous crocodile launched himself from the bank, heading downstream as fast as his huge tail could propel him. Luckily for the last little pig, the bow wave created by the crocodile’s enormous body and speed pushed the piglet up the bank before he could sink his great yellow fangs into its little bottom!! A narrow escape for the piglet.
In June we were lucky enough to spend some time with an American family, in one of our camps, who are long-term supporters of conservation projects in Kenya. They have taken on a new project and we wish them the very best of luck. Being that we were there for a couple of weeks, we brought the sitting room with us and made camp even more comfortable. The horses were with us too and the local lions got a little bit cheeky and kept up awake at night coming to sniff out the horses. It definitely makes you sleep with one eye open.
Milo has been exploring Lake Tanganyika, in a very small catamaran! This is what he said
about his trip: In July I was lucky enough to join my uncle and cousins on a sailing trip up Lake Tanganyika in Tanzania. Considering that my most recent sailing experience was in a seven-foot-long boat at the age of eight, it was a somewhat surprising invitation. Fortunately, my
uncle was in the Royal Navy, and my cousin is also a very experienced sailor. Although this did have the downside of me being reduced to the role of “BoatBoy and General Slave”.
However as Tanganyika is the longest lake in the world and over 4,800 feet deep with the occasional truly huge storm, I felt my special brand of enthusiasm and no skill whatsoever were perhaps best served in this position.
We started off our trip on the Zambia/Tanzania border, a quick three-day drive from Nairobi, and headed north up the east coast of the lake. We fly camped on deserted white sand beaches with huge granite boulders and crystal clear water and were even treated to tantalizing glimpses of the Congolese mountains across the lake on clear days. We
sailed for a little over a week in some of the most untouched and remote country I have ever been to. Despite learning in no uncertain terms I am without a question a “land mammal”, It was a spectacular way to see an almost totally inaccessible corner of East Africa and one of my favourite adventures yet.
Milo and Sophie are getting married in the valley in front of the house in October, here in Rocky Hollow. Being we are quite so far away from anyone, not only do we need to have 220 people to dinner, but we will also have them all camping in the paddocks behind the house, so we are getting ready for a massive invasion! We are starting on our little list of jobs, road building, camp clearing, menu planning, water storage, and last of all, most importantly - my new frock and a hat!! We even have the pony in training with the cart, who may yet feature in the photos, The brakes are not quite figured out yet but we’re working on it. Safari adventures await you all and we send our very best wishes.