Laikipia, Kenya – Mount Kenya covered in dark, heavy, rain filled clouds.
We have lovely gentle rain this morning, which is wonderful for a country coming out of a drought.
Luckily for us, our dams are fairly small and so fill quite quickly, and I am sitting writing this at my table with a view of 15 elephants having a mid morning bath. There is one young male who is over excited and chasing all the girls, including some of the elder matrons, for which he gets into serious trouble.
The Mara has had good rain and looks fabulous at the moment; we were there earlier in the month with some Australian friends who have just been back on their fourth safari with 12 of their mates. We watched four young lions try to take down an old buffalo bull who was lying up in the grass, but he was a bit too much for them, so they very quickly changed their tactics and took on an old cow who had come to help him chase the lions away. The lions had all the muscle but not much skill so it was a rather long, drawn out affair, but everyone got to eat…
We then went on to Lake Nakuru, an alkaline lake in the Great Rift Valley, famous for its large flocks of flamingos. It now has so much fresh water that there are more hippos than flamingos. We are told that there has been a seismic shift in the rock base of the rift valley, (stretches from the Red Sea to Mozambique) and it has blocked a natural drain that Lake Nakuru used to have. Lake Elemantatia, another alkaline lake only 20 miles south, seems to be fairly normal though, with a fair few flamingos. The world, it is a changing!
As we are getting equipment ready for the summer season trips I am trying out new menus and having so much fun. One favourite so far is grilled tilapia with coriander seed, cream and mustard. For deserts, a new apple and mango pie with flaky pastry and cinnamon, and a fabulous Eton mess with lashings of thick cream and sweet, juicy raspberries grown upcountry. Recently on Ol Pejeta we were joined at pudding by a herd of eles on the other side of the river; tempted by the fragrant scent of fresh orange slices covered in hard caramel. One of our friends has started to make organic feta cheese near Mount Kenya, so now on the menu are lots of feta, avocado and tomato salads, as well as a scrumptious feta, chicken and cherry tomato dish baked in a safari oven. And of course we have to have feta and sun-dried tomato baked into the fresh bread we have on safari everyday. Impossible to resist.
We so enjoyed our last safari and can’t wait to be back in camp again.