The Musings of a Mouse - September 2019
Takaungu creek, south of Mombasa
Cool sunny days and small rain squalls every now and again.
The Indian Ocean swell brings a glorious warm sea to our beaches and at high tide the waves crash into the cliffs of Takaungu creek, making your sleep full of dreams of tall sailing ships and turtles. It is always a good change from the traffic of Nairobi, or the zebras and elephants of Laikipia.
Charlie and I have spent 10 days here at the coast, after an exciting stop in the Chyulu Hills with some good friends. Elephants stole the water out of the swimming pool every day, so we had to go and gallop some horses across the plains instead.
In August, Charlie and the crew cleared a new campsite in Shaba, on a bend in the river, and the next day we had a day that has to go down in history as one of the most extraordinary days of our safari life: lions, leopards, wild dog, cheetah, wild cat and elephants ñ all within eight kms of camp ñ felt like it was it a reward from the Shaba gods, for the help with the new campsite.
Milo is so pleased to be back on safari again, and luckily the bright lights of London have faded. Magnificent helicopter flights up to Lake Turkana and the north, watching flamingos in the alkaline desert lakes and nomadic tribal people moving with their camel caravans reminded him why home and Africa are so spectacular.
If you were to ever imagine what The Right Honourable Witherington-Smythe was to look like, it would be a Tana River Mangaby. They live in the last remnants of the ancient forests of central Africa, that still exist in Kenya on the Tana River. The formation of the Great Rift Valley millions of years ago pushed a huge section of East Africa further east, and the results caused a climatic change, so the forests dried up and only small pockets are left. The Tana River has one of those with these bizarre monkeys still living there, and it was something I had never seen before. Sofia and her Irish friends came camping with us there, and although it was not up to our normal camping standards, being that we had to sleep inside a cage to stop the leopards eating the dogs we had with us, it was still great fun.
Our eldest daughter Camilla is getting married in a month, on the lawn in the garden at home in Karen, and it is definitely all consuming at the moment. We will turn the tennis court into a banqueting hall filled with flowers and delicious food and have a marvellous feast to celebrate this great occasion. Early October normally brings lovely temperate weather and not much rain, so let's hope that is what we have this year, otherwise our clay tennis court may well turn into a mud bath. Charlie and I got married in October down on the coast at my home, and I don't remember much about the organisation of it all, though I do remember we were on safari until two weeks before we got married and that Charlie gave a young bull calf, as a bride price, which delighted my father hugely.
I am always sad at the end of the summer safari season, but I do think back as to how lucky we are with the wildlife we have seen, along with the adventure, picnic breakfasts, starlit dinners and like minded fellow travellers. We look forward to more safaris soon. Using wildlife areas for safaris is the best way of conserving and protecting our animals.