Friday, November 8, 2013

Kenya Adventure - Day 5

Kenya Adventure - Day 6 Rain rain go away come again another day. Well do I really mean that :) Our plan for today is to have morning tea at 5:30, breakfast at about 7 and then head off to the Lewa Airstrip for our flight to Samburu enjoying a leisurely game drive en-route. Oh how I love it when well made plans go array hahahaha The heavens opened and refused to close, a game drive was pretty much out of the question so we stayed at Lewa Camp a little longer than planned, long enough for a chat and another couple of cups of coffee. Taking the drive quite slowly and staying on the road to avoid getting stuck in the black cotton soil and other gooie substances we arrived at the air strip in plenty of time but no plane.

The very wet airstrip at Lewa

We waited and waited, Peter checking around to find out what was going on and us (Alan and I) quite happy with the not knowing. Cloud was so heavy with water (think mist) low lying and no wind to blow it away the visibility was pretty poor. Ah no problem, just a lot of guess work and reshuffling of plans to keep everybody occupied and an bit of a thirst developing. Quality and one of his buddies headed out to get some mansazies (sweet fried bread things which we have not had in so many years and tea for us, he came back with a flask, china mugs and a bag of mandates (Natasha, if you are reading this, they are just as good as we remember) !!!

Tea and mandazies

Almost three hours later the sky cleared enough that the hill tops could be seen, a couple of phone calls and the plan left were it was located to come and collect us. Now this is mega different, when we were here years ago we used cars to get from A to B not light aircraft and even scheduled flights are in operation. I am having such a chuckle to find out Nanyuki Airstrip is no a place for scheduled flights which people use to go shopping in Nairobi amongst other things. I used to drive the 129 miles (think that was what it was) every now and again to do a big shopping then drive home now it would be a 40 minute flight to Nairobi, use a taxi to do the shopping, return to Wilson Airport to catch the flight home - so civilised. OK, back to today, our flight to Samburu is only about 15 minutes with a distance of probably about 20 miles instead of a three hour drive - that is some difference and brilliant especially as we flew so low you could count the goats on the ground.

Our plane landing

Alan as the co-pilot - ahhhhh traveling back in time <g>

Flying very low over Samburu

Alan looked great sitting up there in the co-pilots seat, what memories although I remember him in the pilot seat and me in the co-pilot seat. Samburu is the neighbouring park to Lewa but a totally different world, from marsh, grassy plains, bushed area with black cotton soil to sandy ground, palm trees, open scrub land in Samburu. I think the best way I can describe it (a bit sadly to) is that it is like a theme park with different areas close by but each totally unique. I don’t mean to sound flippant or derogatory, in fact I am in awe at the wonder of nature in her creativity, to be able to see something like this not man made but developed by Mother Nature, showing her diversity so beautifully - yes totally awesome. One of the guys at Lewa, not sure who he was but I think he was a guide for one of the camps and was heading off either home to his place near Samburu or to another camp to work for a while had a treat he will remember forever. His usual route should have taken him to his destination using three different matatus (local transport) and some walking with a time of probably 5 hours was put to one side and he climbed into the plane with us. He had never been on a plane before I found out , then he joined us in our vehicle as we headed to the river for a picnic lunch before we then took him to the township outside of Samburu Reserve for the final part of his journey. He told me it had been such a special day as none of it was planned and his dream of going in an aeroplane had come true. Oh how wonderful to have been part of sharing his joy in this experience, a very special moment. We saw some game, well that is what you expect to see in a park I hear you say :) so time to throw in a few photos of what we saw along with views of our picnic spot. If I don’t do this now, I will be here all night boring you to tears with every little section of today’s adventure lol

Vulturine Guineafowl

Hornbill of one sort or another - need Pete to fill in the gap here.

Nellie the elephant or is it Billie <g>

Stopping for lunch

More game!!!!

After dropping the guide off we continued on a tarmac road with no potholes.  Oh what a kick I am getting out of the simplest things, can you just imagine the smile on my face when confronted with a signpost to Nanyuki lol

Did these sheep move off the main road, not a chance we had to drive round them - oh beautiful Kenya, I love you so much :)

What - no potholes, this is something new. I really can’t remember a road in Kenya that did not have potholes, mind you there are not many roads in the rural parts of the UK that don’t have potholes either!!!!!! Surreal is the only way I can describe this part of today’s adventure, you are going to have to use your imagination here. Our vehicle is a Range Rover with no front screen, built up at the back with three rows of seats, no window, just open vision all round and a canvas roof - perfect for game viewing and photography. It has bright orange-red seat covers and certainly does not look like it belongs on tarmac!!!!

Our safari vehicle while here in Saruni

 So here we are, driving up the main road, in a safari viewing vehicle, cameras etc on laps and feeling very much like fish out of water - fun stuff, oh how I love the not so normal. We must have travelled all of about 10 miles or so when we turned left and into the reserve heading to Surani where we are staying.  

Ahhhhhh how lovely to be back on dirt tracks with bends and bushes and wonders to behold maybe just around the corner.

So what did we find round some of the corners we traveled???

Oh WOW WOW WOW - what a lodge. Pete and Mo sent us the itinerary and lovely photos of where we were going etc but I was caught up in preparing for a craft show two days before we left Saudi so although I had looked at the itinerary several times loving what I saw and read I really have not retained the information, I guess excitement had a big part to play there too. Not a problem as every day is so full of surprises for me, feels unplanned, feels natural, feels as it should be. 

Saruni Camp is situated on a hill side, with the most wonderful entrance/drive way up, just a natural rock road, spectacular, and i really am not pulling a fast one on you. I love roads etc like this as you know if you Know Alan and I - we only drive on tarmac because we have to, if we get the opportunity to go off road we take it and off road means the road may not exist although a sat nav route tells us it exists.

The road to the entrance, it goes round to the left after this and ends up at a welcoming area.

On arrival at the entrance we were welcomed with cool scrumptious drinks and scented wet towels to cool our brows or maybe to revive and prepare us for yet more surprises.  The first suprise was sitting there waiting for us, another Dik Dik but this beautiful girl had her baby with her, a first for everybody to see.  I am thinking Pete has got lots of mobile numbers for the animals and sending them texts to be in certain locations for us to see.  Pete is a guide of a caliber I would not believe possible, OK I know Pete and Alan friendship is 45 years old but Pete is the sort of guy who has a passion for his craft, the sensitivity of and understanding of his environment and a desire not to hurry you but to help you learn too the beauty off all that is around.  His knowledge base is phenomenal, just listening to him tell us about this and that combined with is hawks eyes, there is no other guide - friendship or not whose hands I would rather be in - Pete you are a truly amazing guy.

This place is beautifully constructed to blend into the landscape but is opulence beyond words without being ostentatious and tacky, a wonderful unity of having the highest quality but not needing to shout to the world about it. The easiest way for me to let you see what I am seeing is to send you over to their website - you are going to be blown away.  We did not go back out once we had arrived at the lodge, it was getting late in the day and we were all quite happy just sitting absorbing the views, you can imagine sitting on the side of a hill, overlooking the land below, the hills etc. evening drawing in and the diamonds in the night sky showing their locations. Those of you who know me know how much I love stars, they make me remember my place in the universe, the fact I am one very small part of a very large system, pretty insignificant really as is all mankind, not the superior being one to many of us think we are. And so with that said it is time to draw to a close for today, my tummy is full of delicious food (now if I could cook like the meal I was served tonight I might have more friends lol), it is getting late, almost midnight and our morning tea will be with us in just over 5 and a half hours. Goodnight all and catch up with you on my next blog post :) :) :) :) :)  

Just before going I had to share a pic of this beautiful, totally common male lizard whose relatives have shared many happy moments over many years.

Right - time to post and head off for an afternoon drive.  I am all over the place with the blog lol but trying my best to keep it in order.

Ingrid - thank you so much, I love what you are doing with the FB comments - what a wonder star you are :) :) :) :)


  1. Amazing! What a beautiful memory you will have. Love it.
    Hugs Nat

  2. WoWza - such awesome photos... what are the grey blobby things on the airstrip photo ???!!! Are they some sort of critters ?
    What a wonderful memory of being that with that chap on his first ever flight :-D This is all going to make for one huuuuuge scrapbook !!!! :-D

    Fabulous !

    IKE in lowly Greece :-) xxxxxxxx

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  3. Awesome memories in the making.
    Hugs Desíre {Doing Life}

  4. I would hate to meet all those weird and wonderful birds but I could certainly cope with the elephants. So glad you'e having a great time. x

  5. Another awesome day, what wonderful tales you have to tell - and in such a way that I truly feel I'm living your experiences with you. I did have to laugh when I saw the runway your 'plane was supposed to use - looks like a boat would have been more use.
    Oh, those aerial shots you managed from the aeroplane are spectacular - you could have marked your picnic spot with an X in the view of that meandering river. Actually, I was wondering if you were prepared for a crocodile to join you for lunch.
    I'm loving all the stories that go with your photographs - can just see you enjoying every moment of driving through an 'urban' area in your safari vehicle. Oh, no potholes - we need some lessons in road care here in the UK - I don't live 'rural' but out roads are pitted with potholes (and it's not even winter yet). I'd much rather drive round an elephant ....or the township sheep. :-)
    The impression I'm getting is that there's been a lot of progress since you left Kenya all those years ago, but the essence of Kenya hasn't changed too much. I'm so pleased for you that that is the case.
    I haven't visited your camp yet so will come back on that - I can't wait to see where you are staying - sounds wonderful.
    Your photo of the day for me just has to be Mummy Dik Dik with her baby - what an absolutely wonderful treat to get to see that.
    Sweetheart, I'll pop back later but, in the meantime, keep enjoying all these wonderful experiences and precious moments. Love gou sooo much. xxxxxxx <3 <3 <3

  6. Yayyyyyy I have worked out how to respond lol, I do remember those things hahahaha. A trip down memory lane, just wish you could send some smell over :(. Loving all your camera action mum well done plus you writing skills are improving hehehehe. No honestly love everything you are doing :) give dad a special hug from me and you can have a even bigger one from me :) love you both (by the way I am still well jel) xxxxxx

  7. I would so love to go there myself but I feel as if I have been there with your wonderful pics and description. I love everything wildlife apart from yuk - eight legged beasties. The 'common' lizard is right up my street though I think they are sooooo gorgeous. Thank you for your lovely postings, I am enjoying them so much.

    Hugs to you Sue Pxxx OSAAT teamie

  8. FB:

    Alison McLorn Wow- what an amazing trip x
    November 8 at 3:58pm via mobile · Like


Thank you for taking the time to comment, it means a great deal to me. Hoping you have happy crafting days ahead. Hugs Mimi