Saturday, December 14, 2013

Kenya Adventure - Day 23

Up at 4:30, on the road by 5:30 a.m. hoping to miss all the traffic in Nairobi. Hard to believe the roads are already filling up, folks trying to get to work on time and even school busses out and about. I guess by 6:00 a.m. there will be grid lock. To many people, to many cars, grrrrrrrrrrr, but the same everywhere, same feeling as I have in the UK, feeling like a sardine packed into a tin with lots of other sardines.

We watch the sun rise from our car windows, and continue on the road east, the coast road. Now I have a request, to stop at Hunters Lodge for a then and now moment. This is the place Carolyn, who was my bridesmaid and I stopped when we came down to Mombassa in her little yellow car called Budgie. The first holiday my folks let me go on without them, a real adventure and when I met Alan :) :) :)

Hunters Lodge

Alan all ready of his coffee :)

A then moment - Vivien and Carolyn (my buddies in Kenya in 79/80) having a break at Hunter’s Lodge. The three of us were on going on holiday to Mombassa for 9 days. Vivien’s dad worked for Cabdury Shweppes and they allowed employees to use the company flat in Mombasa. Viv’s dad booked the flat for us, Carolyn did the driving in her little yellow car called Budgie and the three of us set off on our own wee adventure.

Now - I think I got the right spot here lol, really is just the table, Carolyn and Viv missing :)

Back on the road again heading to our destination for the night, Kipalo in Tsavo West Conservancy. The Conservancy is new, still in development, not development in the way you are thinking with buildings etc. but in development by nature. The small local shambas (small holdings/farms/gardens) are vacated, the building are still around, they are not allowed to be taken down, just have to wait for nature to do her thing. Thankfully the buildings are not made to be permanent structures, not concrete, not deep foundations, not man made products, but clay brick, wood fences etc. items that will, in time, decay and become part of the land again, living nothing behind but their footprint.

We eventually find Kipalo, as we so often do, we took the long (wrong) route lol - nothing wrong with that, such fun and having to think on your feet and you never know what you are going to find. We made good time and reached Kipalo around 12:30 p.m. just in time for lunch.

Another stunning lodge (I will grab some photos tomorrow before we leave), run by Craig and Flo, a young couple and lovely too. Iced tea and wet cloths greet us as the entrance, a common practice and very welcoming when you are hot and sticky.

Now what a surprise for me, Kipalo has WiFi - hurray, awesome and all the rest. Can’t be bothered to check my emails and only a quick look at FaceBook to see what my friends have been up to then onto Blogspot and get another post uploaded, just nice to be able to do that during the day, relaxing instead of trying to get it done at night, in a hurry.

4:00 p.m. and time for tea and a sweet nibble before heading out on a game drive. Seems to be what I usually say at this point - what did we see :)

Eurasian Bee-Eater

This is a butterfly lol

The vegetation here is very different, very overgrown, no ellies to clear the shrub away, poached!!!!!!! We hear of another elephant, a big one, destroyed for his ivory the other day - no I won’t go there again, you already know my feelings. I am just so saddened to hear the same thing wherever we have gone, every park, every protected area. So heartbreaking even to hear the humans who are trying their best to protect these wonderful creatures and Kenya’s future talking, to see the emotion in their faces, the anger, the frustrations the sadness. With this also being a new conservancy the animals are still learning it is safer than it was to re-enter the area, it takes time but it will happen. I doubt it makes much difference to the rhino or the ellie, they will be hunted for a bit of ivory or a hair horn no matter where they are but other animals will return, the lion, the leopard, the antelope etc. gradually some of the land taken from them for human habitation is being returned to them - as it should be.

To be fair, I know I don't have many folks and we have not seen much but generally folks who stay here will be taken further a field for their game drives, right into Tsavo East where the open plains are and plenty game to be seen.  Our drive was a quick one, just around the camp area as we are only staying here as a stop over before continuing to Tiwi/ Mombasa tomorrow.

Back at the lodge and all dark now and another special treat, to hear a leopard call, a sort of rumbling, throaty whoop, a sound that travels distance, a call, a message to say “I am here”. Another piece of the jigsaw fitted into place for me :)

To end the day the sun set from Kipalo Lodge


  1. Very cool photos - I really love the sunset..... there's another mountain over there isn't it ????
    I get so sad about the poaching - jeez it makes me mad..... I can't see an total end to it though can you ? All the time there is demand for the product and the money is good, then these bastards will still keep doing it (and can you blame then really ?) I wish I had an answer to it all but it just makes me cry :-(

  2. Wow, you really are having a trip down memory lane .....Hunters Lodge" and recalling the table you sat at with your coffee .....I bet that as you sat there sipping your drinks and chatting with Carolyn and Viv, you had no thoughts as to how momentous and life affirming your 'girlie' holiday was to become. Ahhhh, I do so love a happy ending to any story and I'm so fortunate to know the happy ending to your holiday with the girls.

    I love hearing that land that man has taken over is being returned to the natural inhabitants and allowed to be repaired by Nature itself ........where have the farmers been relocated to and what provisions made to enable them to support their families?

    Oh to go to sleep with the rumblings of leopard as your night music very special. Love you Treasure xxx ♥ ♥ ♥


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