Once again we are heading back to Kenya. Our previous safaris in Kenya have provided some incredible moments and since 2011 we have been sharing our safaris by providing regular updates "from the field". This year we will be blogging live again and we have added a JustGiving link for followers of our blog to donate to our chosen charity "Save The Elephants".
Thursday, 22 August 2013
DAY EIGHTEEN ~ A Break In The Journey And A Touch Of History
Today began in sublime fashion, with
the largest herd of Zebra we have ever seen, comprising several
hundred, visiting the waterhole at Ngutuni after breakfast. They were
very nervous and easily disturbed, which caused many a sudden
stampede from the waterhole: this made for some very interesting
photographs as they kicked up the dust against the morning sun.
After saying goodbye to the wonderful
staff at Ngutuni, we reluctantly headed north again; leaving our
beloved Tsavo behind. Having spent three days in luxury, we decided
that a night in a tent with just a long-drop toilet should be a last
resort and agreed we would see if there were any rooms available in
Hunter's Lodge itself.
Now for the history. Hunter's Lodge
was built in 1958 by Dennis Hunter in honour of his father J.A.
Hunter, a famous white hunter who had been employed in the area by
the British Colonial Government after the second world war to clear
the area of Black Rhino to enable them to displace and relocate the
Kamba people into the area. Hunter turned out to be brutally
efficient in this task, killing almost 1100 Rhinos (source: Rough
Guide to Kenya by Richard Trillo).
Today the Lodge is a rather run down
twelve room stop over, with reasonable food in a lovely setting but
tired and dated rooms and facilities. The Lodge has, however,
recently been taken over by Mada Hotels, the owners of Fig Tree Camp
in the Masai Mara and they have plans for major upgrades.
Construction is already well under way on twenty-four additional
rooms and a conference centre. Once this is complete, the original
lodge will be updated to match the standard of the new facilities.
This work is expected to take a further six to nine months; so we
will see what things are like when we come back next year.
We spent a pleasant afternoon
photographing African Darter, Grey-Headed Kingfisher, Hadada Ibis,
Purple Heron and a lone Maribu Stork who wandered right up to our
ground floor balcony. We also caught fleeting glimpses of Pied
Kingfisher, Monitor Lizard, Yellow Baboon and photographed a troop of
Vervet Monkeys who live in the trees around the lodge.
African Darter drying its wings.
A very chilled Vervet Monkey.
We discovered tonight that the reason
our new Safaricom modem dongle has been unable to connect is because
our version of the Safaricom software was out of date and therefore,
incompatible with the new modem. Unfortunately, having solved this
problem, we find ourselves in an area with a very poor mobile
internet signal; so you will have to wait until we reach Nairobi
tomorrow before we can update the Blog.