It’s a real treat for me to be able to visit all the places I travel to twice; first when I visit them, and second when I’m writing about them. My visit to Lumo Conservancy was born as many of my trips are, staring at a screen while at work and daydreaming over photos on the internet. So after much planning (and of course saving), I found myself meandering down the Nairobi – Mombasa Highway, what i found there was a prime example of the link between community and conservation.
If you’re just catching up, i suggest you read Part 1 here first.
I survived the night, pretty obvious huh? For a minute there I didn’t think I’d make it through what I can objectively say was the worst night in a tent in my life (and I’ve had many).
The morning begins with almost no clue of the what transpired the night before, almost as if the mountain means to apologize.
Its difficult to explain the power of an idea. It dwells in our consciousness; sometimes relegated, sometimes ignored, but never forgotten. Ever present in the back of our minds, dominating our thoughts whenever we we have a moment to day dream.
I first saw a photo of Mount Ololokwe about 12 years ago and my imagination was instantly captured by this massive mountain emerging seemingly out of nowhere from the desert plains. In many of my travels such as during my elephant encounter in Samburu, and a most relaxing trip to Sera Conservancy among many more, she seemed to continually taunt me and was a constant reminder of the promise I once made to myself.
I had to spend a night atop this mountain.
Aerial of Mount Ololokwe, the red circle shows our campsite. Photo Credit : Marcus Harvey Continue reading
According to stats if you do not draw in the reader in the first two lines of an article, then there is a 90% chance they will not read on. I’m willing to take that risk this time around. This article I write for the traveller, not for the reader. For those who the open road is an inspiration to adventure as opposed to a fear of the unknown. For those that look at a map of this great country Kenya and see it as an open invitation to new experiences and possibly a new way of thinking. So if by some stroke of luck you’re still reading allow me to take you to a place that greatly rewards that curiosity.
There’s something in Kenya we often forget to appreciate; wherever you live in this great country you are never more than a stones throw from wilderness and wildlife. One minute you’re in a 1 hr traffic jam the next minute you’re stopping to let a herd of elephants cross the road (I know, problems right?). So when i recently needed a short one night camping trip, Mwea National Reserve ticked the right boxes.
The temperature was dropping rapidly and Daniel the guide was going to have to spend the night out in the open, he had refused my offer to make use of the car for the night. It was strange for me to sleep in the (relative) warmth of my tent knowing someone was sleeping exposed to the elements. We waited for his colleague with his tents and sleeping bag to show up but he never did.However the next morning he was up bright and early, no worse for wear.
The car was surrounded by a large family of around 30 elephants, the matriarchs worried that I am too close to their young ones. The young males charged the car, only to back off at the last minute. I wasn’t too worried though, I was not a threat to them and their mock charges were only meant to establish their dominance. I had been in Samburu National Reserve for only 30 minutes.