How much do I love Kenya’s bit of the Great North Road? I can count the ways for days. Out of the entire 7000+ kms all the way from Cape Town (South Africa) – Cairo (Egypt) Kenya’s infamous 500km section of lunar surface from Isiolo – Moyale put us in the unenviable position of ‘number last’ but that is now all behind us. Who do we give props for this? Was it ex-president Kibaki? Wherever you are mzee please pokea a fist bump. The soon to be completed stretch of the Isiolo-Marsabit-Moyale road has created massive potential in the previously marginalized Northern Kenya counties and has already created better tourism opportunities and brought enhanced security to this previously ‘unknown’ region.
As we’ve seen before Kenya is full of surprises so of course there’s a little conservancy just off this highway that’s just begging to be visited.
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.
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 →
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.
Listlessness. Languorous. Lethargic. Lackadaisical. Laaazy. Time has not stood still but has slowed considerably, stretched out like a rubber band. Seconds become minutes; minutes become hours. Do these days have no end? I am switched off. I am one with Sera.
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.