|Kayaking on the Ewasso Nyro, Laikipia|
Well its been a while again since the last blog but have managed some time to get one done. We have been moving through the busy summer season here with groups coming through from the UK, Canada, Kenya and even Brooklyn New York along with numerous groups coming through on adventurous training packages. Its been good to busy in Kenya as the security issues have had their impact on tourism with many operators feeling the pinch of less visitors coming, although in the next few days we will get a visit from Obama which will hopefully send a message that Kenya is safe to come to even if it means that it will be nearly impossible to drive in Nairobi during his stay. Apparently the US president requires a clean run to the airport at any time from wherever he is, my experience of Nairobi traffic is that you cant get a clean run to anywhere and any journey will take far longer than you expect. There was also rumour of shutting the airspace which seems a bit over the top. But it will hopefully send a message as to Kenya’s safety for tourists. Certainly here in Laikipa you wouldn't feel anything other than safe with regard to the issues laid out by the media.
There has also been the chance to get out for some reccies between the groups. We have been down to an area on the Laikipian plateau along the banks of the Ewasso Nyro river. We managed a good stretch of paddling along the river to check for its paddlability and also hippos which pose a threat in many parts of the river.
|Mellow paddling on the Ewasso Nyro|
It was an extremely nice spot with nice camping along the shores and large amounts of wildlife passing through. We also took a look at some of the crags and granite domes which litter the Laikipian Plateau. Many of the features are either two blank to climb or have a peeling layer on them meaning you could pull large flakes off. But some offer great climbing with superb views.
|Heavy traffic in the bush|
Dougie and I climbed one new line which as we did you could look out and see a large herd of Elephants and Giraffes passing by which makes for a pretty special venue. Its not until you leave Nanyuki and start heading deeper in Laikipia that you realise just how immense it. You can get a sense of what it must have been like when the original explorers first came before the roads, towns and cities came. Its also nice to see the wildlife roaming and rather than them being in a purpose made park they are wandering at free will. As we camped along the shores we had elephants crashing around on the shores eating and drinking. Defiantly made me wary about getting out the tent for a pee in the night.
|Burton experiences a motorbike|
Burton the dog seems to be gaining strength and character as time goes by. He is very keen on being out with the groups which always seem to adopt him well, it always amuses me when the burly soldiers arrive and immediately go weak at the knees at the sight of a small dog. He did create an embarrassing situation at the rock site a few days ago. Not dissimilar to the youtube video of Fenton the dog chasing a herd of deer in Richmond Park. A Masai herder came through with around sixty goats which Burton promptly flew off and chased them over some distance. He does know not to do this now.
I also had my yearly trip up the mountain with Pepponi school which is always nice with friend and teacher Mike Peck. We had good weather on the mountain and a nice group. Although in almost the same patter we had clear weather until we where nearly at the final camp on descent and the heavens opened. On the open heath land in poor weather its almost exactly the same feel as Scotland or the Lakes.
The season keeps going with more groups and a very busy period coming up. We have over this season got groups running in Kenya, Tanzania, Bali and also Australia which is good. Next month I shall hopefully be in Ethiopia to have a look at areas where we would be able to run groups. For now though the rains have passed although never really hit as they are supposed to our Forest Camp received only a fraction of what it should so it already looking a bit dry in the forest and below its starting its burnt orange look down on the plains of Borrana and Lewa and on into Samburu.
|Mr Peck enjoying the early morning mountain ambiance|
|Dawn comes on the mountain|
|If only Patagonia made umbrellas !|