'Nature red in tooth and claw' ...... 'circle of life' ..... 'this is nature' ..... these are some of the many tired and frequently patronising remarks peddled during any hunting sequence, which always ignore the harrowing nature of the incident.
Kicheche's Mara camps sit superbly and sensitively in three prolific conservancies, with access to the reserve when required. These jealously guarded wildernesses are among the best, or even the best wildlife habitats in Africa. However, have any of you ever had that nagging feeling that despite enjoying your best ever safari you might have chosen the wrong one?
Last week I received the following email:
'The five of us are really looking forward to our safari at Bush Camp later in September, this year. Can we have James as our guide again please? We have our virus test booked, we have travel insurance and work from home so see no reason not to travel because of this silly unenforced quarantine. We are so excited.'
We have pondered long and hard about whether to 'Spot' today. We have had bounteous correspondence from those tired of postings from the plains over the last four months whilst their crucial dollars remain neutered by Public Health and Foreign Office policies. We have also had a bulging postbag from those incredibly supportive Kichechians who have not been slow to put their hands in their pockets - the Kicheche Conservancy Guardian initiative raised $129,000.
Firstly, a heartfelt thank you for the hundreds of messages from well-wishers, they mean so much to all at Kicheche and even in these troubling times, it is both touching and reassuring that you have found time to write to us.
Lucky Tucker’s ….. not a bit of it. Keith, Laura, daughter Bryony and son-in-law Alex, take a bow, or indeed a curtesy (not remotely sorry if that is not woke enough for some or un PC). Next time I go on safari I want to be with this family and of course the legendary Laikipian guide Peter Kariuki and Naboisho’s magnificent maestro Mika Kaleku.
Ever since four familiar spotted cats disembarked the Ark (alleg.) safari virgins have been confused by these seemingly similar felines. More seasoned Kichechians like nothing more than contemptuously pointing out the many differences between these ‘wholly different’ cats*.
Just for a moment extinguish any background noise, ignore the distant hum of traffic, neuter nearby chatter and silence the sirens and suspend your thoughts for a moment. Now transport yourself several thousand miles.
On Christmas eve, a cold wind blew in from the distant escarpment and the curmudgeonly Gregory arrived late into camp. As he lay in his bed, disquieted by feverish dreams he was visited by a small pointy-eared cat-like creature. It leapt onto his bed looked him in the eye and said ‘Gregory, come with me.’
A leopard lounges in the crook of an impossibly tortured fever tree watched by one ecstatic vehicle. A cheetah crosses a new concrete bridge. A family of seven cheetahs takes priority over a deHavilland Dash 7 on a perfectly manicured and graded Mara North airstrip.
Flying to Kicheche from Brisbane is hardly a short break, regular contributor and multi alumni Bill and Babs Westbook will tell you that with over 100 Kicheche nights to their name, but meet their Queensland neighbours: the Pattearsons. A family of fourteen across three generations.
SPOT OF THE WEEK:
Our finest wildlife moments curated each week from our four camps.
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