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.
I have not been to Kenya for a dozen years and coming back always filled me with trepidation as I had great memories from the past, not just from wildlife but also the landscapes and not least because the desperate old romantic in me always yearned for the cinematography from Out of Africa.