Meet Renee Doyle. Finally, after too many years of incarceration she arrives 'home' .... her words: "Visiting Kicheche Bush Camp never short-changes - after 3 long years locked up in Australia, it was a thrill to be back visiting friends, two legged and four, getting a long-awaited bush fix!
There are countless ways to gauge a safari with no defining or burnished template. However, cats are rarely far from the top table. This week's Spot is curated from a burgeoning and brilliant portfolio from a favourite daughter of Kicheche: Charlotte Rhodes.
The one factor that really upgrades a wildlife encounter is action and when this involves two of the major signature species in confrontation it hardens the currency somewhat. Meet the Crosslands, first-time Kichechians out early (obvs) with Peter Njapit and they came across the fabled Marsh Lions in the heart of Mara North Conservancy, rather than their normal Reserve turf. This was an extended bout with the lionesses doing most of the work (sound familiar?).
In sports gnus this week we are delighted to report that our squad is tearing down the wings and up the centre, poised, panting on the edge of the danger area, waiting for the perfect cross. They show a clean pair of heels to most of the opposition and emerge victorious at the end.
Sandra Barrett was determined to take her Kicheche safari and although she has had a frustrating wait (three cancellations), it seems her timing was impeccable for her fourth time lucky.
You know the scene, you are driving quietly with eyes peeled and the radio crackles with an excited gasp from a Motorola Maa missive. The critical word of the hurried translation is 'cubs'. Few things increase the pulse of any Kichechian than this simple four letter word.
The Martens have travelled to Kicheche so many times (critically bounteously in the last two years) that they are almost part of the furniture. With a pair of gorgeous girls, they clearly feel completely at home in the bush and particularly at the eponymously named Kicheche camp there. James Nampaso is like a brother and uncle all in one, but even he was not prepared for their frankly ridiculous game drives.
Royalty in camp again. Jules Oldroyd seems to have her faunal subjects on a lead as she photographs award - winners quicker than British favourites dropping out of the All England club.
Meet the Bergers, no strangers to Africa but first timers to Kicheche Laikipia. They and Peter Karuiki put on a whopper of a safari. Each sighting was a nugget seemingly choreographed to outdo the previous one, from elephants in the sunrise to rainbowed rhinos. Aardvarks are tough, but not to this crowd. Leopards in Laikipia are even harder currency but one of the girls spotted this beauty on the flame-grilled grass.
When camps close for the season it is not just a close season for staff, it is a period away from the animals, many that guides and guests have grown attached to. Throughout the year we answer countless questions from people wanting to know the whereabouts and welfare of their favourites. For many - they tell us this too - Spot (obviously everyone reads it as well as gazing at the pictures...) is like leafing through a family album.