Vicki and I were treated to a night at Mountain Lodge, on the flanks of Mt Kenya, as a thank you from the school to Vicki for all her hard work here. We were driven up to the Lodge by an employee of the school on Saturday afternoon.
We drove on a beautifully paved road, after we turned off at the village of Chaka. I t is well paved since the president has a vacation home on the road! It was strange to have no potholes to bump over on the whole trip. Mountain Lodge is about a 30 minute drive up Mt Kenya from the school.
We passed through farmland, across small rivers and then through a village, where there were very primitive looking wood buildings along the road. The driver told us that these were built by the forest people who were displaced as the area around My Kenya became protected from hunting and farming. They have been recently promised land on the Solio Ranch, which I had passed through on my way to Nakuru earlier this month.
Soon after, we turned off by the President's place (marked by warning signs that said no photos) and
Water hole from our room
There is a grass island shaped like Africa, as you can see. The animals come mostly for the natural salts in the mud around the waterhole.
then traveled on a one lane road (still nicely paved). There were elephant droppings on the road and many uprooted ro broken trees along the road. Vicki had learned that elephants like to walk to paved roads at night since they give off warmth. We came across a lone elephant just before the gate to the park.
It costs $20 to get in per person for non-residents and the admission is good for 24 hours only. You cannot walk in the park without a guard with a gun because of the cape buffalo and the leopards. The stay at the lodge is, of course, not included.
We arrived at the lodge in a thunderstorm and downpour, in time for a wonderul lunch, and then spent the afternnoon (the sun came back out) on our balcony overlooking the waterhole/salt lick. We saw Cape buffalo, bush and water bucks, a warthog, a maribou stork, colobus and sikes monkeys, duiker antelope, white tailed mongoose, a rabbit of some kind, and bats!
As evening arrived, we heard more and more noise from the jungle, including what sounded like a leopard! We went to sleep with a chorus of insects, birds and
They like to get into your rooms...and come over the roofs...this one was peering down at me from the roof!
who knows what...! (Didn't sleep much since the German couple above us stayed up to watch the water hole, which is lit all night, and they chatted loudly!)
In the morning, Mt Kenya was visible....
We stopped at the school director's place for lunch on the way back and sat in her wonderful garden....
Only one more full day here...it is so hard to think of leaving!
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