It has been a hectic few months here at The Emakoko, we have met some fabulous people and had some exciting sightings with wildlife. The most amazing of all is our Cheetah sightings seem to be more frequent, in the past we would be lucky to see Cheetah at all, but it now appears that at least one, if not two are now using the park more and more.
Koko the Leopard seems to have had a lot of fun over the last few months, and as a result we have been expecting to see her cubs……so far she appears to have not had any babies. Her and Nguruman (our lovely large male) have spent a lot of time together, and so we continue to hope that we will see some baby ‘Ngurokos’ any time now. Photo Credit Paras Chandaria.
On the lodge front, we have had the lovely Rose Lloyd Owen come in again from London to work with our kitchen. She has revamped our menus, and it is interesting how the world has now fully embraced the new gluten-free, vegan, celiac, intolerant dairy diets that appear to be more regular on our guest notes. Coping with sometimes the most extraordinary dietary requirements is becoming less of a problem for us, although, we are always continually baffled by the vegans who will eat bacon.
Our newly installed funicular is a hit, and we seem to have had to extend our belts a wee bit over the last month. Having to no longer use the stairs to come and go from home daily we have certainly put on a couple of pounds!
Anthony and I, for the first time in 20 years, decided to venture to the Northern hemisphere in August in celebration of hitting one of the big ‘0’s in age. We decided to go even further north this time and cross the border into Scotland in search of the amazing Salmon which frequent the stunning Scottish Rivers. We were warned by so many that the fearful ‘Midge’ would be a nightmare to live with, but coming from Africa, we felt that the European Midge was no match to the African Tsetse fly. Luckily we did not see one, and I think it is merely a rumour that the Scots have come up with to keep the English out.
What was never mentioned, however, was the weather. Having packed for an ‘English Summer’ – with warnings of heatwaves daily throughout Europe, we were shocked to find that Scotland seemed to be immune to the sun and unfortunately shorts and flip flops was not enough clothing for highland weather. To be honest though, we and the kids had adequate clothing, but it was baby Alexandra who suffered the most, and I was eventually forced to buy a pair of ‘Moose Slippers’ (I might add that my other daughter had called them that and the Scotsman very quickly corrected her that they were indeed ‘Aberdeen Angus’ slippers!). We did spend the first five days of our week in Scotland, wondering why the Royals felt it necessary to fight for this part of the world, but alas on day six the sun came out, and Scotland showed her true self, what an incredibly beautiful place it is. We were very sorry to leave!
Another significant event which occurred was the loss of our dearest friend Royjan Taylor. Anthony and Royjan grew up together, their mutual passion of reptiles cementing their bond. They were both instrumental in the discovery of a new species, Naja Ashei, named after James Ashe, their mentor and had spent many times in remote parts of Kenya in search of a new species. Royan passed away on the afternoon of the 12th of June after a short battle with Acute Fulminant Leukemia. It was a total shock to us all and has left a gaping hole in our hearts as well as reptile conservation and the all-important work of saving lives. His wife and the team at Bio-Ken will continue his work, and we will be providing as much support as possible. Should you wish to learn more about what Bio-Ken does and would like to support the cause, please click on this link. https://www.gofundme.com/f/royjantaylor
Finally, it has been wonderful having our guests arriving from New York on the Kenya Airways direct flight, having had dinner in New York and breakfast in Nairobi, worlds apart but now only a 14-hour flight. Added to that, within minutes of leaving the capitals airport and coming to us, our guests have been amazed at the incredible wildlife the park has to offer on the game drive in before breakfast. This has transformed how our American friends view our side of the world, and we look forward to more of them venturing this way for that fantastic bucket list holiday in the safari capital of the world!