03 September 2012

Into The Ark...KENYA (30 Aug.)

After several days around Mount Kenya, when we finally got a brief view of this towering peak (Africa's second highest I think?), as we were leaving, as it just broke through the cloud, we moved to another area of the Central Highlands: Aberdares National Park. After finally topping up our Safari Card which would allow us to enter the park (which confusingly meant going a fair way from the park to top this up), we entered the Aberdares, and instantly our attentions turned to things feline; we had come here for its enviable reputation as one of the best Leopard parks in Kenya. Our scouring on the way to our luxurious lodge produced nothing, although this was soon forgotten when we checked into the remarkable lodge, The Ark. The lodge overlooks a massive waterhole that draws in animals daily in good numbers. It took us no time to start partaking in the wildlife photo opps as we watched and photographed Cape Buffalo, African Elephant, Bushbuck (with attendant oxpeckers being regularly swatted away), Common Warthog, and the unenviably ugly Giant Forest Hog right from the lodge "bunker" come photo blind. What an opener. Of course steaming hot and milky tea was readily available, and readily taken in by me at least. The day closed with a visit from a genet that came to take scraps from just outside the bar, and the regular sounds of elephants, crickets, and the occasional Montane Nightjar could be heard from our room as we drifted into a deep and satisfying sleep.

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