How many house sitters get the chance to go on safari whilst caretaking? Not many I would say. Part of my role at Olepangi Farm is to welcome guests and see they have what they need. Two guests from Switzerland wanted to go on horse safari, so it was arranged to take them for a 3 day trip along with our chef, a safari guide, sycers (horse grooms) and a couple volunteers. And so we set off for the Lolldaiga Hills – what a trip that was!
Seeing the wild animals in their natural habitat, who can come and go as they please, really opens the heart. I ask myself “how can anyone harm such beautiful, peaceful, animals?” This trip took me back to nature like no other time. I was able to appreciate the ‘circle of life’ in all it glory and still tread lightly on the earth.
We were lucky to have a local guide, along with an armed guard – both of whom were very gentle natured and we were assured the gun would only be used to scare a predator unless we were in real danger. We walked, we climbed and we travelled slowly in a safari jeep. We slept in The Farmhouse – all made of local cedar wood, which was lovely and cosy with plenty of space for all. And had the most amazing views of Mount Kenya and surrounding areas.
The task of looking after guests is not onerous. The majority are extremely friendly and often self-contained, worldly, people who just need a little attention to ensure their stay runs smoothly. Our job might be to book trips like to Ol Pejeta, drivers and guides for them, make sure their rooms have appropriate content and are clean and well prepared. We also run the bar, ensuring guests receive their drink of choice and their bill is paid at the end of their stay.
Back to the safari……… we had the most amazing local guide who was so knowledgeable and amenable, he added to our overall safari experience making it something really special. It is so important to get the right guide – one who will take and show you what you want to see and also keep you safe plus adding to your own knowledge. Our guide took us up a steep hillside to reach a cave with paintings dating back to the 17thC. The painting is believed to be written in the fat of cows!
What I also find interesting, apart from the animal on safari, are the different shapes in nature. Trees that have been knocked over by elephants or rubbed against by lion or eaten by giraffe. All have their own story to tell and are fascinating to look at and capture.
Our trip to the Lolldaiga Hills came to and end and we returned to the farm to continue our Caretaking duties. And that’s another blog to follow ………….