The new Chinese road has made travel from the Aberdare to Samburu easy, just like in the old days. More for less, again!
On the third day of our Cronan safari we left The Ark after a wonderful night which included sightings of all the regulars (lots, and lots, and lots of elephant; buffalo, hyaena, bushbuck) with the added bonuses of giant forest hog and porcupine!
Our African porcupine is considerably bigger than the one at home, and shaped more like a dinosaur than a round ball of spines. His large head and stumpy almost fish-like snout is particularly intimidating. But at the same time it’s one of the shyest creatures on the veld. It showed itself twice for only minutes, and the moment there was any significant noise from the lodge, it went scurrying back into the forest.
We left The Ark pretty much on time and got to the Equator before most of the other tour buses and cars, so were first in line for the “Coriolis demonstration.” When I had briefed my three scientists (Dad and two sons) on this upcoming attraction, there was great laughter and enormous skepticism.
The chief honcho at the equator gives the demonstration. You walk 20 meters north, and the twig he places in his plastic pitcher that has a small hole at the bottom, twists around clockwise. And the stream of water coming out of the pitcher twists clockwise.
Then, you walk 20 meters south, and the effect is counter-clockwise. And then, on the Equator, there is no twisting, just an unmoving twig and a single untwisted stream of water out of the hole.
After watching the demonstration, the scientists were … well, dumbfounded. Now, I still don’t know if it’s for real!
We got to Samburu around lunchtime and picnicked at the gate. We spent the afternoon being introduced to most all of Samburu’s unique species and ended the day at Saruni, a luxury ecolodge in the Kalama conservancy just north of Samburu.
The property is beautiful, but it’s truly unique attraction is the view. It sits atop one of the hills at the start of the Mathews Mountains and the view extends all the way past Isiolo up the slope to Mt. Kenya. It is absolutely one of those expanses that just sucks up your soul and makes you breathless.
As we had sundowners on the highest hill in the area, the view was 360 degrees of some of the most beautiful landscape in Africa!