Yesterday an American woman and her infant were killed by an elephant as they walked out of the Castle Forest Lodge near Mt. Kenya.
The name of the woman has not yet been released, but Kenyan authorities said she was the 39-year old wife of a teacher at Nairobi’s International School. The age of the infant was not given.
Reports by Agence France Presse said they were in a small group “casually walking” into the forest, and that the group included her husband who escaped unhurt.
None of the reports has been confirmed by U.S. authorities, but they are likely true.
The Castle Forest Lodge is a downmarket log motel not too far from Serena’s Mountain Lodge, one of Kenya’s five tree hotels. It’s located on the south end of the Mt. Kenya National Park, an area known to have many elephants. Expat workers typical of a U.S. high school teacher frequent the facility. One night with all meals costs $63.
One night with all meals at the nearby Serena Mountain Lodge retails at $260.
I am intentionally implying that the more you pay, the less likely you are to get trampled by an elephant.
The largest group effected by elephant deaths in Africa are not tourists, but Africans in their homes and farms who also do not have the insular experience of a well-run tourist facility. I am not implying that Africans or expats who pay less should be any less protected from elephants than my own Park Avenue clients.
There are some very nasty edges to the make-up of a tourist.