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Man’s best friend

September 6, 2011

Spending so much time in Africa, I understand the concept of the “circle of life” however, that still doesn’t make it easy when I learn of an animal’s death.  A few weeks ago, we lost Bosco who was a legendary bloodhound based at ol Donyo Lodge and who helped track & catch numerous poachers throughout Kenya.  The loss of Bosco made me think about all the wonderful domesticated, semi-domesticated & wild animals we have come to know and love at our properties.

One of the many things our guests are surprised at when they visit our properties is the number of fantastic pets they get the chance to meet and fall in love with.  There are of course lots of dogs – Scruffy who fearlessly and tirelessly accompanies guests on their game walks at Ol Malo; Tatu who likes a bit of your cakes or cookies when you have tea on the verandah at Lewa Wilderness; Chyulu the labrador who is not to be confused with Chyulu the lovely hostess at Ol Malo House and countless others. Plus birds, lizards and cats too.

As well, there are our semi-domesticated animals – many who were rescued by our property owners and nursed back to health.  We always try to return them back to the wild but in some cases that is simply not possible.  One of the most famous of these cases is Tandala who is a gorgeous female kudu and who lives at Ol Malo.  She was rescued as a young baby by Colin & Rocky and hand raised by them.  She is a gentle creature and loves nothing more than to stop by for tea each afternoon and charm the guests.  But we have also known Derek the dik dik at Sarara; Hoot the owl; Twiga the giraffe and I am sure there will be many more in the years ahead.

Finally, there are our famous wild animals that we have come to know so well that we consider them our friends.  The three cheetah brothers at Lewa Wilderness who are a formidable hunting trio and an absolute delight to spend an afternoon with.  Olive the stunning leopard who can be spotted in the Mara if you are lucky.  Or Chuma the rhino whose name means “metal” in Swahili because that is what he loves to puncture with his horn if he can get close to one of our vehicles.  Or the famous 100 pounders – the bull elephants at ol Donyo lodge whose ivories are estimated to weigh 100 pounds each.

All of these domesticated, semi-domesticated and wild animals are considered members of our families and have captured the hearts of our guests.  We’d love you to come and meet them – you will understand why the loss of any of them causes us such pain.

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