One of the worst experiences that a tour guide should have to go through is to take visitors into a wildlife park and not spot a good number animals. There’s awkward silence, the ‘give-my-money-back’gazes and the frowns that vividly portray that they’d rather be somewhere else .
Fortunately, my unprecedented visit at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy (#SavannahEcologyClass) would have made any tour guide happy. I dare say that,even in this drought season, the conservancy has an impressive plethora of wildlife. A few minutes into the conservancy, we spot a herd of elephants marching across the grasslands.
Ol Pejeta is a typical Savannah. The most common trees include the Whistling Acacia (A. drepanolobium) and the Yellow Fever Tree(A. xanthophloea). The whistling acacia provides a habitat for four types of ants that inhabit the domatia. (Domatia : They are pod-like swellings at the base of the thorns).
Later in the evening, John takes us for a game drive. On the previous game drive, we had seen mama elephant and her calf feeding by the dirt road. This is when Yun-Yun whispered that nursing elephants exclude themselves from the rest of the herd to take care of their young.
Today, we are mildly excited.
“Common Zebra…! ”
“Oh… Giraffe…! ”
“Blackeeeesh thingie with white tail…”
Soon, everyone is chatting and no one is looking outside . Until John brings the car to a sudden halt. He has spotted something.
There is a creature moving in the bushes nearest to our bus. Indistinct rustling of dry leaves is heard. Everyone is silently anticipating.
“Ah! A lioness!!! ” Mariana’s high-pitched voice cuts through the silence.
We all spring towards the windows and marvel. The lioness lifts her head up and then looks away.
She knows that we are watching.
She stretches her hind legs. The cameras applaud her poses. Like a Victoria’s Secret model, she graciously faces towards the sky, shuts her eyes and then… Poops ! Yap… She knows that no matter what she does, the cameras will still love her.She does not dig shallow holes or try to cover her ordure with soil. She is not a domestic cat. She knows it. We watch her slowly catwalk and disappear into the bushes behind us.
The beautiful sundown reflects a range of bright hue on the blue sky. John drives slowly as we all take in the breathtaking view. Our final stop is near an enclosed area where three rhinos are being heavily guarded by an armed ranger. One male is however feeding outside the enclosed area. Andrew thinks that he comes to check out the hot rhino babes from across the fence. Thompson gazelles happily play around the huge rhino. It has been a memorable day.
Here are the top 5 things I enjoyed at Ol Pejeta :
5. Bonfires! This is where I had my first marshmallows ever.
4.Accomodation. At the stables, the rooms were grass-thatched and the finishing gave it a raw, wild look. Oh! Ol Pegeta people either really care about your hydration or are just fooling around by filling blue wine bottles with water. Either way, it worked for me. I liked it!
3.Mr. Blind Elephant. I do not know how a blind elephant keeps wandering his way to the stables… I get lost all the time in familiar places. And I can see really clearly. Did he lie that he was blind? It was kind of funny. And it gave me chills when I saw him running away sideways .
2.Swimming Pool at the Ol Pegeta House. A simply built swimming pool but in a natural and serene environmental. Great place to hang out with buddies. ( Thanks Maia for showing us a great time.)
1. The food was amazing… The chef really worked our taste buds. Every experience was new. I loved it! The mandazis and cupcakes were really good. Serving ice cream after meals was always a good idea.