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Happy New Year!

December 30th, 2020

And so the extraordinary year of 2020 has finally drawn to a close. I have never been so happy to see the end of one year, and so full of hope for the year to come. So much has happened, and so much has not happened.Somewhere on the other side of our world, a hungry person took a bite out of a Bat dumpling, with unimaginable consequences. In one way or another, every single human on the face of this planet has been faced with how hard life can be, up close and personal. Our ability to earn a living, to be amongst friends and family and to walk freely on this earth has been seriously eroded. And north and south, rich or poor, white or black, powerful or insignificant, countless millions have had to face the reality of that empty seat at the table.But the year 2020 has changed …

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In Praise of Teachers!

June 1st, 2020

I must admit that when the prospect of having to educate my children from home became a reality, my immediate reaction was extremely enthusiastic. This, I believed, was my chance to really REALLY teach my kids something.  History, French, Kiswahili, Maths, Science, these were all going to be so easy! In my dream, our kids would suddenly rise to the top of the leader boards, and be so far ahead of the year groups. It would be mere days before The Banda School would be recruiting my services to ensure that ALL students would be passing their 'Key Stage 3' (what is that?) with flying colours.The morning of the first day of school was nothing short of a nightmare, and the most painful and humiliating reality check I have ever had. I got the kids up as if it were regular school; the standard operating procedure of feeding them, dressing, …

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Living in a Corona World

April 26th, 2020

In this time of international lock-down and enforced isolation, I have to remind myself how lucky my family and I are living, as we do, in a National Park only minutes away from Nairobi.Corona virus has made social distancing an unfortunate condition of life in the world. For us with our individual cottages and open air lodge, social distancing is something that has been a part of our every-day lives since we opened. Indeed, it is something that a safari anywhere in Kenya offers, let alone one so close to Nairobi.As those who have stayed with us will know the only company we have is the birds and beasts, who more and more view us as a part of their world. Our small size , which when we opened we thought might be a disadvantage, in this current environment is now possibly an advantage. Although our International guests are for …

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My 'Scramble for Africa' & Our global Warning

March 16th, 2020

I started writing this sitting at Atlanta International Airport and waiting, hopefully, for a flight back to the Kenya via the UK as our marketing trip to the USA has been aborted. This tidal wave of horror is gathering momentum but yet it feels so surreal as I move from one continent to another.Our plan was for a group of Kenyan lodge owner/manager/operators to take our annual marketing trip through the USA. Once we had finished, then our group would part ways and Anthony and our children would join me for a road trip in the States. The inexorable march of the Corona virus across the world ended that plan, as it has affected the lives of so many millions of people across the world.Our visit started off with a very positive showcasing of the appeal of Kenya - and The Emakoko - as an exciting holiday start and end …

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Bring on the next Roaring Twenties!

December 31st, 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, I find myself wondering where all the days went. This year has been an exciting, challenging and unfortunately a sad one for us. As I sit here reflecting on the past twelve months, I am amazed how time seems to accelerate as we get older. For our children Christmas never comes, but for us it never seems to be far away.The year 2019 ended with the arrival of our daughter Alexandra at 3 am on New Year’s Eve. Here’s a girl who will always have a large group celebrating her birthday!On reflection, having a third child after an eight-year break may not have been the excellent idea that Anthony and I thought it was. A newborn at the age of 40 with a full-time job working in hospitality is something that I now would not recommend. In spite of this, Alexandra has been an …

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Touching Base

September 4th, 2019

It has been a hectic few months here at The Emakoko, we have met some fabulous people and had some exciting sightings with wildlife. The most amazing of all is our Cheetah sightings seem to be more frequent, in the past we would be lucky to see Cheetah at all, but it now appears that at least one, if not two are now using the park more and more.Koko the Leopard seems to have had a lot of fun over the last few months, and as a result we have been expecting to see her cubs......so far she appears to have not had any babies. Her and Nguruman (our lovely large male) have spent a lot of time together, and so we continue to hope that we will see some baby ‘Ngurokos' any time now. Photo Credit Paras Chandaria.On the lodge front, we have had the lovely Rose Lloyd Owen …

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The Funicular

July 23rd, 2019

It has been an unbelievable uphill battle, literally, but we are finally there. Ladies and gentlemen, we would like to introduce the funicular!!!!!The funicular was a project that started way back in 2014, bit by bit we slowly built this and are delighted that access to the top rooms of the lodge no longer require you to be an Iron Man.The best thing about it is that you can enjoy your Dawa as you go up, without spilling a drop!

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And Then There Were Three

June 10th, 2019

So much has happened since my last post and we have really been buried in the realities of life - I feel like I am just coming up for air!If you follow my blog you will now about the Rhino Charge, a unique race for a field of 65 modified 4WDrives over appalling difficult terrain to raise money for Rhino Ark, a huge environmental project, is a big event in our year. Anthony’s family have put in a vehicle (Car 49) for many years, driven by his brother-in-law, navigated by his father, and with Anthony and I part of the rest of the family team. For Anthony and I, is to run ahead through often-impenetrable and always uncomfortable bush, to try and find a way through for our car. A distance of around 25 kms takes a good ten hours to accomplish, and often requires winching up and down cliffs. …

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A Change of Seasons

November 19th, 2018

The dry season is coming to an end and as usual the wildlife is beginning to congregate around what ever pockets of water are left in the park, or down by the rivers which flow through. Although it is extremely hot and dusty, game drives at this time of year are excellent and our big cats are in great shape, picking off the weak and those that are bunched around water. It is an easy time for them and with the stunning November light, it is a great time for photography.With the death of Ema, our senior female leopard, we have been concerned for her daughter Koko, who was last seen 3 months ago a fair distance from her usual haunts. It was with great excitement we heard that someone in the park had reported seeing a large male and female together. However this was in an area we had …

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Our New Additions

September 24th, 2018

As a camp manager in the African bush one does require an extremely wide variety of skills. In fact, I don’t think that there are many jobs in the world which require such an imaginative diversity of abilities and, quite frankly, a degree in hospitality does not prepare one for such a challenge. Over the years I have observed a stream of highly qualified young people arrive at a number of the camps where we have worked, fresh out of some of the greatest universities in the world, with a shiny new degree, on a mission to change boutique lodges into corporate, streamlined, super-efficient ‘cookie cutter’ hotels: - only to find that working in the African bush does face one with a variety of challenges not covered in a university curriculum,We were no different when we started running remote lodges here in Kenya. From our very first day and up …

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