Safari with the kids?

July 15th, 2018

For most parents, the prospect of un-leashing their little ones onto the African Continent fills them with horror and apprehension. Africa is far too dangerous and one couldn’t possibly allow children to be exposed to the risks of Malaria, snake bite, scorpion sting, man-eating lions and worst of all civil car! The dark continent indeed!When I am overseas and I speak to people about visiting Kenya and get this sort of reaction, I am perfectly understanding. Why on earth anyone would pay for that? But where in Africa does this all happen? Then I am reminded how appalling our global press coverage has been and how it must look to the outside world. The Africa that people view through their television screens and android devices is on a different planet from the Africa that I know, and the Africa that my children love, adore and call home. Having said this, …

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The End of an Era

May 1st, 2018

March & April have been extremely sad months all round. Not only have we said goodbye to an incredible herpetologist, Sanda Ashe but also we say ‘Kwaheri’ to our matriarch, Dame Daphne Sheldrick. Both these ladies had an enormous impact on the preservation of a species, through education, conservation and rehabilitation. Each of these formidable ladies was a pioneer in their chosen field, and were never afraid of being the only voices to be raised in support of their beliefs, despite often being ridiculed, ignored and shouted down. They spoke ugly truths that nobody wanted to hear, forced people listen, and in their lifetimes have trained and inspired the dedicated teams who continue to carry forward their great work. This world is a lesser place without them.I recall the story of Sanda, shocking the locals with her skills, when a hotel in the Watamu area had called the Bio-Ken snake …

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From Building Sites to Buffets

January 30th, 2018

If you are not in the hospitality business it is almost impossible to appreciate not only the ramifications of running a lodge, but the detail of what is involved in putting one together.  In this country there are a handful of particularly awesome people who have built, and are running, lodges in extremely remote areas, away from families and “civilisation” and who manage to make it look completely effortless.  The dedication and effort, and sheer man-hours which go into the construction of these little gems has to be experienced to be believed.  Our story is no different and it is a long long story – but I will spare you the details!Believe it or not, despite feeling that we are a “new” establishment, we opened our doors to our first clients six years ago this month, fulfilling a plan that was discussed with many friends years before our idea actually …

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"Leopard in my Lap"

January 8th, 2018

I would bet that if you asked any African Safari Guide what their favourite animal was, it would be a Leopard.  Whilst they are not particularly rare creatures they are the most elusive of the big cats, and arguably one of the most beautiful animals you will see in Africa.  Anthony certainly makes spotting a leopard almost essential to any safari, and in the days when we both did guiding work I recall spending whole days doing nothing but tracking leopard.  We can truthfully say that we have never had a safari without finding one of these wonderfully spotted cats; I put this down to luck, whereas Anthony believes it to be pure skill: I will leave you to decide — perhaps a combination of both?
In the early days, when we received the green light to embark on “Project Emakoko” Anthony was given the task of finding the perfect …

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The Ultimate Safari Drink

December 23rd, 2017

We talk about sundowners as thought it is a global phenomenon, living in the bubble that we do the assumption that everywhere across the world someone somewhere is enjoying cocktails as the sun goes down is a common occurrence.  I gather that this is not the case, and especially for those far north of the equator who barely see the sun for months at a time let alone get the chance to see it come up or go down.Sunsets in Kenya happen relatively fast but what is so magical is the stunning change of lights which make the country a photographers paradise.  For those of you who are not into photography and are more into the ‘tastes’ of Kenya - we specialize in a superb drink termed the ‘DAWA’ which translated from Swahili is called medicine.  Invented by the ‘Carnivore group’ in Kenya we have taken the recipe and after …

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November 6th, 2017

I absolutely love this time of year in Kenya.  The rains clear all the dust out of the air, and the sunsets are incredibly beautiful, crystal clear and often in a cloudless sky.  Frequently there are rainbows which shine amazingly bright against a golden light and the vibrant green background.
With the beauty of the landscape comes the inevitable hazard of treacherous roads, often affecting vehicles in the same way ice affects tarmac.  By the time the long-awaited rain comes I have completely forgotten these unpleasant drawbacks and find myself sliding off roads into ditches and wash-aways either going or returning from the school run.  My children find this hugely entertaining; I find it less so, as the view through the windscreen changes from road to bush as we slide sideways across the road and into a ditch.  Last week was no exception and within seconds I found myself not …

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Surf & Turf

October 24th, 2017

With our home in the heart of Nairobi National Park we have a number of friends and followers who are curious about where we go on our “holidays”, the assumption being that living in a national park is already a holiday in itself.  

If we have the time, my passion for European history allied with a desire to make sure our children have a relationship with their genetic roots takes us to Europe.  Paris is one of our absolute favorite places to go, as is London, but it is always interesting when you have two Kenyan savages in tow. They regard all humans as natural friends and allies, and are completely uninhibited with their opinions and questions,  which are usually delivered at volume.  But those are experiences to relate another day!

Most of our free time tends to drive us deep into the more remote parts of Kenya.  Tsavo is …

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October 2nd, 2017

Here we are at the start of October and there are no raging torrents; although we did have a torrential downpour measuring 26mm, it has merely settled the dust and allowed the Mbagathi river to flow.  Throughout the park there are tufts of new green grass one day which are then munched down to nothing the next, but I am happy to report that all the wildlife in the area appear to be doing amazingly well, and despite the drought there are expectant Mums and new births everywhere.  Photo credit to Rihaz Sidi!!

Our quintuplet of Genet Cats – yes, now there are five of them - have become extreemly bold.   One individual in particular has decided, after months of careful observation, the food on the tables and  especially the butter is perfectly safe.  ‘Kamakazi', our appropriately-named youngest, was in the habit of launching himself off the lounge area into …

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Mt. Kenya & Nairobi

A Brave New World

September 9th, 2017

A lot has gone on in Kenya and at The Emkaoko over the last few weeks.  We have had the country’s General Elections, lions in camp, leopard in camp, rhino in camp, buffalo in camp and then election results officially nullified.  It has been quite the rollercoaster and I am pleased to report that we are all alive and well and incredibly proud to be a part of this amazing country as it redefines itself in terms of democracy.  Only four countries in the world, and none in Africa, have had election results overturned, quite justifiably, by it’s own Supreme court which was itself appointed by the party in power.  Kenyan people turned out in their millions to vote, stood patiently and uncomplainingly for hours in the blazing sun, and in the end were betrayed by the officials who’s sworn duty was to report the results accurately.  The election will …

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August 22nd, 2017

A sneak peak into our lovely home on the edge of a bustling city.  Anthony & I have now lived here for 6 years and the park never ceases to amaze me.  The lodge has been absorbed into the gorge and life continues for all the local residents, the Hyrax in particular have moved in and are now a regular part of the welcome committee!  

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