Visiting a Kikuyu farmer
Wednesday 16th March
We had a quick "mini-breakfast" at 6am and got away for an early morning
game drive. It was cloudy and drizzling intermittently, so the light
was not good for photography.
The most memorable event came when we were watching watching oxpeckers in
a sausage tree, near a herd of buffalo. Kassim and Duncan saw an African
green pigeon fly into the tree and then spent a while trying to find it;
it took them even longer to explain to me where it was.
Birds we saw in the Masai Mara included:
African green pigeon,
helmeted guinea fowl,
yellow-billed stork, ...
We also saw some elephants and the same lions on the buffalo carcass
we'd seen the previous day. There wasn't much left of what had been
a fresh buffalo twenty four hours earlier!
We were packed and off by 10.30. We stopped once in the middle of nowhere
for photos of the landscape, and a second time for our crew to pick up
three bags of charcoal (for household cooking) from a roadside vendor.
Lunch was in the same place in Narok, where Kassim bought a newspaper,
I think the Kenyan Standard. This had an update on the Japanese
earthquake and tsunami, which was what I was most interested in, but
the headlines were all about the Ocampo Six.
Strangely, Wikipedia doesn't have an article on the Ocampo Six, but
the article on ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo
"Moreno Ocampo announced the six prime suspects in the Kenya post-election
violence of 2007 on December 15, 2010. He named suspended Minister of
Higher Education William Ruto, Minister for Industrialisation Henry
Kosgey, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta, former Commissioner of
the Kenya Police Major General Mohammed Hussein Ali, Head of Public
Services Francis Muthaura, and journalist Joshua Arap Sang as leading
perpetrators of the incidents."
This was, as one can imagine, rather politicised in Kenya, with different
groups either supporting or opposing a government-requested deferment
of the ICC prosecution.
Camilla did some souvenir shopping (hawkers moderately pushy), while I
watched birds from our lunch table.
local church, from the car window
Then it was a long drive on the main highway, with many more trucks
than before, but with Duncan overtaking safely. We passed some camps
of refugees from the 2007 violence (they had houses, not just tents).
It was cool and intermittent rain continued.
The rain had got quite heavy when we arrived at the Kikuyu farm we were to
visit, so went inside and chatted while drinking tea, talking to farmer
George and a visiting friend. George had worked as a teacher for 30
years, but has also run his own farm, living up to the Kikuyu reputation
for industriousness. He was very happy that the rains had come.
They were interested in Australia and the situation of the Aborigines.
The best I could come up with here as an analogy was what the Maasai
would be like if all their cattle were taken away from them and they
were forced to settle in camps.
We managed to fit in a brief tour of the farm, which I think was two
acres. This was more a hobby farm than the "subsistence farm" of our
itinerary, with small areas of many different plants — four types
of bananas, avocadoes, maize, hay, kale, spinach, passionfruit, papaya,
potatoes and more. Much of that was eaten by the family, but some of
it was sold for cash.
Our hotel, the Lake Nakuru Flamingo Lodge, was not far away.
Next: Subukia estate
Previous: Masai Mara afternoon
Up: Kenya + Tanzania