A very great deal of people are quite put off by cockroaches. They tend to evoke repulsion in a way that Spiders and Snakes sometimes do suggesting that humans may have a hardwired response built in. Cockroaches spread germs and we maybe genetically trained to be repulsed. Sadly though our natural fear is naively for all cockroaches when only about 4 species have really evolved to associate with humans. There are over 4600 species of cockroach currently described almost all of which are harmless. Cockroaches occupy many different habitats and they began their evolution away from termites in the Devonian, about 150 million years before Dinosaurs. Maybe we should actually give them a bit more respect then no? Like as in respect your elders. Also think about this: 4 out of 4600 species of cockroach are invasive or troublesome but for the Great Apes it is 1 (guess who!) out of 7, a much greater proportion.
Here are some pics I took recently of a Burrowing Cockroach which I believe is a member of the Blaberidae, or the Giant Cockroaches. When I handled him he was very powerful and could wedge or push under my hands in the same way that a mole cricket and other burrowing things can. Here are some pics:
giant cockroach upside down
What an amazingly great rock climbing class we had over the course of the past three days. Taught by the superb rock guides extraordinaire, Julian Wright and Tom Gregory from African Ascents. The class was focused on top roping instruction for our guides and assistant guides. By pioneering new roots Julian and Tom got the team to guide the rest of us like we were guests up and down rock after rock. Lots of great fun and lots of great laughs.
African Ascents Class
This is a new species of snake that we recently found on Tumaren. It is a Desert Black-headed Snake (Micrelaps vaillanti or so we think. Exciting to find new species after all these years hiking this bush.
Desert Black-headed Snake
We have just learned that we have won Best Walking Safari in Africa from the Safari Awards.
Best Walking Safari in Africa 2017
It has always been a great privilege to receive recognition for our safaris but to be honoured with Best Walking Safari in Africa is a distinction we could only ever dream of. We are a small and humble company but it is a great feeling to know that our ethos of providing authentic, old fashioned adventure has paid off. All of our staff from our head guides to the rangers that patrol our conservation are over the moon to know that they have been part of this success. Thank you Safari Awards for this opportunity.
Karisia Walking Safaris
Just back from a great trip up (and down) Mt Kenya. With 5 rugged Londoners we embarked on our trip as ominous clouds built about the peaks.
Our route was up the Chogoria route and down the Naro Moro. The weather fortunately stayed perfectly good and we had a super trip, everyone making it to Lanana in one piece.
Here are some pics:
Mt Kenya. Descending to Michaelson.
Mt Kenya. Michaelson Camp.
Lake Michaelson Groudsels
Climbing up from Michaelson. Mt Kenya
Climbing Mt Kenya
Mt Kenya Trekking
Mt Kenya Safari
Mt Kenya Climb
Mt Kenya Walking Safari
Mt Kenya Trek
Simba Col Climb
Enjoying the view
Up High on Mt Kenya
View from Lanana
Looking at Batian
Nelion, Mt Kenya
Mt Kenya Descent
Where do Kenyan’s go for a holiday? We’re asked all the time. While many international travellers have in recent years been too spooked by Kenya’s north coast, many Kenyans are returning to enjoy their vacations in their favourite haunts like we just did at Manda Bay.
Manda is mind-bogglingly good. The food, the views, the bar banter, the Colicoli fishing – It is what makes a coast vacation into an epic coast vacation.
How great it was to be back around Lamu. I was reminded of when I first visited the busy little town in the 1970s with my parents. With all the playboys, marginal royals and thong-wearing socialites staying away, the place has a serenity it had back in the old days. The locals we met were thrilled to see more tourists starting to return and we felt welcome in that great way we always did before.
The point of this note: Go check out Lamu again. Now!
Rufous and Bronzey Trevalley (Colicoli)
Dhow off Pate Island, Kenya
Chilling on Wiilliam/Tanya’s Dhow
Fin-nor No. 4
Me and Colicoli
No stress here
Sundowners on Dhow
Cruising to Pate
Not everyone is as nerdy as me. I have to accept that and remind myself that most people’s interest are not as eco/creepycrawly-centric. Not everyone jumps for joy when Amazon delivers ‘Parasite Rex’ or ‘Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers’. They should though – its gripping stuff.
Safari is the ideal place for non fiction and specifically Natural History. What better place to brush up on some evolution or basic whys and wherefores. Below are some of my favourite Natural History Books. As well as some fascinating evolution they are also filled with arcane knowledge perfect for cocktail parties (sexual selection and the purpose of pubic hair for instance *Third Chimpanzee).
Most of these books are ecological but many also include some human history. Nearly all have implications or messages for humanity (fix your ways or you’re doomed). 1491 is very new world specific but it is just such a great history that I had to include it even in a on-safari list.
Here are my top ten:
the diversity of life
song of the dodo
guns germs and steel
a plague of rats and rubbervines
the world without us
the ancestors tale
This is a map designed to show guests how easy it is to get to Tumaren and Karisia Walking Safaris. Click the button to the left of the Map Title. A key will slide over. Click down the list starting from the top. The first layer goes through some likely forms of transport and timing as well as some Nairobi hotel ideas. I also marked the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage because it is such a great Nairobi stop for when you arrive or when you depart.
Also you might want to see this map for more Scheduled flights to the coast and other destinations:
I made the following map to allow visitors to Kenya to get a feel for where some of the tourism-relevant scheduled flights will get them. In the map you will see the big operators in Kenya as well as their destinations. Note that you can see the different routes and airlines by hitting the button to the left of the Map’s title.
I hope that this can help the planning of your trip to Kenya. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.