Love thine Cockroach

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:

Blaberidae

Blaberidae

 

giant cockroach

giant cockroach upside down

Blaberidae

Blaberidae

 

Rock-climbing Class at Tumaren

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.

africanascentsclimbing africanascentsclimbingclass climbingclass karisiarockclimbing

African Ascents

African Ascents

African Ascents Class

African Ascents Class

Karisia Awarded ‘Best Walking Safari in Africa’ by The Safari Awards

We have just learned that we have won Best Walking Safari in Africa from the Safari Awards.

Best Walking Safari in Africa 2017

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

Karisia Walking Safaris

Mt Kenya Walking Safari

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. Descending to Michaelson.

Mt Kenya. Michaelson Camp

Mt Kenya. Michaelson Camp.

Lake Michaelson Groudsels

Lake Michaelson Groudsels

Lake Michaelson

Lake Michaelson

Climbing up from Michaelson. Mt Kenya

Climbing up from Michaelson. Mt Kenya

Climbing Mt Kenya

Climbing Mt Kenya

Mt Kenya

Mt Kenya

Mt Kenya Trekking

Mt Kenya Trekking

Mt Kenya Safari

Mt Kenya Safari

Lobelia

Lobelia

Mt Kenya Climb

Mt Kenya Climb

Mt Kenya Walking Safari

Mt Kenya Walking Safari

Mt Kenya Trek

Mt Kenya Trek

Simba Col

Simba Col

Simba Col Climb

Simba Col Climb

Enjoying the view

Enjoying the view

Up High on Mt Kenya

Up High on Mt Kenya

View from Lanana

View from Lanana

Looking at Batian

Looking at Batian

Up Lanana

Up Lanana

Lanana Peak

 

Nelion, Mt Kenya

Nelion, Mt Kenya

Austrian Hut

Austrian Hut

Mt Kenya

Mt Kenya

Mt Kenya

Mt Kenya

Mt Kenya Descent

Mt Kenya Descent

Mt. Kenya

Mt. Kenya

Manda Bay and the Kenyan North Coast

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)

Rufous and Bronzey Trevalley (Colicoli)

Dhow off Pate Island, Kenya

Dhow off Pate Island, Kenya

Manda Bay

Manda Bay

Chilling on Wiilliam/Tanya's Dhow

Chilling on Wiilliam/Tanya’s Dhow

Dhow Jumping

Dhow Jumping

Fin-nor No. 4

Fin-nor No. 4

Soli

Soli

Me and Colicoli

Me and Colicoli

No stress here

No stress here

Sundowners on Dhow

Sundowners on Dhow

Dhow Time

Dhow Time

Cruising to Pate

Cruising to Pate

Natural History Books on Safari

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

the diversity of life

sapiens

sapiens

song of the dodo

song of the dodo

guns germs and steel

guns germs and steel

a plague of rats and rubbervines

a plague of rats and rubbervines

the world without us

the world without us

the ancestors tale

the ancestors tale

third chimpanzee

third chimpanzee

parasite rex

parasite rex

1491

1491

Google Map: How to get to Tumaren / Karisia Walking Safaris

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:

http://www.karisia.com/about-karisia/karisia-blog/google-map-of-kenyan-scheduled-flights/