As a safari guide I go through lots of shoes and so it Is not often that I find a pair that I get excited about. These Scarpa’s Zen Pro Mid GTX on the other hand are worth the excitement. An excellent aspect is that the sides are leather and they do not let in any grass seeds that can cause lots of frustration for people with mesh sided trainers. They also are supportive of my rather flimsy ankle that likes to roll on rocks. Best of all is their ‘approach’ type design that helps in climbing and clamoring over rocks – they would actually be not only excellent for a walking safari with the camels but also for climbing Mt. Kenya. Lanana, would be no problem but these boots could even get you up Batian because of their slim design and their sharp rubber lip at the toes.
I combine these boots with a simple gaiter to keep out seeds. You can also spray your gaiters with bug spray to discourage ticks.
Tumaren is booming and the wildlife are all breeding, frolicking and fighting. THIS is the time to be on safari! I have never been able to fathom why so many people and agents steer guests away from Kenya during the rains. It is by far my own favorite time to be on safari and more international visitors should know about how nice it is.
The rain brings out lots of life that has to hide away during the long dry periods. The tortoises start to roam widely in our area and begin to search out mates. Insects of all color and shape emerge to pollinate or eat the equally diverse collection of flowering plants that erupt. Birds are nesting and the young attract the attention of many kinds of predator. The lush vegetation prompts most of the plains game to go into breeding mode – the stallion zebras fighting off advances from other males while the gazelles too come into season and begin to drop their young in the long grass. Its a predator’s dreamscape.
To give an idea of what people are missing by not travelling during the rains, here are are just a few images from a 2 hour game drive in Samburu. I didn’t stop for the bugs or flowers as there were just too many for the kids in my car.
In early November Kerry, I and some friends traveled to Ibo Island for some vacation time and we were utterly impressed with what we found. What an absolutely fascinating place. The sea and the Mangroves were stunning and the reefs were certainly in better shape than ours back in Kenya. It was the town itself though that really made the trip.
We stayed at Ibo Island Hotel. It was well run, very pretty and it fitted into the historic setting very naturally. We were told that it had been the Governor’s residence which would explain the commanding view of the bayside and the open sea.
History on Ibo is easy to access and the tour of the town was one of the highlights of our time there. Ibo was a very strategic port in the slave trade, having been first developed by the Arabs in AD 600. Gold and Ivory as well as amber, jet and turtle shell were traded here and evidence of the cultures that gravitated to Ibo are everywhere. The Portuguese held the island for the longest but they had to wrestle it off the Arabs in pitched wars that one can only imagine were very brutal. There are Chinese graves on Ibo from the 1600s and there is a section of town that was exclusively Indian.
In 1975 at Independence, the Portuguese were given the boot and since then very little development has happened on the island. This is really what makes it so special. There are no Coke signs or any signs for that matter, just beautiful architecture in different degrees of decrepitude. Seriously cool – Highly recommended. Here are some more pics: