Fun Stuff

 

In Memory of Suzanne

(An excerpt from his letter with kind permission of Major Betterton) I attach pictures of my late wife taken during her recent visit to the animal orphanage. I think they show far better than I can express in words the effect of our visit and subsequent involvement with your organization. I don’t think they show a woman who was very ill, terminally ill in fact, but instead show someone who is full of joy and wonder from being where she was. She was very proud of us becoming members of...

Mount Kenya Iruga

In a country abundant with natural produce, in particular the rich farmland around Mount Kenya, it is only inherent that Kenyans are avid food lovers. Whilst new and innovative dishes veer towards a fusion of flavors from around the world, Kenya’s traditional fare forms the foundation for every cook worth his salt. Join us on an imaginary safari to a traditional Mount Kenya village as we walk past small huts built in a circle around the centre of the Boma facing a roaring fire. It’s time for our “Iruga” (Feast) – karibu ! ....

Kiswahili Teacher June 2008

Time Will Tell Barely visible at first, Mount Kenya rises out of the dark in an ever changing display of colors. “Saa ngapi” = what time is it?” “Saa moja asubuhi” = “one in the morning,” the smiling reply comes promptly. – Excuse me??? …but the sun is now rising steadily over the peaks of Mount Kenya so there surely must have been a misunderstanding – or is there? Saa Moja (Asubuhi) = Hour One of Morning Sunrise on the Equator – the beginning of a brand new day...

Bush Drums June 2008

Bongo News Update Our Bongo Rehabilitation Project, which began in 1967 is now ready for the beginning of phase two: the actual release of our captive bred bongo back to the wilds of their ancestral home on Mount Kenya. The first selected group from our bongo herd has now been “in training” to become wild again for over one year. Training entailed teaching the captive born animals a healthy fear of their natural enemies which of course includes man. But first they had to brave a controlled wilderness area...

Chaircat’s Letter June 2008

My Dear Friends, as usual I talk to you during the onset of the rains when nature renews itself in our neighborhood. This year has brought delay, not just in the onset of the rains. As you are all no doubt aware the beginning of 2008 in Kenya was nothing for any decent Cheetah (or other) to write home about, indeed humans around here are still ashamed of what has taken place that left such a nasty mark on the history of this otherwise exceptional country. There are in...

I had a dream…

Last night I had a dream. I dreamt that a new party wanted me as their symbol. Because I never change my spots, they said. I had to consider this very carfully because I already serve as Chaircat on the board of the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy. So I asked them what this new party was all about. I had heard about such things. Here in Kenya they used to have a cockerel for one party and a donkey for another. The donkey is popular because they use it...

“Chickensoup” rewards

We LOVE to hear from our visitors and supporters! To us your words are the encouragement and incentive to strive harder towards our goal of beating extinction at the finish line. Here’s another short excerpt of a recent letter received that we’d like to share : If a picture tells a thousand words then those taken by your many visitors must fill entire storybooks already. It’s so incredibly peaceful that it is dangerously easy to forget why “Iris’ Ark” was brought to life in the first place, but it is...

Cats just know things…

Did you hear about Oskar the cat that spends time with patients on their deathbed in the nursing home? It’s been on all the news lately. No one can figure out how Oskar knows who’s about to depart and who will be around for a while in the geriatric nursing home where he “works.” As a member of the cat family I must say I don’t understand what all the fuzz is all about. Of course we know such things. And of course we care. We are cats are...

Kiswahili Teacher July 2007

A Friend in Kenya Here is a word you will soon need to use on your safari: Rafiki = Friend (pronounce: Rufeekee) Kenyans are a friendly lot. They have a great sense of humor and love to share a joke and a laugh. Most will be thrilled to have you for a new Rafiki. And just so you’re ready, here’s a little funny wisdom you can share now that you’re “rafikis” “Yes’m, old friends is always best, less you can catch a new one that’s fit to make an...

Bush Drums July 2007

Baby boomers make us proud “grandparents” Up in the south western part of the Conservancy, where the “Immigrant” bongo tend to congregate, things have been lively. First to arrive this March was “Zawadi” (Gift) a female calf. At the end of May to early June we were suddenly blessed with 4 more calves: “Amana” (Trust), followed by “Rafiki” (friend) and most preciously, “Uhuru” (freedom) born to “Miss Kenya.” Four baby bongos, all of them second-generation Kenyan born “007” was the temporary name given to the only male calf born...

Bush Drums March 2007

A Valentine Surprise February 14, 2007: Peter Fundi, Wildlife Officer at the Animal Orphanage called over the radio: “Mama, we have a Valentine’s gift for you.” My Valentine’s “Gift from God” was red (with white stripes) and a definite case of love at first sight! Bongo mother Alasiri had given birth to a bouncing baby bongo boy! Mother and baby are doing well and continue to enjoy the relative privacy of our “Suni sanctuary.” Here both receive special attention and extra nutrition to give the little fellow a good...

The Chaircat’s Letter of March 2007

My Dear Friends, for those of us that are born optimists, 2007 has started well. Unusual amounts of heavy precipitation may have caused some havoc in parts of East Africa, but for us here at the Conservancy the rain has had some very positive results. The vegetation is once again very lush and thick, the way it has not been for many years. Birdlife is abundant. There have been comparatively few orphaned animals brought in, probably due to the fact that the rain has allowed nature to feed her...

Kiswahili Teacher December 2006

Kiswahili Teacher selected a wonderful word for you, fit for this season: Nipe = Give A word often heard in Africa (nipe kitu kidogo = give something small) Not a beggars pray, here it is honest talk, heart to heart. In answer even the smallest gesture delights. A hug for a child, a warm smile for a lonely soul, Apples for Santa’s reindeer… Or whatever warms your heart, The gift is yours! Recommend on Facebook Tweet about...

Bush Drums December 2006

A Time to celebrate “Bwana Don” Hunt, Co-founder of the Mount Kenya Game Ranch and Wildlife Conservancy celebrated his 75th year this last October. In a ceremony honouring their leader, staff and members of the Conservancy hosted a surprise party among the animals at the Orphanage. Don Hunt and Kimani There were many speeches and good wishes. A touched Don said that “The best is yet to come,” when he reflected on his 45 years of conservation work in Africa. Word had just come that trackers think they may...

The Chaircat’s Letter of December 2006

My Dear Friends, with the holiday season in full swing and the New Year on the doorstep I have much good news to report. At long last it has now been confirmed that one small group of Bongo still survives on Mount Kenya. The group are reported to live in a remote area of dense forest, almost impenetrable to man. They have managed to remain hidden there undetected for almost ten years. The Conservancy’s work to breed the mountain bongo for the eventual return to Mount Kenya is progressing...

Kimani Rimui

Foreman Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy In the Kikuyu tradition a man is often judged not by what he has achieved himself, but by what his children have achieved. Kimani’s father would be a proud man. The son he named PHARIS KIMANI RIMUI back sometime in August of 1928 at a place called Rongai in the Nakuru District, has come a long way. He was one of 4 brothers and one sister. Old Moses Rimui and his wife Wanjiku worked in the farms of the white settlers in what was...

Sole Wangui

This recipe comes from our friendly cook Irene Wangui Irene was born in the Nyambeni hills not far from here. After School she was able to join a small basic cooking class run at an African hotel in the village. She learned basic cooking and “kitchen hygene”. It almost looked like she would be stuck forever in steamy little village hotel kitchens making “Njama Choma (fried meats) and “chips” (French fries). It was her love for animals that brought her our way, spending her day off at the animal...

Kiswahili Teacher April 2006

This month, Kiswahili Teacher is venturing into Musical lyrics, motivated by the promise of spring, Valentines Day just past, romantic May just ahead… There is a famous Kiswahili song that, once heard, stays on your mind. Composed ages ago it is today as popular as ever: Malaika = Angel The song refers, of course, not to some supernatural saintly messenger of God, the conventional Image of a white robed figure in human form with wings and a halo. But rather to what we all need and wish for most...

Chaircat’s Letter July 2007

My dear Friends, in Kenya, rain is usually concentrated in two brief periods during the year. Oddly, this first half of the year it has been almost one long stretch of rain, denying the usual drought its disastrous effects. Never have we seen so much green for so long. Fewer animal orphans resulted. The vegetation around us has been regenerated almost overnight. Once again there is plenty of green grass and browse for the animals. The trees look alive and healthy with a new dress of shade-giving foliage. Here...

Bush Drums April 2006

News and highlights from the African animal keepers’ diaries Shortly before the rains most birds are busy incubating their eggs. Many are lost to predators. Our wild population of Blacksmith Plovers have found the perfect answer. They don’t hide but lay their grey mottled eggs right by the road among some natural stones, so concealed, only a keen trained eye would be able to spot them. Male and female take turns “sitting,” and the trick is: Do not attract attention by fleeing from passing cars, predators, even animal keepers !...

The Chaircat’s Letter of April 2006

My Dear Friends, I must apologize for my prolonged absence… Lately developments here the animal Orphanage have seen me literally pushed into the background. I have not been privileged to share the affections of our lovely female Cheetah Isis. For some time now, preference and visitation privileges have favored the handsome Cheetah “Sultan.” Sadly for her, Isis has equally rejected the Sultan’s advances. After all, his beauty is only spotted skin deep. At last they have permitted us back to visit and enjoy female feline companionship on a regular...

Chocolate Gateau “Dolce Vita”

‘Tis the season,’ so soon again ! No matter how well planned in advance, most of us never get ready in time and panic sets in some days before Thanksgiving or Christmas. So why take on too much? Better you play with your animals or kids I say! The goose will more or less cook itself, but what’s for desert? Here’s a very simple “quickie” festive and serious chocolate indulgence that’s always worked for me when time was short. Of course you never let on how simple this delicious...

Kiswahili Teacher November 2005

All the talk on the street, even on the remotest path in Kenya these days is about… Bananas and Oranges! This time around it has nothing to do\ with good health or agriculture, it’s all about the new Constitution on the table, to be voted in or out at the November 21 referendum. NDISI = banana (pronounce: ndeesee) CHUNGWA = orange (pronounce : choongwa) The “yes” camp has chosen the banana as a symbol. The “no” camp has chosen the orange. Now with the keen sense of humor most...

Copyright © 2003 - 2019 Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy | Designed by AV Solutions