Alan & I arrived safely at Enonkishu on Tuesday evening. It’s a six hour drive although the distance is no more than 170 km. Traffic is heavy in and around Nairobi and further on trucks of all kind are slowing the traffic down to walking pace in some places down the escarpment road into the Rift Valley. The views are fantastic, though!
The odd rain shower hit us on the way and became constant heavy rain when we hit the dirt road in Mulot leading to Enonkishu. A couple of months of continuous, unseasonal rainfall has washed out the tracks. Streams have become rivers and potholes are now enormous puddles.
We were warmly welcomed by Albanus, our camp manager, as well as Bernard and Joseph, the kitchen staff. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at the Cow Shed, our dining area, where a fire was lit in the fireplace. What else can you ask for after a long and challenging day?
Please come prepared for the local – very unusual – weather conditions. Make sure to bring proper rain gear and rubber boots if possible. I got myself a fancy pair of zebra boots for only a few hundred Kenyan Shilling in Nairobi.
But no worries, less fashionable wellies will also do. 😉 The temperatures are pleasant in the 20s when the sun comes out, but most probably you want to wear a fleece or warmer layer in the early mornings and evenings. According to the forecast for the next seven days or so, the weather won’t change significantly although it was dry throughout the day yesterday.
Rebekah, Alan & I have spent the whole of Tuesday with adapting the activities plan, sorting out equipment, setting up computers and the classroom. None of the driving transects are accessible right now. Some of last year’s expeditioners will remember transect 3 / block 7 cutting through between two main roads of the triangle. The whole area is a swamp right now that we will be monitoring on foot. Overall we will cut down the driving to a minimum on safe roads only and will concentrate on mammal mapping on foot. Please be aware that we will do a lot of walking until the conditions allow otherwise. However, our plan is flexible and will be adapted on a day-to-day basis according to the weather. But please don’t forget to bring your own pair of binoculars. They are an essential piece of equipment you want to use on each activity whether we are recording wildlife, mapping birds or doing waterhole observations.
You will be pleased to hear that a cheetah with cubs is currently roaming on Enonkishu. If we are lucky, we might be able to spot them or at least get some good camera trap footage. We are planning to set up cameras in places where a lot of activities have been noticed by the rangers.
That’s it for now. Alan and I have one more day for setting things up before hitting the road back to Nairobi on Saturday early morning. We are looking forward to meeting team 1 on Sunday morning!