Adventure and thanks!!!

Sometimes being remote has its challenges and in this last year we have lost alot of sleep because we’ve had a string of Elephants limping badly, or very poorly for various reasons, some gun shot wounds, but mainly a disease the Samburu call ‘Lokuchum’ and sadly most of the time we have not been able to get help for them till its too late!..  The KWS vets are strained and coming all the way to the Milgis is sometimes too far for them.. We are incredibly grateful to the DSWT mobile vet unit under Dr Rono for trying their best, although they are not always available or they simply cant get there in the vehicle because of luggas in flood…, We do not know what is causing this disease, which is deadly, the elephant dieing a slow horrific death, succumbing to septecemia.. .. TOO many sleepless nights and we really have made alot of ‘noise’ to try to get some sort of recognition that there is a big problem here !! Anyway just last week another limping Elephant was found in the Milgis by our scouts.. Relieved to say Thanks to Lewa for sending the Helicopter and  Dr Rono, we saved his life.. The biggest bull in the area is up and happy and LIVING a renewed life!!


Its that time of the year again where family Dufresne head to the top of a mountain to remember Simon and his crazy life he lived!! This beautiful flower lives on the top of the Ndotos.. and we found it again!!!

this most beautiful magic flower!

this year we climbed the highest peak of the Ndoto Mountains!!.. Although Upe which we climbed last year looks higher, Alimisio to the left in the picture is higher and harder!!.. It looks easy but its NOT!!

The great mountain Alimisio is beconing us to climb!!

Alimisio from the Seren Valley

close up!

Looking at the great peak from the north/east

from the west!

thats where we are going!!.. getting closer

from our camp the night before! Its steep! REALLY STEEP

base Camp!

The great ‘Honey badger’ he knows this mountain like nobody else!.. he ‘s showing us the way! ( Each Milgis scout or caretaker ( lkiramat) has his radio name, which is usually an animal , bird, mountain or tree)

We are with Peia, D4 and Lulu.. how are you guys doing over there!?? Thumbs up!

D4 braving it!.. With pete as always bringing the rear!!

a particularly steep bit where honey badger has every one balancing on the ledge as we climb up one by one.. the dogs having been hauled up!,  sitting there patiently!!

As we head up we pass these most beautiful plants and think of Gilfrid Powys!

aloe Powysorum.. first discovered by our good friend Gilfrid !!

they only grow here in these wild places!

A lilly

i hope you have all been out there watching the planets.. all in a magical row across the sky!! when I saw these 4 flowers in a line in exacly the same position as the planets in the sky I had to take a picture!

These four sweet little blue/purple flowers are in exactly the same position as the four amazing planets.. from Bottom to top Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.. have a look in the sky tonight!


AND WE MADE IT!! It was a very happy day for me !


ON THE TOP!! Peia, Pete and D4

our view

the happy climbers!! breakfast on the top of the world!! A family Pic Jespat, Helen, Pete, Peia and D4.. Simon was in the form of a LOVELY butterfly this time!!.. It had to be as whats a butterfly doing so high!

‘Ndoto’ in her Ndotos!!

Now for the way down..

in the very steep places, Salau was told to sit and wait.. He was so good!..

As you all know i have ranted and raved about fire damage and heres just one more lot of dead trees!

trees killed because of rediculous fires!

But much more disturbing is what happened in the Arsim Valley as a result of continuous burning.. huge new gullies formed and half the mountain was taken down in the big rains.. as I mentioned in my blog in April, hundreds and thousands of Animals reptiles and insects, even people died when the Arsim river tripled in size and in some places a new huge 50 wide lugga was formed.. See the pictures below to see how..

this is down the Arsim Valley ..Poi in the background.. Look at the washaways..

Closer look

the wash aways have taken half the mountain and now the rivers are dry!!

On our way down we arranged to meet our porters at this well.. It no longer exists.. the spring has been washed away… our older porters were VERY SURPRISED!! I told you so, I continue to rant on!.. The burning MUST STOP forever!!

floods have washed away all the water??

our scout pointing out a place where theres been a well for ever but now its gone!!

Other wise we have had the pleasure of the amazing Bergums, from Namsos in Norway back to check on a couple of water projects that Lene Maria for clean water are funding… We met them in Ngurnit and walked to the North end of the Ndotos to the Seren valley, where we are hoping to find water for a very needy community!  Two students and a teacher from Olav Duun High School in Namsos came all the way to support and inspect the project!


Arnulf Bergum, Happy to be back on our way past Poi to meet the camels!

here we are looking north towards the amazing Mt Nyiru on our way to Seren..

next day closing in on Seren now..

Here together with Lazaro our water manager, the teacher and two students from the Olav Duun high school  pointing out to the hopeful successful borehole! As we speak they are drilling there now..

Next we had to cross the mountain to open the very nice water project in Loikumukum, this time in memory of Lene Marias godfather kurt Tausvik.. The family came out to open the project..

A sea of camels on our way to loikumukum.. we have stopped to check out the well at Urra! A VOSS foundation water project we put in 6 years ago


Celebration as the safari team, 40 camels, 35 samburu and 11 Norwegians, pete me Salau and Ndoto arrive in loikumukum

Dancing our way down the lugga to camp!!

the elders gathered as per samburu tradition always to bless the well

while down at the well the Bergums were surprised by who came to see them!!.. Way back in 2014 in Masikita there was this special meeting between the Bergums and Lobuk family and Patricia, the daughter is a very lucky girl!.. She has been seen through secondary school and now is on her way to college!.. THANK YOU Arnulf and Tove!..

Patricia Lobuk and her mother came from Masikita to see Tove and Arnulf this was a tearful, (on with the sun glasses!!!) meeting between the two families!..  it was very moving!

The sign post that all who come for water in loikumukum will see is this!! We thank the Tausvik Family, and  Lene Maria

Kurt was Lene Marias godfather! Kurts big smile will keep the water sweet !

Many people came from far and wide to sing and to thank the Norwegians for the water!..


The other side of the sign post!!! A reminder message to the people … Sharing is caring.. or Share and share alike! A beautiful message painted by David Hanegraaf

another great ‘safari’… Jonathan knowles finally came back after 10 years with his family to see the school on the top of the Ndotos that was built in memory of his dear mother.. June..


Climbing the mountain with the camels!!

Views south on our way up!

Views north as we climb.. A beautiful forest of euphorbia candelabra

the school food and class materials arriving up the mountain and across the glades to the school!!

A looong walk for all.. arriving at the beautiful Suruan school.. 

Unpacking the happy donkeys!

Jonathan examining the visitors book!! its not very full after all these years!! I think its still on the front page!!  this school is remote!

The usually very sweet and becoming celebrations when thery get visitors!.. every one happy!

OUR CAMP!! serene, special and stunning spot!!

i leave you with a sweet scene of ‘Nanyuki’ the camel with Loibotong…

These two really hit it of!!! Mutual love on both sides!

Nanyuki looking for something to eat amoungst Loibotongs Jewelry!!


Kosma is always ready to serve you a nice evening drink with a view!! heres to happy ‘daze’ and beautiful planet full nights.. watch the moon guys it will be in amoung’st the planets tonight!!  and PS Thank you for all your wonderfull comments and for reading my blogs !! 

6 thoughts on “Adventure and thanks!!!

  1. As always, loving your post. The photos are brilliant and take me straight back to our wonderful safari with you. Those incredible views and all that SPACE!!! How sad to hear about the limping elephants. It is not something I have heard about before. It must be heartbreaking to feel so helpless. I must say I envy your life, despite the hardships! Keep going and keep educating (as I know you will!) x

  2. Helen

    I’d love to use the images here in the next edition of Travel News Kenya.

    Is possible?


    Tony CB

    Sent from my iPhone

    Sent from my iPhone >

  3. Hi Helen, about the limping elephants….I know one of the methods used by poachers is to plant spikes (with or without poison) along elephant pathways. The wounds in the soles of their feet then pick up deleterious bacteria and eventually kill the poor animals….did Dr. Rono of DSWT have any idea about the cause of this problem?

    Thanks for the wonderful report and photos! Lots of love, Katherine Herzog

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