A healing and fact finding safari.. (and introducing Upe and Poi!)

My Salau is no more….

This beautiful, faithful friend, and protector died in July.. we don’t really know what happend… BUT its been sad times.. He was a truly fabulous dog, and only made it to 5 years..

He was my shadow!.. he never left my side…

BUT we cant dwell on ‘spilt milk’ and its time to introduce you all to UPE and POI…  two wonderful new puppies ..

little Upe!…OOOOOOOPS for short!

Upe..  (Ridge back/great dane mix.. 6 weeks old)

‘Upe’is the second highest peak in the Ndotos, here framed by its neibour hills .. a pyramid of hope..

Poi came abit later in life..

Poi.. After a long day on safari ..

Poi the magnificent rock jutting to the east of the Ndoto mountains

The massive rock.. Poi

So we have just been on a fabulous Milgis fact finding safari around the Ndotos, checking on all our projects,  meeting some of our patients and the communities.. and walking with our scouts and Lkiramats,… Getting to know them better and introducing the 2 ‘boys’ to safari.. they were only 3 months old!

Peia and Lulu are their chaperones..

charging around.. they looooove safari..

Upe loves water!









Below poi.. Just a mass of beautiful rock cascades..

‘Milgis’ scouts and Lkiramats live in their homes and work within their communities.. So they join us for a few days and share their news with us!

Talking to our two men that look after the area around Poi.. Lepirr and Leparsanti..  Burian in the middle is one of our safari guides!

Walking past the Lechet dam, and realising it could do with some work!

Lechet dam.. needs desilting.. Excited to say, after we left, it rained, and the dam now has water in it.. the tractor is in the vincinity but not able to do the job untill the rains stop.. they are doing a dam near Ilaut for now..

The vultures are full of energy… Happy healthy and undisturbed!

Ruppel’s vultures gaining lift from Poi

We found this dead ruppels vulture.. its a massive bird..  I don’t think there was any fowl play, he was just very old!.. its expected when you have such a huge colony..

Our walk took us from Ngurnit, travelling north, visting each and every scout and Lkiramat all along the east , north and west of the Ndotos, checking on their work and hearing all their news!.. Also Atlassing for the Kenya bird Map..

scaly chaterer..  a first for me .. lovely bird

This dear lady from Korr visited us in the Arsim camp to say thank you for the help in taking her to hospital,  and to show us her progress.. We are hoping to get her a prosthetic arm when its healed!..

one of our patients who sadly had to have her hand amputated as she had ‘madura’..

Each part of our way we met our scouts … in the Arsim Valley we met these lot on Patrol.. here they are trying to raise base to give them their news!.. ( they report to base all the wildlife sightings, and any other news)  All our scouts are nicknamed after animals, plants or mountains in the area.. .. Heres ‘Gerenuk’ ( Riko) and ‘Aardvark’ (lgelegele)

We visited all the scouts along the way.. spent time to hear their stories and to hear their challenges..

‘busmans’ holiday!!

Climbing over this pass, the old forest line actually, between Arsim valley and Kasipo

Somali bee-eater

This day was a particularly beautiful evening .. we could see miles, and milies and miles!!.. you could touch the mountains.

looking south

North to Kulal

North Ndonyo Mara’s

East to Mount Marsabit

Upe and Alimisio the two peaks of the Ndotos

And further north in the back ground you can just pick out the Huri hills on the Ethiopian border.. thats a very long way

Off across the plains of the lower Seren valley

An interesting lizard/skink??

a well deserved drink.  Kurante dam.. one of our first dams we made 2010!

This is one of our dams in the lower Kasipo valley.. was so nice to see plenty of water and relief for the residents of this usually very dry area.. and our camels were pretty happy as well!

imagine you live in a dry area and after a good rain storm your dam is full of water… MAGIC!!


Onwards across the Seren valley, towards the last pass before we get to Kileswa..

The plan is to cross the north end of the Ndoto massif from Kileswa, but seeing this rainbow on the moon made us wonder about the timing!!.. But as we remember my brother Simon every year with some of the family there was no turning back at this stage!…. (I’m sure he’ll look after us!!)

mmmmmmm this rainbow around the moon looks like its going to rain!!  Our plan is to climb over the North end of the Ndotos, to check on the progress there.. SEE NEXT BLOG! This sign that it will rain WAS NOT GOING TO STOP US!!

any ideas on what this is?? grasshopper buzzard, some suggest? Common??

Fabulous full moon!

Leaving the camels we get porters and start our mountain climb..

All the porters, and scouts..  and our team, lemosa and kos, on the mountain..

every one beginning to feel the cold

steppe eagle

We are up at the top.. its beautiful BUT there is a VERY VERY strong wind, and cloud… and suddenly its absolutely pouring with rain.. This is rather a chaotic breakfast!!!

ahhhhhh sweet pups.. they’ve done so well!

the puppies were the first to run for the tent!.. Pete following close behind!..

I can never understand why it gets sooooo cold up on these mountains, when you look down and theres the boiling desert just below!

we are probably give or take about 6000 feet?


Upe learning so much.. what are those??

The wind was so strong you could lean on it..

I am very proud of the work the Milgis scouts are doing..

The porters were organised by our man from Kileswa..Ilpolei. (Balanites) A very respected scout.. he told me proudly that from the day he became a scout there has been no fires on the mountain…. also joined us was the scout ‘Lube’ ( coucal!) from South Horr who doing a great job in watching the elephants in that valley!!..


Towards, Mt Nyiru, beautiful evening light! here we are in paradise away from the world of crazy-ness..

Where this very friendly insect living on this rock, came to check out the visitors!

unusual insect

to be continued …with lots of wonderful news!!





3 thoughts on “A healing and fact finding safari.. (and introducing Upe and Poi!)

  1. Great posting Helen…what a wonderful safari. Did a little bit of investigating: your lizard is quite rare and only in that area…called Smith’s Sand Lizard (Pseuderemias smithii). Will try to ID the insect and buzzard. Pole sana about losing your “shadow” Salau. The puppies are beautiful and will be BIG!! ;- )

  2. Ah, Helen – how I wish I was out there right now – away from all this complete madness! I am so sorry about the loss of your faithful friend. My dog means the world to me and her loss would devastate me. However, your puppies are divine and I wish them a happy, healthy life. Your photos are nostalgic! Glorious mountains as always. My safari with you is one of the highlights of my entire life and I look forward to your posts, which take me back to that wonderful holiday. At the moment I can’t even GET to Africa, and I am desperate for a bush fix! Keep well – regards to Pete – Happy Christmas – I shall be thinking of you away from all the commercialism and depression! XX

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