LTAU OISHIWIE LIKAE (A heart that depends on another heart)

BIODIVERSITY!.. living together, using each other to stay alive.. how ever we want to call it! …

I thought this bumble bee homing in on a flower was a nice start!

To survive the bee needs the flower and the flower needs the bee..


Here’s a nice story.. For many years this man in the picture below has felt sorry for the vervet monkeys living around his area on the lower Milgis lugga.. The well, the people get water from, is dangerously deep and now and then he has found a monkey fallen into the water and drowned.. So he took it upon himself to put water for the monkeys just to the side of the well.. BUT here and there the people did not respect, his now, monkeys!.. chasing them off throwing things at them etc.. So he decided, right “I’ll give them water near my home”, so he sends his wife and children with a donkey, off, early morning, to the well to collect water and he keeps the little bucket full of water all day..

NOW of course he has lots of children!! They are all one happy family.. The dogs are all friends with the monkeys and it’s an incredible scene!! AND the best thing is they don’t just take.. They look after the boma.. if there’s any foreign dogs or people they make certain noises which the old man understands! and the best thing at night they sleep around his manyatta ( home stead) and from their warning calls through out the night the old man know’s what’s around.. be it leopard, lion, hyenas and or jackals.. OR people!

It is an incredibly special give and take scene..

this is where this friendship excels in this beautiful place!

this old man JUST LOVES HIS MONKEYS!! below is the bucket ( a jerry can cut in half) tied in the tree so his goats can’t pinch the water!.. The monkeys come and tell him when its empty..

When the family sit down for a meal the monkeys sit down in hope for a few morsels.. I did not get picture of the scene as it was intruding BUT its true.. YOU help me I’ll help you, kind of story!

Ltau oishiwie likae!… it’s the new Milgis word, and we use it all the time..

This camel below is letting the raven clean up the ticks and any thing else living on his body.. He stood there for half an hour being groomed!

Thanks for the help! he says!

Oxpeckers using the donkey for cover and a lift.. they in turn will clean up all the things living in its fur..

these tick birds ( red billed oxpeckers ) came for a drink and using the cover of the donkey for safety
After their drink they hop onto the back of the donkey and enjoy a lift and good bit of grooming , away from the dust and mud… Such friendship!

YOU MAY BE WONDERING !.. SOOOOO how’s things up north!! Still, HOT, DRY, TERRIBLY TOUGH!!.. BUT, BUT not all totally bad, we had this incredible drop of rain on the 2nd and 3rd of January that definitely did help.. It was patchy and scattered but some places it was great! Although, I look at the state of this donkey, and a month and a half later, wonder if its still alive.. The water in the dam is finished.. The luxury was short, and now its a battle at our Kasipo water project to get water.. Its the only water in the area now.. There are hundreds of people and animals all waiting their turn.. Anyway, thank goodness for this project.. thanks to Lene Maria

On our last safari, finding water was quite hard work, except these two lucky places.. The govt dam in Kasipo and the rock catchment in Siangaan, in these pictures below, are very good catchments and we were very lucky to find water for the camels..

filling up with water in the Kasipo valley.. there was a small down fall that saved the day for the community here.. and us!
And in the Siangaan valley a rock catchment dam, with water.. VERY LUCKY for us..

back on the Milgis lugga on our last few days… of course there’s water in this massive lugga, you just need to dig.. And at the moment you have to dig deep..

Digging a well.. this camel checking to see the progress!
Restless camel! Rolling in the cool sand
5 feet!
an hour later they got to water, 8 feet down. Unfortunately they did not find enough for 35 camels so they had to walk miles to find a better well.. But it was not all in vain as after a very hot safari with very little water it was magic to have enough for camp!!
As soon as you have a well, the news is out and all are welcome to drink.. Some young boys pitched up

In the north end of the Ndoto mountains a little lucky find.. and some very happy residents as well!

a very lucky find.. a well!!
in the middle of the drought here’s a very happy little “colony’ of frogs surviving because somebody dug a well..

On the 2nd and 3rd of January we had some rain, SOME BEING THE OPERATIVE WORD! but the joy it brought was unbelievable..

AND somewhere up stream of Lkanto had enough rain to bring the Seiya lugga down!

What was amazing was the elephants somehow knew the water was coming and when it was still miles away they started getting excited! I have never seen such a wonderful sight of our elephants going mad, the lions coming out of their hidey hole and a leopard ! as these photos below will show
To start with the whole herd went to enjoy a drink .. The matriarch cautious, there could be lots more water coming..
Fearing more water on its way, suddenly the matriarch decided to rush on her way leading the herd..
Then deciding to cross.. the whole herd helped her get her little one across.. BUT it was quite deep
panic panic
all good!
the rest of the herd, leaving the older babe to make sure they were safely across..
They turned round to have fun.. and fun they had!!
this wonderful scene!.. one does not see often, but after 3 years of drought they are not wasting time
absolute joy
tumbling over and over
such fun

every one is so excited.. the matriarch left the herd in the water having fun, and out on the dry land her babe was rushing around after any thing he could see..

chasing a guinea fowl!..
rolling in the dust after the crossing..
The next morning we had this fabulous view ..

our lions all popped out of the bushes on hearing the water in the lugga!

listening.. is that water we hear!?

This leopard was as excited as every one else.. announcing his presence with a proper roar!, then walking down the ridge in day light with his tail high..

spot the leopard.. what camouflage..

Mean while the drought continues.. It didn’t take long to go back to where we were, times are really hard for every one.. people and animals alike..

Only certain places got rain.. And as exciting as it was to see the elephants, lions and leopard all come out of their hidey holes the flood waters are extremely muddy and filled all the wells along the lugga, ruining them.. Also it does not help the water table because with all the mud it doesn’t sink in, just drying on the surface.. Every one has to start again, with new wells..

In the Perre lugga in the west side of the Ndotos, where there was very little rain, the wells get deeper and deeper..

the community well.. VERY deep and dangerous.. BUT in a way at least it did not get filled with muddy water from a small flood..


this is the elephant’s well at Perre.. Many elephants visit it each day..
Perre elephant well, its a bit dangerous but its the best they can do..

these two wells are in the Milgis.. Nice and shallow and saving the elephants..

Ask me how the cows, the ‘sacred’ animals of the Samburu, are coping with the drought?!!

MANY MANY have died.. and some are beating all odds to keep going!

this is incredible.. Cows are living on the top of Poi BUT have to descend down the incredibly steep rock, more or less 3000 feet, every 5 days for water

Our guys mesmerised by the cows coming down from Poi to get a drink.. Its a 3 day walk down, and up, every week.. The cows in this next picture (below) are just below where the shadow of the cloud is on the left of Poi (above picture).. then the 3rd and 4th picture are coming down a very very steep path on the side of that next rock!
You see the cows making their way down the side of Poi rock… The people have made a kind of ‘ladder’ in the very steep places so they don’t slip!.. BUT the people below know, what a falling cow sounds like!!
A closer look.. the cows pick their way slowly along the steep slopes of Poi
the cows tip toe their way down this very very steep narrow route on their way for a drink..
They are only half way down at this point!

And where have we been since the beginning of the year??

We started here on the North side of Lekwee .. northern part of Lenkiyou, and we went to have a scouts meeting in the rocks on the Noongek lugga..
A Milgis scouts meeting! Each scout walks from his place of work to bring the news of the area and to discuss the problems they may be having in their areas with the team.. Many issues are solved here!
our new years eve camp.. Early cup of ‘chai’ and bed under the stars!

New years morning, first light, we were welcomed to 2023 by two Verreaux eagles displaying!!

crowned eagles all around us..
near the pass looking south.. Lenkiyou
Lenkiyou from the north half way down to the Milgis Lugga
the lower Milgis and Lonyori Pesho, and Baio
The Ndoto mountains

in January we had a wonderfull 2 week safari and circumnavigated the Ndoto mountains.. Just a few pics to finish off with..

on safari .. we circumnavigated the Ndoto mountains.. standing on the camels pass ( ndirir Laurie) before we head down..
drinks on the Milgis
the camels view of the camp
Walking past Poi.. Its so massive it always take a few days!
The Milgis banks slowly being eaten away .. We are in a new faze where its really widening..
plectanthus in full bloom, in Seren valley
The kitchen
Camp on the lower Kasipo lugga
this guy has lost his camels.. Our Milgis Lkiramat giving him a few ideas of where to look..
crossing the Milgis lugga
The water camels separate to look for a well
Ndikir lo Siangaan.. early morning with Poi
chips for supper
evening Poi
morning Poi
This tiny elephant lost its life because of the drought but every person that walks past puts a branch or a leaf in respect..
desert rose ..
another day begins!
after a looooong climb we find THE PERFECT camp! looking across to Poi and into the Kaisut desert
Irresistable Poi..
Lucky to have water in the dam, a lady comes to fill up.
these two camels came to join us for drinks by the fire
Acacias make the morning light even more beautiful
Thank goodness for a few flowers of the Erythrina to keep the baboons going
Good evening boys
as my great uncle, Bunny Allen would say.. The stories that come out of the wood work around a camp fire beat all other venues!

And finally back to the subject of LTAU OISHIWIE LIKAE .. If it wasn’t for the mighty Milgis Lugga these camels would have no where to go.. Hundreds, thousands are coming in from the eastern deserts like Tsunamis, to look for food..


And the best way to support the Milgis is COME ON SAFARI!!!


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