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  • Chris Swift

Daily Diary: Malepo Hills

After our circular forced march yesterday up into the hills, we decided to spend a second night here and let Kathy and Bev catch up with us to continue their safari to the coast for the next two months. Veterans from previous Bobong safaris, including trips up north to Lake Turkana and away west across the Mara to Lake Victoria. They looked fit, sharp and ready to go.

We spent the afternoon climbing up to the Malepo Hills ridge, picking our way through the marble stones and rocks that littered our route.

On top, we got a commanding view across the Rift, looking west back to Lake Magardi and south to Mt Meru in Tanzania. Below us, several large white holes in the foothills were obviously more marble quarries. Looking south down the line of hills where we hoped to take the camels tomorrow were potential game trails which would avoid the tedious towny route along the muram roads. Let’s hope.

In the evening, our hosts Mike and Judy came for a sundowner along with neighbour Neil. They were very interesting, explaining the demise of the game that once lived here. We had seen eland and zebra that afternoon on the bare, dry grassless slopes, surviving on almost nothing and waiting for rain, but twenty years ago, there had been much more. Gerunuk had been common. Even last year, a cheetah and her cubs had spent a few weeks here, but how much she has been able to catch on the 45-degree slopes was incredible. Maybe she had to supplement her food source from out of a boma, and then her days may have been numbered. Difficult wildlife-human balance.

My nighttime clock, the moon, has disappeared. It must be getting to the new moon stage, but the calling hyena tells me we are still out in the wilds.

Looking north at the route Thompson followed

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