By Lippa Wood
With Adam away the pressure is on to create our fortnightly blog! Thankfully we have an incredible resident photographer on Naretoi, Charlie Lynam who has shared some breathtakingly beautiful images of some magical moments he has been fortunate enough to witness within a few kms of House in the Wild in early January. I have recently heard a wonderful phrase that has stuck in my mind, "luck happens when preparedness meets opportunity". This definitely is the case with wildlife photography and Charlie has been fully prepared and grasped these opportunities with both hands. We love how he has captured these incredible moments of this beautiful lioness moving her adorable cubs at sunrise. Thank you Charlie!
I have managed a few game drives and loved catching up with Kisaru and her cubs and checking in on the constantly evolving lion soap opera.
We have been incredibly fortunate to host a remarkable group of women for a retreat “Murmuration in the Wild”, lead by the team from Olerai Leadership and Malakai Wellness. What an honour to be the venue for such an inspiring and lifechanging retreat. There was a wonderful balance of yoga, deep thinking, healthy food from the Wild Shamba, making new connections, sisterhood and of course some magical sundowners. Naathalie from Malakai Wellness brought enlightening wellness treats, including hilltop yoga, massages, meditation and a healing "Sound Bath". She used different instruments and sounds, including the guttural vibrations from the awesome Enonkishu herders and their maasai singing. An utterly unique experience that we will never forget.
This week we have been so excited to be building another Save Our Savanna library in the Emarti Secondary School. The aim of these libraries is to foster a love for nature with children living alongside endangered wildlife outside of protected areas. The concept is to donate converted container libraries, as a conservation learning hub with a strong wildlife theme, to schools in the Mara. Through these Save our Savanna libraries, we hope the children living in these areas will be inspired by nature and that these libraries will encourage them to look after their environment. Each library comes with solar powered WI-FI, connecting these remote schools, both pupils and their teachers, to the rest of the world. More photos of this will hopefully be in the next blog!
To launch this library we have partnered with the The Elephant Queen outreach program, where this beautiful film is played on a huge screen in Maa at the schools in the evening of the library launch day. We were fortunate to do a screening for our guests at House in the Wild, with their theatre performance in our outdoor amphitheater at The Wild Hub. A truly remarkable experience with a hugely important conservation impact. We are excited about rolling this out across this part of the Mara over the next few weeks. More for the next blog!
Taking part in the Women's retreat, I had the chance to reflect and feel incredibly grateful for how far we have come. It is 10 years since we took out the irrigation pivots on the old Olerai Farm. So much has changed, but most of the faces remain the same! From sending french beans to people across the world, we now have people across the world coming out here to see the wildlife that now lives in balance on what used to be a bean farm, and they occasionally have French beans on their menus…!
We feel so proud to have our purpose firmly part of our story - we are committed to a model of regenerative eco tourism that restores wildlife habitats in harmony with improving the lives of the people living here...
["Regenerative tourism" is the idea that tourism should leave a place better than it was before.]
We are so excited about what lies ahead and thank you for being part of our journey!