We have been leading school teams to Mt Kenya for adventure expeditions since we started Camps 10 years ago. This time round we had our very first school from West Africa and they had a great time during their short trip. Peter is our in country Expedition/Team leader who joined them. This is his story………
Emerald School from Nigeria started their journey from the International School of Kenya (ISK) at 7am. The team, comprising of 11 students and a female teacher, had just attended a three day Global Issues Service Summit which was based at the ISK. Upon arriving at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the group were tired but ready and excited for their adventure which started that very day by staying in Pelican House.
We drove deep into the interior parts of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy searching for Pelican House which was located in the middle of the sanctuary. It was a great chance for the team to experience the beauty of nature and a nice view of Mt Kenya. We spotted Zebras, Giraffes, Gazelles and Buffaloes roaming peacefully on the savannah plains. We arrived at Pelican House in time for tea and afterwards went out for a game drive within the conservancy.The drive was awesome, it gave us an opportunity to spot Lions “King of the Jungle” and other critically endangered species such us the Northern White Rhino.
My sleep was disturbed that night by some strange noises adjacent to our house.Very early in the morning I decided to investigate, I had a thought of a Lion in my mind but I was completely wrong. A HUGE Black Rhino was standing around a water hole just few meters from the Pelican House. It was making unnecessary horrific noises continuously. The team were so lucky to see a Rhino for the first time in their life right there in the wilderness.
Late that morning we left for a Bicycle game ride.This is an activity where a bicycle is ridden while viewing wildlife and it only happens in Ol Pejeta. Initially, comments like “what if a Lion jumps over and eats one of us, what will we do?” were exclaimed. I knew that they had never done this before and so I assured them that everything will be fine. The instructors are very experienced and are familiar with the environment. We all blasted with amazement as we rode along the marrum (dirt track) road to the inner part of the sanctuary whilst admiring all the amazing wildlife.
The day ended with a visit to a poor Blind Rhino who was named Baraka (blessing) after his tragedy which led to the loss of his eyes.We also visited Sweet Waters Chimpanzee Sanctuary that evening. It was fun to watch the Apes misbehaving with their own poo, one of the Old Chimpanzee became furious and started throwing its own droppings, unfortunately our guides’ face became the target! As we didn’t want to aggravate the chimpanzees, we left and drove back to camp.
Bush skills and team challenges were our last day’s activities, everyone among the team was excited to know what would happen in the field. Bernard, a bush survival skills instructor led the activities.
The first section was team challenges where the team split into two groups. Each group was to create problems by tying difficult knots with rope onto a post for the other team to solve. Then the groups swap to try to untie them. Group A’s knots were very technically and complex that group B couldn’t solve. Definitely they won against group B by tackling all their knots within the appropriate time given by the instructor.
The bush skills were fabulous,Participants had a chance to meet a real Maasai Moran (warrior) in the fire making and archery activity. He made the fire within three minutes by using two wooden sticks, unlike the team members who took ages, but in vain! It certainly is harder than he made it look!
The final task was rock climbing on a wall, a very interesting activity but tough, we had to wear special equipment for our safety before action, everyone tried up to their maximum. Only 4 made their way to the top, as well as me, the rest were afraid of heights.Wow! That was a fantastic climax of our adventure at Ol Pejeta!
It was a blazing trip with lots of unique and unforgettable experiences for the group…Many Thanks for choosing Camp International.
Blog compiled by Peter Kalenga Kai