Loldia House

February at Loldia House 2018

February has been a dry month not unlike the rest of Kenya. Minimal rain and heavy winds has meant things have really started to dry out, but the upside to it is, on our little oasis in front of the lake, the game has been teeming! Impala continue to enjoy our lush lawns, and much of the game can be spotted right in front of Loldia house as they take advantage of the cool lake waters. Due to the drier weather at the moment, the sunrises and sunsets have been absolutely magnificent!

Sunset loldia

Photo courtesy of Niels Van Gijn

Almost nightly, we have had a leopard in the vicinity: with his low grunts echoing through the cool air, and paw prints being seen on the ground. One group of guests were lucky enough to spot him sitting on the jetty when coming back from an evening game drive. Otherwise night game drives have been very lucky of late – with aardvarks and porcupines being spotted on numerous occasions.

Nearly all our guests have been enjoying boat rides on the lake – taking advantage of the early morning light and splendid array of colours  that we get this time of year.

boat trips lake naivasha

Photo courtesy of Niels Van Gijn

Guests have had some great trips to Lake Nakuru, often stopping in at Lake Elementaita on the way (a world heritage site), to see the flamingos. With the climate having been how it is, more and more flamingos are flocking in from the north to Lake Elementaita; there are well over a thousand on the lake at the moment.

flamingoes lake elementaita

Photo courtesy of Niels Van Gijn

This month we have been exploring the Eburru Forest. Going in both on foot and in the car, it is an absolutely spectacular part of kenya to visit. It takes only forty minutes to get there by road from Loldia house; and is now connected to Loldia farm – two years ago the fences separating the two were taken down. This allows for a free movement of game between the forest and the Lake – a invaluable game corridor for the wildlife in the area.

The Eburru Forest is part of the greater Mau forest – an extremely important water tower for Kenya. The greater mau forested water tower plays a crucial role in regulating climate, and providing water to large areas of Kenya through various forms such as direct rainfall, riverflows and ground water storage. It is crucial we all do our part to help these immensely important areas -we hope to help by encouraging more and more of our guests to visit this pristine area and so contribute to conservation in the area.

Photo courtesy of Niels Van Gijn

Eburru’s highest peak stands 2,855 m (9,365 ft) above sea level, thats over 1000m higher than Loldia House. When driving up to the forest one can clearly sense the altitude change, as both the climate and vegetation transforms as you gain altitude –  higher levels of rainfall  in the forest and much cooler temperatures: often a welcome break from the warmer temperatures down below on the Lake.. From up top there are some jaw dropping views over lake Naivasha to the south and over Lake Elementaita and Lake Nakuru to the north.

Eburu

Photo courtesy of Niels van Gijn

Although both driving and walking in the Eburru are both spectacular – the best way to really experience the forest is on foot: as one can truly immerse oneself in the sounds, sights and smells of the beautiful forest. There are numerous hiking trails that help explore the area – taking in various points of interest including several peaks, springs, open glades, caves, steam vents and salt licks. It is advised to walk through the forest with an experienced guide (which we can organise from Loldia), as certain parts of the forest at certain times of the year – you are more likely to bump into Cape Buffalo.

eburu

Photo courtesy of Niels Van Gijn

The birdlife is spectacular (!), a twitchers paradise – Yellow winged sunbirds, Doherty’s Bush Shrikes and Crowned Eagles are to name but a few that can be found in the lush foliage of the forest.

 sunbird

Photo courtesy of Thor Karstad

Bigger mammals in the forest include Bush Pig, Duiker, Giant Forest Hog, Leopard, Colobus Monkeys and the Highly endangered Mountain Bongo – of which next month I will go into more detail on  outlining some of the projects and efforts that the Eburru Forest area and community have in place to monitor and protect this highly elusive species.

Last weekend, the Eburru Rafiki Group (an NGO that helps with community orientated conservation in the area) hosted a picnic in the Eburru. It was a great turnout with over sixty guests who enjoyed picnicing in one of the open glades in the middle of the forest. All funds raised are being put towards various projects including upkeep of roads, signage and community awareness programs. Next on the agenda is a tree planting programme to which Loldia/Governors have pledged  a thousand trees. These are to be planted just before the long rains start, so I will have an update on how this goes next month.   

In other news, we have now begun work on our new jetty! We plan to take it out roughly twenty meters into the lake, with a large platform on the end where we can host dinners, breakfasts and sundowners. We are very excited about this new development and think it’s going to be  a great addition to the property and all it has to offer!

Thor Karstad, Operations Manager, Governors Camp Collection. 

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