Loldia had a little rain in the month of May, just 37mm overall rainfall was recorded – which we were very grateful for! The scattered showers managed to freshen things up and the surrounds are just green enough.
Stunning lake view, taken from Loldia’s ‘Top Cottage’ – photo credit Sidney Trompell
We are are feeding the hippo hay and a molasses mixture in the evenings, which gives the guests such pleasure! Sometimes there are up to five hippo at the bottom of the garden, just before dark. They remain at a safe distance, behind the low lying ‘hippo fence’ which stops them from coming right up to the house. During the night, buffalo, zebra, Water Buck and sometimes the Bush Pigs are also coming in to enjoy the hay. On the night of the 29th, we had two giraffe right in front of the main house – they too had come over to enjoy the complimentary food that we have been leaving out at night. There are two pairs of Fish Eagles nesting in the garden which makes for a very good alarm call in the mornings!
Feeding the hippo in front of Loldia House – photo credit Heather Wallington
On May 1st, we found the sweetest little baby Impala fawn, that had sadly got separated from its mother during some hyena mayhem in the night, and had run all the way up to the verandah of room #2. We found it there quite frightened and shaken in the morning; thankfully its mother passed by to collect it before we had to make any alternate plans! The Impala like to sleep on the lawn at night within the hippo fence perimeter, which gives them a sense of safety against predators. On this particular occasion, the hyena spooked the Impala causing quite a ruckus and general separation of of the herd.
Baby Impala fawn found in the morning – photo credit Heather Wallington
With the little bit of rain, the Leonotis have come into flower – commonly known as the ‘Sunbird flower’. There are many varieties of Sunbirds and the most spectacular, in my opinion, is the Golden Winged Sunbird which is often seen flitting in and around the flora surrounding our beautiful infinity pool.
A Bronze sunbird perched on Leonotis flower in Loldia’s gardens – photo credit Alisa Bowen
The night game drives are still proving to be very popular! We have now got red filters on the spot lights which drastically limits the amount of ‘invasive light’ on the animal, meaning that they are more likely to continue on with their nocturnal activity and ignore our vehicle almost completely. Guests can expect to see Owls, Bush Babies, Mongoose, Bat-Eared Foxes and Spring Hares, together with the usual Antelope, Buffalo, Hippo and Hyena. One evening an Aardvark was seen! Sadly though, no leopard sightings in May.
Night game drives and testing out the new red filters – photo credit Alisa Bowen
Our guests are always more than thrilled with their trip to Nakuru National Park, where there are always good sightings of rhino, Rothschild giraffe, ostrich, lion, sometimes a leopard and many Dung Beetles at work. It is becoming more popular to leave Loldia House early in the morning with a picnic breakfast and lunch – if you leave it much later than this, the day heats up and by lunch time, many of the animals have taken refuge in the shade of the bush. So, we do encourage guests to leave in good time and be back to enjoy the afternoon soaking up the sun and views around the pool.
Rhino sightings at NNP are almost always guaranteed – photo credit Will Fortescue
May has been an interesting month in terms of visitors; it’s usually quite a quiet month, but there have been a number of repeat guests who have deliberately come for the real peace and quiet that Loldia House has to offer. There is no better place to relax and unwind after an exhilarating few days in the Masai Mara for instance. We have also welcomed a lot of travel agents, who come to inspect Loldia as a possible property for their clients. It is always a pleasure to host them.
Some of the visiting agents took a short walk through Eburru Forest, home to the incredibly rare Mountain Bongo, as well as Colobus and Blue Monkeys. Their walk was followed by a demonstration from the honey collectors (you will see many bee hives throughout the forest). They also played football with the school children and a member of the Eburru Rafiki Trust gave a talk to the agents in the evening. This is a voluntary organisation whose aim is to re-plant trees, stop the poaching, set up camera traps to hopefully see Bongo, stop the illegal grazing of cattle in the forest, open up paths for walking and encourage the local population to produce honey.
Colobus monkey, Eburru Forest – photo credit Will Fortescue
One of the many bee hives found throughout Eburru – photo credit Alisa Bowen
Two of the same agents spent a morning at Soysambu Conservancy following a pride of lion that had been collared. Lion tracking at Soysambu is a particularly fascinating activity to do from Loldia, not only is it very easy to get to, its a chance to learn about wildlife conservation! The other two members of this team opted to climb Mt. Longonot, an inactive volcano that overlooks the beautiful landscape of Lake Naivasha area in Kenya.
There have been a few boat trips on Lake Naivasha where guests can enjoy ‘close up’ sightings of hippo and a myriad of bird species. We are very excited to be welcoming a new boat and engine in June!
We were delighted to host mother and daughter, Jill and Rachel, at Loldia House this May. Eager to be involved in some of the responsible tourism projects we support, they reached out to us in advance and sent through donations in order to purchase some much needed supplies for the Loldia Primary School. Once they were with us, we took them over to the school to meet the children and the teachers and to hand out the donations to some very excited recipients. The children were absolutely delighted and they showed their appreciation by singing and dancing for them. Jill and Rachel then traveled on to Governors’ Camp in the Mara, where Jill personally planted 24 indigenous sapling trees! We are very thankful to them both for taking a genuine interest in the environment and communities surrounding our camps and lodges, and for supporting us in our efforts to promote sustainable travel.
Rachel, our wonderful guest who took donations to Loldia Primary School
By Heather Wallington, manager at Loldia House.