This last month we bade farewell to Miles, who has been running Mfangano as manager for the last year and is now in the Uk working over there with his girlfriend. My name is Thor and I have taken over for the rest of the season. I have been helping out with relief management around the Governorsâ properties recently, while before this was heavily involved in many of the refurbishments that Governors have undergone in the last year. Before this, Alisa (my girlfriend) and I, ran the Governors property in Rwanda for over a year and a half – Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge.
Miles will be sadly missed here by all the staff and guests alike, and has left behind a legacy with all his work here – especially with his efforts in helping to set up all the permaculture gardens and projects: which we hope to keep going and expand into the future.
I was really blown away by Mfangano when I first arrived, as the last time I was here was twenty five years ago when I was four years old – So have little memory of it! It really is such a beautiful spot, so unique and different to our other properties, so really is well worth a visit: especially if you are after some relaxation during your safari, but don’t fancy the chaos and/or heat of the beach – Mfangano is the ideal substitute!
Photo courtesy of Thor Karstad
The weather this Last month has been fantastic, with a few showers here and there, one very big thunderstorm during an evening, but otherwise warm with refreshing cool breezes coming off the lake in the afternoons and we have had some fantastic sunsets! The lake is dropping very slightly however, so this next month we intend to extend the jetty.
This month we have put in place all the new hammocks that came in: we have doted these around camp as the perfect places to have an afternoon siesta under the shade of one of our giant figs, or get stuck into a good book. We have also installed some new uplighting in our Fig trees, which look beautiful in the evenings. We had a few days spare to repaint the pool too which is looking as inviting as ever!
Over the last few weeks, I have been working on a marketing video for the Camp which is now live on youtube; so if you haven’t seen it, please do take a look:
On the wildlife front, guests as always have been delighted with all the birdlife around camp: we have some fish eagles nesting above the bluff behind camp who serenade us each morning with their majestic calls, and a pair of the beautiful and elusive Double-toothed Barbets nesting above the swimming pool. Spotted-necked otters have also been seen regularly swimming past camp in the mornings.
Photo courtesy of Alisa Bowen
Our head Chef Tom is currently on a week long canape training course in the Mara at Governors with Antoniaâs Kitchen – we look forward to his return and treating us to some of his delicious delights! We have been trying out some new dishes here meanwhile including new scrumptious Gourmet Burgers – some say we now have the best burgers on Lake Victoria!
The permaculture gardens are doing well, and special thanks to Claire, a volunteer from france who has been on the island for two months living in a local village; she has been helping out with our permaculture gardens, and organising educational groups to come in and see how they operate. At our newly developed garden near Sena on the other end of the Island, we held a workshop for a local widows group, and our assistant manager Moses (who is now a qualified permaculturalist) gave some seminars and was involved in training them through practice on our gardens. The idea is for these ladies to now pass on all the knowledge around the island, and hopefully eventually establish some sustainable farming techniques throughout.
We have started working on one of our un-used buildings on our farm near Sena, we are converting it into a chicken house! Hopefully by next month we will have some chicks in there, and soon after that will turn into productive layers that will provide us with delicious, organic, free range eggs for the breakfast table.
Thor Karstad, manager Mfangano Island Camp.