Ode to Kenya

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By Issie Clouston

When Issie Clouston travelled to Kenya to see the Great Migration with cazenove+loyd, accompanied by her husband Falcon, she felt inspired to write the following poem on her return:

Sitting on a big white sofa looking over the Mara river!
Cantilevered over the water!
Not half bad being upgraded at Serian lodge.
They know, of course that they have special guests!
Looking out, I see a big hippo rising up and down.
Pink ears appearing and disappearing and a track beside our tented suite
Where he waddles to and fro.
A small log floats past and standing on the top and looking in the muddy water is a lone heron.
Eleven hours by road from Nairobi and we clambered over a long swing bridge to a candlelit tented sitting room.
Totally Africa – surprise after surprise!
Of course we flew! Huge distances and we have been pushing it.
The colour of Kenya is marvellous soft soft light – pink, grey, beige.
Every animal camouflaged accordingly.
The only dark, rich tan are the giraffes poking their heads above the trees!
Three days walking and talking and looking and seeing with the young English guy and the Masai Mara – just marvellous.
Camping slightly challenging but again Mama mama, what would you like?
Coffee, tea, gin or red wine?
Or a bucket of hot water over you in a canvas tent?
All are well trained in taking care at the very highest level,
Our guide in full Maasai kit and the others in casual Maasai kit down to sandals made from rubber tyres.
Gabrielle was like a large lion.
Strong, articulate, softly spoken and when he speaks of his people and the animals, he simply weaves a spell.
A magnificent creature with three little boys and one wife.
Jaime and Kerry the British-Kenyan couple who put the walking safari together hired Gabrielle 12 years ago to look after the 30 chickens.
He quickly moved to buying and selling their 50 camels and now, of course ‘is it’.
In the market 300 people who all wanted to press his hand or touch him
And in turn our hands.
It was damn hot and cows, goats, camels which they sold in an auction manner and then over to trade immediately for everything anything!
Gabrielle stood in his vibrant red and orange beaded neck piece a good foot above the crowd,
Falc gaping at everything and the Maasai people just gaping at us!
The colours were as good as India!
Tomorrow to the tented mobile unit on the river overlooking the place where the wildebeest and the zebra cross.
They are moving, the animals in single file pushing pushing for grass on the other side but God knows when they will go.
Apparently they all look into the river and turn back a million times and then on a whim the first one jumps and the rest follow.
The lions wait, as do the crocs.
Oh dear.
So a glass of Champagne tonight.
Good to be here.
Sending love from Falc and I.

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