Breaking Ground at Last!

21 September 2010

So, it's finally happened - we're at, on and in the kopje; we're quietly but firmly there, evaluating, conjugating and generally snooping about and getting under its very skin. Our team - John, Uli and Charlie - flew in last week in Nomad’s very small plane, all the tools of their respective trades stuffed in every available space and then some.

On arrival they were met by Mr Mwikoko and his very useful truck. Mr Mwikoko, a local man from the area, bounces his way across the open savannas from Mugumu (just west of the park) bringing with him all the locally sourced sand, gravel and rocks; you see, even at this early stage we’ve got a beady eye fixed firmly on our carbon footprint!

Joined by Edgar, the camp foreman, the team spent last week concentrating on the back of house area, siting staff quarters and making sure everything had the right zen and flow, important in the scheme of things. Ever present, and watching all the proceedings with interested eyes, were copious baboons, oribi, zebra and giraffe. They say there’s even a resident leopard there, the workers hear him at night when they’re tucked up safe under cover of the temporary shelters.

John, Uli and Charlie enjoy mozzie nets under the trees, a sky lit by insurmountable stars (and much story-telling) and gallons of camp coffee to start the day. Then they walk every path, they look at every view – noting always the far-off balloons rising and falling over the Maasai Mara, and they start to feel more and more ‘at one’ with Nomad's new home. Their mission, as in all things regarding this kopje, is to have as little impact here as possible, and this takes shape more and more as we learn and appreciate all that this area has to offer.

About the view Charlie says "you come in hidden and behind the ridge, you're just below the top of the kopje so have yet to be aware of the scale. You then emerge out of the rocks and suddenly hits you...the enormity of it all...and how everything just falls away right in front of you with views extending forever north and east. It's all about the arrival you see, not giving the secrets away until you're actually standing there".

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