Life on the Rock

05 October 2010

A well-known British photographer, and several large cats, visited our kopje this past week, to somewhat differing degrees of welcome. Our Lamai Serengeti building crew are town boys mostly, straight out of the bright lights and dala-dala-traffic-chaos of Arusha town. Lions wandering through camp on nocturnal sojourns are not really their idea of a good time, or something that helps them with a restful night.

On our arrival they were exceedingly quick to point out the very large paw prints etched in the mud in the midst of the current site; looks like these lion were very keenly checking out the back-of-house building progress as well they might, the Kogatende kopje has been prime lion territory for many years.

Sadly, game viewing is not something at the forefront of the boys daily activities, but if they did have time to look up and out over the rocks, they'd see an astonishing amount of wildebeest, zebra, buffalo and elephant literally everywhere.

The Kogakuria Kopje has always served as something of a magnet for game in the area, not just during the months when the migration is in residence (August to mid-December). Everywhere you go the kopje navigates you; it's at your back as you head towards the Mara River and a day spent in hesitant excitement watching the often gruesome spectacle of a river crossing. Heading home at sunset it dominates the horizon, hard not to ... it's the highest point for miles.

Photographer Jo caught up with building contractor Charlie Mason who explained the finer points of a load of rocks and rubble, some long pieces of rope and a very ingenious 'spirit level' made from a length of hosepipe.

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