Conservation & environment

The story of Kiko

05 January 2020

2020 is a big year for us!

We have a few projects that we plan to realise in 2020 and for sure you will hear about some of them. There is one that we already started last year, it is a pretty story to tell: KIKO is our beloved dhow which after being retired from the lake is resting on our beach. One night there was a massive storm over camp, with huge waves that reached KIKO and took it back into the lake. It immediately filled with water and sand and sunk just in front of the beach were it has been sitting. The waves smashed it pretty badly and it looked like this was the end of KIKO.

‘Kiko’ means ‘pipe’ in Swahili and the boat was named after Ben Jackson, who designed and built Greystoke in the early 90’s, and always smoked a pipe while he created our iconic lodge. Everyone loved that little boat, guests having romantic dinners under the stars, the team waiting in its shade for the new guests to arrive, Vervet monkeys using it as their playground, our resident African Pied Wagtails building a nest in it’s front. So could this really be the end for KIKO? No, not yet!

In a big team effort we retrieved all the parts from the lake and put them back on the beach. Our carpenter Almasi who built one of our boats and is doing all the timber maintenance in camp and on the boats started to build a new base, using every original piece that was still intact. And then the big moment: putting KIKO back together! The whole team was proud to lend a hand to put the original side parts onto the new base.

Almasi is still working to get KIKO back to her former glory, but not too long and the Vervets have their playground back and for us, while enjoying our dinner we will be able to watch the moonrise over the Mahale Mountains from KIKO’s deck again.

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