Mum and I stayed at a lodge at the bottom of Mt Kenya. The unique aspect of Mt Kenya is that it’s the only place in the world that sits on the equator and has snow all year around.
It was our second day in Kenya so we didn’t have the best knowledge of African landscape just yet.
The lodge offered a free tour guide led jungle walk around the lodge areas.
We signed up, went to the meeting point by a gate and waited.
As we were waiting a man stealthily stalked OUT of the jungle, dressed in camouflage and carrying a loaded rifle.
He then preceded to hang around near the gate, right where we were waiting.
Mum and I immediately regretted signing up to the tour. Mum thinks everything is going to kill us (hair dye, insect spray, mobile phones, any activities done at night) and unfortunately I have been brainwashed and have now inherited that trait.
“I hope he’s not coming with us! We’re going to die!”
The walking tour started and the man with the rifle started following us. “Noooo.. He’s coming! We need to stay as far away from him as possible”. We stood on the other side of the tour group.
The guide then gave his introduction spiel, where we were going to go what we were going to do, followed with
“and the reason the man with the rifle is joining is because the male buffalo are crazy and will attack you for no reason”.
At this point, the man with the rifle became our best friend. Mum and I fought to stand as close to him as possible without being weird. Whenever he walked 20m away from the group we were like “Where are you going? Come back! Protect us!”
This positive attitude towards men with rifles continued throughout the entire parks experience.
Their are great placed to stay – along mountain ledges, along rivers – but to give everyone the best view they spread the cabins out. And their aren’t fences.
The lodge had been known to have a lion living in the parking lot – just as an example.
At another place a lion was making noises outside our window all night. And then we had to get up in the morning and walk out the front door.
Here! This is the place where the lion was hanging out on in the backyard.
Whenever we walked back to the lodges at night we were always looking for our best friends – the men with rifles.