My Brother asked me to take his Son ‘Diggers’, up to the Milgis to learn abit about what the Milgis Trust is all about.. Its called Work Experience!!.. So we decided its time to investigate these ‘ new ‘ ?? Monkeys that the locals are talking about in the Ndotos..
So we set off with a few porters, and headed up into this amazing valley!.. It turned out to be a very very special Eco-system, of its own, with rare birds, special animals, incredibly beautiful butterflies and moths, and plants.. WE WERE SURROUNDED BY EXTRAORDINARILY BEAUTIFUL THINGS!!
The monkeys being the priority…. We set to the task!!
We searched high and low for these very clever monkeys, creeping through the undergrowth with out breaking a dry leaf, not easy! sitting quietly like the scout has many times, and waiting.. But could we see the Monkeys!..
About 10 years ago, while on safari in the Matthews Range, I saw some Monkeys in the Ngare Narok, that I shrugged off as the Samburu would say ‘ just another Monkey from the Forest ‘! But on return to camp thought to myself, yes they were different somehow… So looked them up in the book and mmmm Debrazza fitted them, but the Monkey experts all said.. NOT POSSIBLE!! It was only 5 years later that we managed to get these picture below!, and surprised every one!!They were now definitely in the Matthews, so could be in the Ndotos as well, although we have spent alot of time looking.!!. But in our beautiful valley the Monkeys weren’t having it, all though Diggers saw the back of a couple racing off at high speed, but could not identify them.. But on the last day we got lucky and Pete saw a ‘pure’ Debrazza, sitting in a tree.. So having confirmed that.. What else did we see! On the first day as we were walking up the dry river, suddenly we come round the corner, and literally 4 meters in front of us is this most BEAUTIFUL BUSH PIG!!.. actually 3 of them!.. Unfortunately I did not think of photographing them till they had almost gone.. They were so close to start with and they did not run! But very very impressive animals..
While we were sitting WAITING!, for the monkeys there were 3 Narina Trogons flitting around, and all sorts of birds sounds I did not recognise.. Finally I managed to catch up with a couple of rareys!! Red capped Robin Chat.. just the most beautiful voice, and the other was the most impressive little flycatcher, blue-mantled crested fly catcher.. just exquisite!! Amoungst the usual chorus of birds one would expect here.. silvery cheeked hornbill, hartlaubs Touraco, crowned Eagle etc etc etc.. The list was ‘ ‘extra’!!, as one would say in French!!
Last but not least the Cycads.. They are endemic to this area, and incredibly beautiful.. These two small plants have got to defy the modern world, and grow into the size of the one below.. This is exactly what the Milgis Trust is all about!! LIVE AND LET LIVE!..
Diggers had the time of his life, every single moment was magic for him.. He could not believe what he was seeing most of the time!.. We hope to pass on the responsibility of the Trust to people like him..
He saw that there are big challenges as well.. While we were there..
As we were driving home these women stopped us… They want help with marketing their goods, and they want water!!
Again the answer is don’t burn the Forest and then we can talk!.. Then finally As we were trying ‘to shoot out of the door’, this little child was brought in.. Blind, and has a cleft lip.. Diggers saw it all!!!!
Tomorrow we leave for the north, Pete will be walking his 65 kms on Friday!! GOOD LUCK PETE!!