Posted by: travelrat | October 3, 2017

The Monkey Stole My Cigarettes

Mount Kenya: 1994

Time to get the ‘Time Machine’ fired up again, and this week, we’re going back to not only before I started the blog, but also before I started the Trip Diary. To 1994, in fact. So, I have just a few scribbled notes and some slides to work with, so I must apologise in advance for any mistakes, and the poor quality of the pictures, for my slide scanner isn’t all that good. But, since I had a prompt from a fellow blogger, wanting to know more about it, here it is …

When you say the words ‘Kenya Safari’, most people thing about plains, grassland and open spaces. But, there are places which seem like a thousand miles from the Kenya of tourist brochures, and one of these places is Mount Kenya, where we stayed at (if I remember rightly) the Mountain Travel Lodge.

When the early explorers brought news of the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya, they were greeted with incredulity.

‘Snow so close to the Equator? Surely not!’

Mt Kenya

We didn’t see any snow, though … in fact, few people do. On my picture, you can just about make out the mountain through the haze … and the guides thought we were lucky. Most days, they said, you can’t see it at all.

The Lodge was built into a steep wooded hillside. You entered from the rear, and went down to your room … I think we were on about the fourth floor … and all rooms looked down to a water-hole, where animals came to drink.


A nice touch was, if you wanted to see any particular animal, you told the staff, and, if it came while you were sleeping, they’d give you a call.

We must have been about 40 feet above the level of the water-hole, so we thought we were fairly safe leaving a window slightly open.

So, you can imagine my surprise when I emerged from the shower, to see a monkey, escaping through the window, clutching my cigarettes! The curious thing was my watch, wallet and lighter were on the table beside them, but were undisturbed.

Fortunately, the elephants and buffalo we saw later don’t climb … but we did learn, when in Africa, NEVER leave your window open.


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