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Governors’ treat – a visit to Mugie Conservancy

By , People Daily Digital
Saturday, September 25th, 2021 05:00 | 3 mins read
Lunch by the infinity pool with sweeping views of Laikipia.

Nothing makes a game drive all the more interesting than having a knowledgeable guide.

As soon as I was picked up by Mr John Lomelo, from Governors’ Mugie House, I knew I would have a great time in every game drive I would go for around the Mugie Conservancy.

He explained what we passed by in detail; to him, everything had a story. For instance, with him, I learnt more about the common zebra’s stripes.

That their stripes assist them to camouflage, and also reflect light from the sun.

I also learnt more on termite mounds and the termite world, something I always ignored whenever I went for game drives.

There are over 2,000 known termite species in the world, and they all vary in size, shape and behaviour.

But the common denominator in all of them is their love for wood and their propensity to cause damage to property and homes.

It takes four to five years for them to make their termite mound. They make it using their saliva, clay and faeces, and leopards and cheetahs use them to search for the landscape prey, on the mound’s peak.

Another thing I always ignored was plants. I learnt about the wild olive tree through John, and how the oil is medicine, commonly used for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease.

There is also the euclea tree, which has hard leaves and doesn’t need a lot of water to grow.

The room at night with the fireplace lit.

Again, there is the croton bush, which lions use for feeding. They like to drag their kill under it to feast on it.

The bushes are also insect repellents, and their twigs can be used as toothbrush.

The beauty of being in a conservancy is that one can also go for a night game drive, during which John helped me distinguish between the grazers and the carnivores.

“If you see yellow eyes at night, know that it’s a grazer, while the red eyes are meat lovers,” he tells me, directing the spotlight to the moving animals.

He was careful not to put the light directly to their eyes, explaining that it affects their eyesight, and it will also expose them to the predators.

 Enough of animals, plants and game drives, let me tell you how being at Governors’ Mugie House was.

I was welcomed by the radiant Trix Hartley, the manager, who after a small brief took me to one of the cottages, where I would spend my time at.

She explained to me that there are currently nine rooms in the property, but there is one luxury suite that will be finished hopefully next year.

Five cottages are en-suite, and furnished with a fireplace to ensure guests are warm during cold weather.

I was told that mine was called the garden room, and I loved the colourful flowers that were in front of the cottage.

There is also one suite with the luxury of a private pool on the verandah, and one family cottage, an en-suite double and twin room, which are interconnected by a spacious lounge area with the wide verandah and private plunge pool.

I loved the sweeping views of the Laikipia plains and a waterhole where wildlife come to enjoy a cool drink, which can be viewed from some of the rooms, the infinity pool area as well as the large main house where guests can relax enjoying a book or just chatting with their loved ones.

If you are a foodie, you’ll love the tasty meals here, which are prepared from ingredients sourced from their own vegetable garden.

I find this idea thoughtful, as various camps and hotels are looking into ways of ensuring their guests eat healthy.

I would say, unlike the Mara or other destinations that have just a game drive as their main activity, here at Governors’ Mugie House, guests can also learn how to play golf, or if they are experts, sharpen their skills in the nine-hole golf course on the conservancy.

I had an opportunity to learn about it with Stephen Edung and Michael Lokeuni, who were excellent teachers for beginners like me. One can also fish in one of the dams, have a picnic, or treat themselves to a spa session.