Chyulu Hills are a volcano mountain range, that formed a volcanic field along The East African Rift📍South Eastern Kenya. The African Rift is a place where the continent is slowly breaking apart. Our guide informed us of the passed down folktales of the area. Tribes believed Satan was allowed to unleash his power and walk the earth here, releasing the lava from the volcanoes. This cleared the area and prohibited tribes from living here. They call the lava fields Shetani, Swahili for satan, or evil spirit. The last known eruptions were over 200 years ago, and the land remains uninhabited by tribes.
We were also informed a convoy is required to enter this area of Tsavo due to previous border issues with Somalia. Even before being told the folktales of the area, the energy of the area is commanding and eery. When hearing these stories, along with previous hostile border information, it gave some perspective to the energy being felt. Channeling good energy and prayer never hurt any journey, and it felt very appropriate to channel it here.
Exploring and walking the lava fields was amazing to experience. Walking on lava rocks is similar to walking on glass, some of the pieces are sharp, jagged, and dangerous. Others are smooth, slick, and strong. The land looks bare, but there are a few animals that inhabit this area. This was one of the few times that we were allowed to get out of the vehicle during the game drive; we were situationally aware of our surroundings. Our wildlife observations so far have shown us the amazing art of camouflage that these predators possess.
Our wildlife encounter in this space was with a troop of Vervet monkeys. The Vervet monkey perched on the large lava rock, is looking out for the others of the troop scattered about the field. We observed the troop for some time, eating the insects and plant life growing between the rocks. Watching baby monkeys play is at the top my list of cute things that make me smile. In such a harsh landscape, it’s cool to see that life, joy, and love still exists.
When “The Lookout” Vervet monkey abandoned his watch post, the other monkeys disappeared. We also caught the signal to vacate the area and walked back to the safari van. I have no problem learning survival skills from a monkey. The vervet troop survives in this terrain daily, we are just a novice visitors.
A quick yoga practice in this wilderness presented itself randomly and organically. The spirit felt the need to embrace this moment, the ego catered to it. Engulfed in so much natural power and dangers unseen, Warrior III came natural. All senses were engaged to find my center of gravity to balance on harden molten rock. Mindful Breathing 3 Count: Inhaling the pure ether and earth elements while gazing at sharp lava. Yogi eye opening reality that the same earth that rejuvenates and builds, is also destructive and can be painful. Slow Exhaling fear and anxieties of the pains of growth.
Being mindful wilderness Circle of Life lessons, can be literal or figurative. Surviving in America’s concrete jungle is a different type of wilderness. Being able to engage the senses as a warrior can be used in both environments. It is a benefit to take some time to find balance on uncertain ground. Open all eyes and trust the senses and strength to guide you through growth.
Mzima Springs is a unique fresh spring water oasis; it is a reservoir located north of the Chyulu Hills. The rain water seeps between the hardened lava, and flows underground down the Chyulu Hills. The fresh water spring produces large quantities of natural filtrate water.
The spring is home to nile crocodiles, hippopotamuses, verter an skyes monkeys, blue fish, and a large variety of birds and plants.
Mzima Springs is unique because the grounds walking paths are shared with the Nile crocodile, hippopotamus, and elephants. According to the park ranger, it is too far for the hippos and crocs to walk to reach any other inland water hole in this area. They leave the spring reserve and travel to the savannah to graze or feed. They return daily to this spring as their primary residence. Elephants also occasionally visit the grounds. To explore the beautiful Mzima Springs grounds, you will need to be escorted by a park ranger as this the only protection from the animals.
When visiting Mzima Springs remember this is NOT a zoo. All of the animals are wild and in their natural environments. They are free to roam, and do as they naturally would. You should remain aware of your surroundings for your safety.
Along the walkway are some of the “Big 5 Game” skeletons with informational tidbits about the animals. The size of the hippopotamus skeleton is amazing to see up close.
There is a small underwater observation hut that allows you the chance to see the hippopotamus submerged. You can also observe the schools of beautiful blue fish. During our visit, the hippos were not close enough to be seen from this observation area.
Mzima Springs was not a long visit, but it was definitely worth stopping by to visit while in Kenya. The concept and experience of walking around a natural oasis with wildlife uncaged and living its best life is beyond dope. The environment is absolutely gorgeous and peaceful.
The ambiance has a total wonderland vibes, it is very tempting to wonder off in this space. Overhead butterflies are fluttering against a beautiful sky. Birds, large and small, can be heard singing in the background. Lush green trees and shrubs with natural purified water provide awesome air elements to breathe in. Young Veter monkeys playfully wrestle in a tree nearby as an older Veter in the troop look on from a short distance away. This is a cool place to visit while out on safari.
Our safari journey continues through Tsavo West National Park, and onward to Diani Beach. If you are traveling on safari, we would love to hear about your experiences in the comments.
Thank You for reading.
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