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Mutamaiyu House on Mugie Ranch

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Posted by  Simba Saturday, 04 November 2006 13:07

Mutamaiyu House on Mugie Ranch

Mutamaiyu House on Mugie Ranch

"Heaven on a Hill"

Mutamaiyu House is on Mugie Ranch situated at the northern end of the Laikipia plateau in northern Kenya. Described by a recent visitor as "Heaven on a Hill", it is a magnificent family owned house built in a grove of ancient, twisting olive trees.

Mugie Ranch is a forty-nine thousand acre working ranch that rolls out across the Laikipia plains on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. Home now to all the "Big Five" since the introduction of white rhino in 2002. Mugie ranch now becomes the latest private rhino sanctuary in Kenya with the re-introduction of 20 black rhino in July 2004.

Most stunning of all are the views of quintissential Africa.

The Area around Mutamaiyu.

July & August 2004 saw the return of Black Rhino onto Mugie. It has been 24 years since the last breathing black rhino walked this area, 20 in total were translocated in from Nairobi National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park and Solio Rhino Santuary. 20,000 acres have been set aside thus creating the 'Mugie Rhino Santuary', this area is fenced off with elecrified fencing making a secure home not only for the rhino but also for the endangered Jackson Hartebeest and Grevy Zebra and all the other species found here in Laikipia.

It was bound to happen that new Lions would appear and challenge Cecil's tenureship as pride lion especially after the loss of Brain in February last. It was in early October that we found Leila's pride scattered and she was courting with a pair of magnifiecient lions previously never seen here. This is all very exciting as Leila has not bred for 3 years and we wait next February for the outcome of this courtship. And of course with great interest and concern for what might happen to Cecil.

Mutamaiyu House Facilities

Mutamaiyu is home from home to Californian vintners Nicky and Gaby Hahn and their family. In 1997 they made a dream come true when they purchased this ravishing "piece of Africa" to preserve a working ranch and invest in a wildlife haven and research initiative.

Recently opened to visitors, Mutamaiyu comfortably accommodates up to eight people in four African style cottages, traditionally thatched using "makuti" (palm leaves) over a vaulted wooden frame.

This is a family home. The Hahn's books, art and music collection are yours to enjoy during your stay at Mutamaiyu. The cottages are built of local stone and furnished with king size or twin beds.

Safaris at Mugie: Walk, drive or ride!

There are numerous ways you can experience the thrill of watching the wild animals in their natural environment. With our Land Cruisers you can be taken around the ranch and see the different habitats and animals.

One of the many benefits of visiting a private wilderness like Mugie, is not being confined to gamedrive vehicles.

Walking is one of the most rewarding wildlife experiences you will have, allow all your senses access to impulses that although now buried deep down under our veneer of civilisation, once governed our ability to survive.

A walk can last an hour or a day, ending with a picnic or at a beautiful campsite. Whether you are physicaly fit or not Luke will tailor your walk to suit you, revel in deciphering the stories told by the tracks laid down the previous night, pause and appreciate the defense mechanisms used by the acacia trees or look into the side of a termites nest. These are some of the distractions along the trails you’ll follow in your quest for that heart stopping glimpse of a feeding elephant, oblivious to your stealthy approach.

The ultimate thrill is a camel safari lasting from a hour to a whole day. Camping in the bush accompanied by local camel herders, you can experience the life of the traditional pastoralists of the area.

Community Development at Mugie Ranch.

Mugie Primary and Nursery school has since its creation 15 years ago been built and funded by Mugie ranch, the school is for the children of ranch employees and over the last three years through the Hahn familys support and input has moved from 17th position to 1st position within the region.

Mugie ranch is a commercial livestock ranch, which includes cattle, sheep, goats and camels.

Through buying livestock from the communities, Mugie contributes to the local micro economy and community development.

School development at Mugie.

Mugie Primary and Nursery school has since its creation 15 years ago been built and funded by Mugie ranch, the school is for the children of ranch employees and over the last three years through the Hahn familys support and input has moved from 17th position to 1st position within the region.

Mugie Ranch School Trust has been formed to enable us to receive donations from friends and well wishers to enable gifted children to further their education on leaving primary school, which would otherwise be unaffordable.

Currently there are 150 children. Construction of Boys and Girls dormitorys are underway so as to accommodate the children of employees who are based on more remote corners of the ranch.

Mugie ranch provides the children with uniforms all education materials and two meals a day as a fringe benefit to the employees.

A visit to the school is a mutually rewarding experience and many of our visitors have been impressed at the high standard of acheivement.The children of this school are fortunate to be in the middle of a wilderness compared to most other schools in Kenya and part of their curriculum includes environmental education.

Activities at Mutamaiyu Mugie.

One of the many benefits of visiting a private wilderness like Mugie, is not being confined to gamedrive vehicles.

Walking is one of the most rewarding wildlife experiences you will have, allow all your senses access to impulses that although now buried deep down under our veneer of civilisation, once governed our ability to survive.

A guided game walk at Mutamaiyu Mugie.

A walk can last an hour or a day, ending with a picnic or at a beautiful campsite. Whether you are physicaly fit or not Luke will tailor your walk to suit you, revel in deciphering the stories told by the tracks laid down the previous night, pause and appreciate the defense mechanisms used by the acacia trees or look into the side of a termites nest. These are some of the distractions along the trails you’ll follow in your quest for that heart stopping glimpse of a feeding elephant, oblivious to your stealthy approach.

Ranch activities include dipping all animals once a week to clean them of ticks and other parasites carried by the wild animals that they share the ranch with. Livestock are enclosed in thorn stockades called a Boma The ranch is currently developing a 12 hectare irrigation scheme, so as to be able to grow supplementary feeds for the livestock and wildlife, also to provide fresh vegetables for the 150 employees and their families.

Painting at Mutamaiyu Mugie.

Whether you are an artist or an intersted novice, a day spent painting your impressions of Africa will make a memorable contribution to your safari.

Susannah Mortensen, born and brought up on a neighbouring Ranch in Laikipia, is an accomplished water colour painter with an avid following at her exhibitions in Nairobi.

Susannah has a very deep understanding of the Africa she has grown up in, coupled with the highest qualifications from the Chelsea School of Art and the London University enables her to interpret and portray Kenya’s rich variety of people, wild animals, flowers and wilderness.

Other activities available include:

  • Camel walks from an hour or two, to several days long.
  • Night and day game drives
  • Clay pigeon shooting
  • Flycamping on scenic parts of Mugie Ranch

Development work promoted by Mugie Ranch.

Through buying livestock from the communities, Mugie contributes to the local micro economy. Since the communities no longer have large herds of cattle they have increased their numbers of small stock, sheep and goats, which contribute to over stocking and erosion.

Each family is able to sell one or two sheep a month which contributes to their household budget without having to sell their prized cattle.

The management of Mugie ranch regularly participate in local development committee's and contribute by assisiting in installation of VHF radios for better communication for the communities and the administration.

Mugie Ranch is a founding member of Laikipia Wildlife Forum. This is an association of the residents of Laikipia to conserve the integrity of the Laikipia ecosystem by creatively managing the natural resources to improve the livelihood of its people.

Through the forum Mugie participates in many spheres of community development. www.laikipiawildlife.com  

Contact Details

Mutamaiyu House,
Mugie Ranch Ltd,
P.O. Box 30,
Rumuruti 20321, Kenya.

 

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