Girl Power at Ol Pejeta


Here she is-"Mighty Aphrodite"! The "girl power" I am referring to is this gal and the story of one of several encounters with her.

I had seen "Aphrodite", my moniker for her, on game drives with Abdi on the "Zebra Plains" which was her territory. Always stomping along, nose to the ground, eating, eating, eating...

On this particular occasion, Nonie, the Ol Pejeta Bush Camp manager had been kind enough to invite me to a "going away drinks" party with the "hens". Women she had met during her four month stay in Kenya. She knew I would otherwise be spending the evening solo.

An accented "Hello...?" outside my tent flap at 5:00 pm and off we went.

Being somewhat ahead of schedule we made our way over to the dam first for a look and then headed to what she thought was the meeting place. Yikes...lost in the wild before the drinks.

Lo and behold, in the distance we saw "Aphrodite" making her way across the plains towards the trail we were on. We estimated her trajectory and pulled off to the side of the path. After shutting off the Land Cruiser we waited-chatting, taking photos of zebras that wandered past us. Rhinos are not cheetahs.... we waited...

She must have had the same flight path in mind that we did because she marched behind the vehicle within photo opportunity distance. But her mouth never left the ground! Nonie, a proper British citizen and myself, a polite Canadian wanted to follow park rules and not disturb her ladyship. We also wanted to know if she would raise that massive head and horn.....So pretending to be a bird.....ahem....we gave a short sing-song whistle.

Without breaking stride she swung that incredible head our way, MAYBE raising her mouth by 12" as if to say: "Really?"

It was so imperceptible, we both missed the shot. Well done humans. With a few giggles we watched her until her rather large bottom got smaller and smaller until it too disappeared into the dusk.

The Dam-which we visited before the gathering of hens, chicks and roosters.

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by Bettina Hayes