At last…The elusive Bush Baby within feet of us…Cigars and seafood platters…

A Bush Baby eating a banana next to us last night as we dined outdoors at the Leopard Beach Resort. A small platform was set up for the Bush Babies loaded with bananas to encourage them to visit the guests while dining.
Although extremely shy, Bush Babies aren’t tame and are very cautious around scary-looking humans. Their bulgy eyes cause the flash to reflect off their eyeballs presenting this eerie look. Little did we know, when we selected our table close to the trees that we’d be as close as we could get to their natural habitat.
They use their “little hands” to firmly grasp their food.  They leap from tree to tree so quickly that we were unable to get a shot in flight or on a tree.  Once they hit the tree trunk, they hide, blending in with their surroundings. Unbelievably, we saw one of them leap backward from this stance to a tree, never once looking behind them. Oh, Mother Nature, thank you!

Mother Nature has been kind to us. We saw The Big Five in the first 10 hours on safari. We’ve seen monkeys and baboons in our yard.  We’ve heard the chorus of a thousand frogs singing in the night. We’ve been an eyewitness to many of the scary and not so scary insects in Kenya. 

We didn’t move. Holding the camera in my hand, with my elbows on the table, using no zoom, we got this shot. For a moment, I wondered if she/he would jump on the table and steal my lobster tail.

We’ve watched and heard the mating calls of dozens of birds we’d never seen or heard before each day as we live in our outdoor living room now that spring is in full bloom in this part of the world.

I could have reached out and touched this Bush Baby but we both sat motionless, allowing her/him to check out the food on our plates. With no bananas in sight, it quickly moved on.  We felt fortunate to take the shots we’ve shown here. They are fast!

But, two creatures have eluded us; the curious dung beetle that we missed while on safari, the search motivated by our safari mate David, and in our own area, the elusive Bush Baby, a shy, nocturnal animal that expertly leaps from tree to tree during the night, eliciting sounds unfamiliar to most human ears.

Ordering the seafood platter for two resulted in a fabulous meal we both enjoyed, each receiving our own huge platter.

Last night, as our “safari luck” will have it, while leisurely dining at the Leopard Beach Resort in Diana Beach, one of our wishes was fulfilled, the Bush Baby made an enthusiastic appearance; snap, snap, snap. Thank goodness I always take my camera wherever we may go!

Tom’s platter included white rice.  He ate everything on his plate, except he moved the calamari, cauliflower, and broccoli to my plate. 

Long ago, Tom and I decided we would not write negative reviews of local restaurants and resorts if they didn’t meet our expectations. There are other sites and other reviewers who may choose to do so. We both agreed that a facility can have an “off” day or night and it would be unkind to tarnish their reputation over one of those days.

The staff at the Leopard Beach Resort and Spa must have had one of those “off” evenings last night as we toured the facility, arriving at 6:00 pm, finally leaving at 10:00 pm,, after dinner and a few unintended mishaps.  We’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.  Of course, the appearance of the Bush Babies made the dinner memorable in itself along with the excellent seafood dinner.

While at the bar, we noticed this cigar menu. Tom had hoped to order a Cuban cigar to enjoy in our outdoor living room, but for whatever reason, they were out. Not a cigar aficionado, he had no clue as to an alternative, so he passed.  (KES $1000 = US $11.76).

Their restaurant, The Chui Grill was excellent, the service impeccable, as our devoted waiter who ran circles around us to ensure a positive experience, which in fact, we had while dining, although the meal was expensive compared to the other resorts, KES $6389.30, US $75.13. 

With our new plan to dine out 3 times a week and, after careful calculations, this morning, of what we’ve spent on dining out thus far, as compared to our dining out budget, at this amount per time, we’ll remain within our projections. In reviewing the calendar, we’ll dine out 17 more times until it’s time to move on.

The grounds at Leopard Beach Resort were expansive, meticulously maintained, and well-staffed.

I seriously doubt we’ll spend this much since most of our dinners have averaged KES $4618.20, US $54.30, including beverages, taxes, and tips.  Taxi fare goes into the taxi budget of KES $85050, US $1000 which, at this point, we’ve spent under KES $25515, US $300. 

Based on the projected number of times we’ll use a taxi to grocery shop and dine out, we’ll be well under the budget, using the balance for the monthly tips for Hesborn, our houseman, and Jeremiah, our night guard. (There are day guards at the gate as well, day and night).

Once we add the tally of our final costs for the 3 months in Kenya we will share these with you, down to the penny.  From how it’s looking now, over halfway through, we’re rather pleased.

Today, after literally wiping out every morsel of food in our tiny fridge and cupboards, we’re heading out to grocery shop at 11:00 am with our usual driver, Alfred. 

With our new plan to eat out 3 times a week, we’ll grocery shop every 2 weeks as opposed to once a week purchasing only enough food to last for 8 days and water and snacks (mostly cheese and nuts) to last the full 2 weeks.

Gee…its fun calculating this stuff! I’m like a “pig in the mud” with an Excel spreadsheet!  Thank goodness.  Tom is not.

Note:  As for the dung beetle, we won’t see one in Kenya.  Hopefully, we’ll find one in South Africa while on safari in Kruger Park.  I assure you, within hours of our discovery, we’ll be posting our photos here.