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Revenge of the Termites

The gossamaer wings, the only remaining evidence of the Termite invasion.
The gossamer wings, the only remaining evidence of the Termite invasion.

I traveled from Siaya District, crossing the Rift Valley, to a small town on the slopes of Mt Kenya, near Nanyuki, where the British Army has a large base. I booked into a Hotel that caters for Mzungu (white people) who are planning to climb Mt Kenya.

That evening there was a tremendous storm. I was in bed reading under under the canopy created by my mosquito net. Suddenly there was a build up of crashing and a buzzing racket; my room was being invaded by hundreds of Flying Termites! This particular specie is a similar in size to UK Dragon flies, 4 x 2.5cm wings, with a body length approx 1.5cm. But looked far bigger!

Attracted by the light, they were marching into my room in droves via the 1″ gap between my door and the threshold. Once inside they then launched off into flight, careering around crashing into the walls, the light and my mosquito net. I watched fascinated as they gradually began to land, shedding wings and walking off.

In the morning my room was covered with loads of 2.5cm gossamer wings and no sign of the termites!!!

Kioni explained that the Termites come out of their holes, fly around for a short time and on landing their wings drop off. The males and females find each other, go off to establish new colonies

Children were enthusiastically running around chasing them. It was noticeable that the poorer kids were catching them and eating them with relish.

I pointed this out to Kiono who told me how tasty and nutritious Termites are. There is poverty here, and the poor seize any opportunity to eat whatever may present itself.

Since I am on a Kenyan diet I joined in the spirit of the event; whether they have any nutritional value at all, I have no idea, but I did find them tasteless.

For anti social reasons I do not recommend the Kenyan diet whilst sharing a tent!

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