Kenya - Nanyuki Wedding, by Steve Sturton-Davies (1992)

While I was working for British Airways in Nairobi, I met a British Airways stewardess who had taken a year off on half pay to work in a wildlife refuge. She was very keen on travelling in the wild and we used to spend many leisure hours travelling, staying under canvas and studying the animals in their natural habitat.

Eventually we decided to get married, and thought it would be highly appropriate to have our wedding in the bush. Sue and I arranged to get married at Nanyuki in August 1992.

For the wedding, we rented ‘Ol Pejeda’ lodge, formerly owned by the oil magnate Adnan Kashoggi. As we wanted a small and fairly intimate wedding, ‘Ol Pejeda’ had the distinct advantage that the accommodation was limited to 20 people. The lodge itself had a master bedroom with a ten-foot wide bed, a bath big enough for eight, and a jacuzzi! (We actually took a picture with all the guests in the bed).

The night before the wedding, we arranged for a black tie dinner in the bush, while the staff of ‘Ol Pejeda’ built a lovely church for the wedding out of hay bales, with low walls and pews, the whole edifice covered in flowers. The vicar flew in to join us and landed at the lodge’s own landing strip.

Everything was prepared for the wedding at noon. Then somebody reported back from the church that we had had a ‘visitation’ during the night. It appeared that a small family of elephant had found our church during the night, taken a fancy to the straw bales and had actually eaten most of it and severely trampled the rest! More hay bales had to be found in order to do a hasty reconstruction job on our church in time for the wedding.

Sue was brought to the church in a dusty, dented Land Rover covered with ribbons. After the service was over we mounted our ‘going away’ vehicle, which was - a camel.

This proved to be the most uncomfortable choice of conveyance, as I had to endure the mile long journey impaled painfully on the saddle pommel, as Sue could not avoid sliding down against me from the hump behind!

I was in such a state by the time that we arrived back to the lodge that I had to be lifted off the camel and gently lowered into the jacuzzi in order to soothe my damaged parts! A bottle of champagne in the jacuzzi also helped a little...

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