Posts Tagged With: Nairobi

Nairobi wildlife under threat

Sitting in a hot car, unmoving; breathing in diesel fumes, waiting for the police to wave your car through….and waiting, and waiting. What should be a simple 10 minute trip across the city turns into an hour plus nightmare.  Chicago traffic is a delight in comparison to Nairobi traffic.

nairobi traffic

Nairobi is among the worst in the world when it comes to traffic issues.

Currently traffic comes through the heart of the city; from locals to freight vehicles coming from the port of Mombasa traveling into Kenya, as well as into neighboring Uganda and South Sudan.

It’s easy to see Nairobi desperately needs updated infrastructure and change. In fact, in 2014, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero said that the city’s traffic costs the country an estimated $570,000 a day in lost productivity.

But what does this mean to wildlife? In particular the Nairobi National Park, situated just 4 miles (7 km) outside of the country’s capital,  an electric fence is the only boundary separating city from wildlife.

banner-nairobi-national-park by all time safaris

Nairobi National Park Photo:

The country’s first wildlife park was established in 1946 when traffic was non-existent, the city population only at approximately 170,000. Today’s population is almost 4 million.

The country’s largest, most rapidly expanding city needs room to grow, but must simultaneously preserve the delicate balance of its wildlife.

Nairobi National Park

The park is currently partially surrounded by roads and fences, but has an open area to the south allowing for wildlife corridors.

Proposed railway no text

The proposed plans for the railway inside the Park. The preferred government route is the light blue line, virtually splitting the park in half.

The fear is eventually the park will become broken up, and/or surrounded by infrastructure and human encroachment, essentially turning the park into more of a zoo.

Directing necessary developments around the park, and preserving wildlife corridors is vital to the future of Kenya’s rhinos, elephants, lions and others. Please take a moment to encourage Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta to preserve the integrity of the Nairobi National Park. VOTE now!

Vote to save Park




Categories: Making a Difference, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ranger Jack

Spotlighting one of Kenya’s finest wildlife warriors-

ranger jack

Ranger Jack

Name: Jackson Pemba Kuyioni
Age: 24 years old
Location: Nairobi National Park, Rhino Unit

What is the most rewarding thing about your job as a ranger?

Jack: The most rewarding part is that i have developed both socially and economically.I have interacted with different people from different places worldwide and as a result shared experiences, ideas among others. Socially have resulted to my economic development especially when I meet with businessmen and women, as they encourage me in protecting flora and fauna. This is where I got ideas of investment which am planning to do.

What are the biggest challenges?

Jack: Challenges I face as ranger are quite numerous but these are the major ones *harsh environments especially during the rain ,cold and presence of moonlight which is advantageous to poachers.
*lack of teamwork (although its rare)
*lack of modern equipment (eg.GPS,night vision)
*limited time with my family and friends
*long working hours
*poor payment

Where would you like to visit?

Jack: America and Australia

What’s your favorite meal?

Jack: Milk and ugali

What are your hobbies?

Jack: Bird-watching, watching wildlife documentaries, nature walks and visiting friends.

What do you wish you had to help fight poachers?

Jack: I believe there are many things, but community involvement is the best. Community is a stakeholder in conservation ; in Kenya about 60% of wildlife is outside protected areas where in this places they coexist with people. Poachers live in the community and they are members , once the community is educated then getting information about poachers will be easier.

Why did you become a ranger?

Jack: I became a ranger because of the passion I had for wildlife conservation, I am passionate of being a ranger and am proud of it. I admire anything related to wildlife. Before I became a ranger I had a lot of interest in conservation but when I became a ranger it was the best for me, interracting directly with wildlife.

What do your family and friends think of your profession?

Jack: They always say i am well paid, that  I am playing critical role in protecting wildlife . Some think that its an easy job, to some its hard especially dealing with problematic animals like hippopotamus.

Categories: Ranger Heroes, Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Rhino Girl On Safari!

I’m in Kenya! Looking forward to sharing my adventures with you and hopefully lots of photos.

on safari

In the meantime, here’s a bit about the where I’ll be…

Samburu National Reserve,

Samburu Reserve

Located on the banks of the Ewaso Ng’iro River, the Samburu Reserve was one of the places in which Elsa the famous lioness was raised by Joy and George Adamson. It is also home to Kamunyak, the lioness famous for adopting oryx calves.
In addition it is home to all three big cats, elephants, hippo and buffalo, among others.

lake naivasha

Lake Naivasha

Part of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Naivasha is a freshwater lake west of Nairobi. The name means “rough water”, due to the storms that can suddenly arise in the area. It is at the highest elevation in the Valley.
There are a variety of wildlife here, including 400 species of birds and a large population of hippo.

masai mara game reserve 2

Masai Mara game reserve

Covering 1500 sq km, the Masai Mara is primarily open grassland, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Kenya. There are 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles, and a variety of birds. Of course, the “Big Five” (elephant, rhino, leopard, buffalo and lion) are among them all.
The Great Migration is a monumental wildlife event to behold on the Mara from July through October.

black rhinos ol pejeta

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta-the place I’m especially excited about-is East Africa’s largest black rhino sanctuary. This is also the home of the only four surviving northern white rhinos on the planet! These people do amazing work in the conservation of wildlife and outreach to the community.
In addition, it is home to a population of chimpanzees.

amboseli national park

Amboseli National Park

Spreading over both Kenya and Tanzania, the Amboseli National Park is well-known for elephant viewing. Mt. Kiliminjaro and the “Big 5” can be seen here as well.

More to come…when I’m back!

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Ivory Buyers Helped fund the Nairobi Massacre

posted by Kevin Heath of Wildlife News

The world has watched in horror as the scale of the Al-Shabaab attack on the Westgate shopping centre in Nairobi unfolded. It was the latest – and largest – attack in the campaign by the terrorist group which has spread across Africa. Up to 40% of the funds that Al-Shabaab needs to undertake these terrorist attacks comes from ivory buyers and consumers.

While much press is targeted at the elephant poacher the reality is that they are there to meet the demands of a market. It is the consumer and buyer of ivory – whether for ornamental purposes or consumption in medicinal ‘cure’ – that creates the market and sends funds to the terrorist groups.

In an investigation in 2011, Nir Kalron (Founder & CEO of Maisha Consulting) and Andrea Crosta (Executive Director & Co-Founder of the Elephant Action League), discovered that 40% of funding to keep Al-Shabaab operational came from elephant poaching and ivory smuggling activities.  It’s not just ivory that the terrorist group is involved with, rhino horn is also a lucrative trade that helps them buy guns, ammunition and explosives.

Al-Shabaab in 2011 were earning between $200,000 and $600,000 a month from ivory sales which helps to pay their soldiers and terrorists a higher wage and better living conditions than rangers and soldiers of governments. With an estimated wage bill (in 2011) of $1.5 million a month ivory sales can contribute up to 40% of the organisations operational costs.

Following the recent announcement by the White House to boost its actions against poaching a hearing was held by the U.S. International Conservation Caucus. At that meeting Ian Saunders, founder of Tsavo Trust, revealed that the Al Qaeda attacks on the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salam during 1998 cost and estimated $50,000 – or the street value of less than 2 decent size elephant tusks.

In 2012 the estimated retail value of black-market ivory was about $1800 a kilogramme. With adult elephant tusks weighing up to 50kg or even 70kg the rewards for Al-Shabaab are high. The profits are so high because Al-Shabaab controls so much of the middle section of the supply chain. They pay poachers less than $100 for a pair of adult tusks.

Earlier this year the Kenya Wildlife Service announced that they had launched an investigation in to the scale of involvement of Al-Shabaab in poaching in Kenya.

Elgiva Bwire, who is currently in prison in Kenya for Al-Shabaab terrorist offences, has claimed that the  South Kitui Game Reserve and Kora National Reserve are major hide-outs for Al-Shabaab in Kenya. The parks have a long history of problems with poachers. Kora National Reserve was made a national park in 1989 following the murder of George Adamson and two colleagues by poachers.

The link between terrorism and ivory is now so strong that the term ‘blood ivory’ has been coined. Those who buy ivory now are actively supporting terrorism around the world and the murder of innocent people including children.

The former director of the Kenya Wildlife Service, Julius Kipng’etich, in March 2012 told the US Congressional Staff that Al-Shabaab was so involved in poaching that he asked people to stop wearing ivory based jewellery as doing so was effectively supporting groups such as Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda.


Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tragedy in Nairobi Park

nairobi nat park sign

With rhino being slaughtered at a unsustainable rate of 2 a day-everyday, poaching is the biggest threat to wildlife in Africa. Although the murder of a rhino is always tragic, sometimes something happens that makes it even more dreadful.   Continue reading

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Mahout (Keeper) For a Night

“I once had the opportunity to visit the David Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage in Nairobi, Kenya, while filming an episode of my show. I was designated as the mahout-or keeper-for the night of a 3-month-old calf that had lost his family to poachers. As we bedded down in his cage, my main job was to make sure the 350-pound calf had the tactile contact with me that he needed to sleep peacefully. Things began well enough, with him nodding off easily, but in the middle of the night, I felt a knocking at my back. He was having a nightmare, and I instinctively cupped his eyes so he couldn’t see the light from the oil lamp hanging from the ceiling. The trembling of his trunk slowed, and his breathing softened. Just as he was drifting off again, he started to twist a lock of my hair with the tip of his trunk. All 40,000 muscles in that miniature proboscis were working together to make sure that its tip-which is 10 times more sensitive than a human finger-brought him the soothing contact he needed. Suddenly, I grasped the trauma that a creature this sensitive must experience in the presence of a poacher’s brutality.”

-excerpt from Jeff Corwin 100 Heartbeats

Mahouts sleep with the orphans every night.

Mahouts at Sheldrick sleep with the orphans every night.

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