Posts Tagged With: Samburu

There “used to be” Rhinos

Just back from Kenya. What an amazing experience-getting to see, hear and live the culture I’ve heard so much about! I’ve learned new things, made new friends, and of course was “over the moon” seeing all the magnificent wildlife I love so much.

My prized memory was at Ol Pejeta; seeing a black rhino in the distance. After a bit, he came galloping out of the bush at us. He stood there for minute or so as if sizing us up, then turned and ran back. It was incredible.

DSCF2388There were a few rhino in the Lake Nakuru area as well. But, having been to Samburu, Amboseli, and Masaai Mara, the one disturbing theme was “There used to be rhinos here.” There are now none in Samburu or Amboseli, and rare spottings in the Mara.

With poaching stats at almost 800 for this year alone, it’s no wonder they’re so hard to find. Being there in person, and searching so eagerly for them, it really brought it home-they are living on borrowed time.

There’s no time to debate or discuss trade, no time to hope CITES comes around and enacts sanctions on the guilty countries responsible for demanding the slaughter of a species. Certainly no time for rhino activists to argue and squabble amongst themselves.

Action is needed. Poisoning the horn to prevent poaching should be widespread (see: Rhino Rescue Project ) “Shoot to kill” needs to be the universal policy. More community incentives need to be in place to encourage the people to care for their own wildlife; like the Lowveld Rhino Trust has done (see: Zimbabwe Leads the Way)

Less talk, more action; the clock is ticking!

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 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

Kenya or Bust

masai mara game driveMy trip to Kenya is fast approaching. . .

Travel vaccines – check

Itinerary – check

Spending money – working on it

But what I don’t have ready is my mindset. I know it will be what I imagine, and probably more. Yet, what’s on my mind, as it is everyday, is poaching. In a previous close encounter, a tour guide ran into just such an occurrence (see previous post Tour Guide Gives Eye-Opening Safari).

What would I do stumbling across poachers at work? I know it’s not common. Most of them are not so brazen. They prefer the cover of night, to slink through the darkness like the snakes they are. But it’s a haunting scenario none-the-less.

I do not fear for my safety, I fear the lack of power or control over stopping it. Even as the tour guide told his kifarustory, I  felt a surge of rage cloud my brain,  imagining myself  jumping out of the vehicle charging at the poachers. Logical?  Probably not.

But I can fully empathize with the feelings of helplessness and frustration the  tour guides, game rangers, and everyone working to protect the rhinos and elephants must feel on a daily basis.

Finding a poached carcass is bad enough. Knowing it happened, the animal suffered, the bad guy won..utter heartbreak. But catching them in the act?!

The trip agenda? Game drives, the Masai Mara, Ol’Pejeta, Samburu Reserve,  meeting new friends and LOTS of photos to share with you all when I get back.

Being on guided tours, things are well planned and prepared,  unlikely to turn into a full-scale wilderness adventure.  Yet on every trip there is  a smattering of the unforeseen. Who knows, if a poacher and I happen to cross paths…look out!

Because while, most of my friends’ daydreams consist of winning the lottery, mine is taking out poachers. ….. Rhino Girl…standing in the savanna, cape blowing back in the breeze, ready to swoop in and rescue the rhino from poachers lurking in the shadows!

ACPP44  Sign to deter poachers

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.