Friday, 28 February 2014

KWS benefits from USD18,000 from International Elephant Foundation to minimize ivory trafficking.

Kenya Wildlife Service has received USD 18,000 from the International Elephant Foundation (IEF) to support anti-poaching activities in the expansive Tsavo Conservation Area.
 The project aims to ensure effective actions are taken to minimize illegal killing of elephants and trafficking of ivory in the area. 
The project will enhance ground patrol effort by rangers backed up by a detailed coverage of the ecosystem through aerial patrols. Increased surveillance will be conducted in the known poaching hotspots especially the Galana ranches and areas north of the Galana River where poaching has persisted since1970. Aerial and ground security patrols will be conducted in the Taita ranches, which form an important corridor linking Tsavo East and West National Parks. 
To minimize porosity at the Mombasa port and other border towns, routine patrols will be conducted. With the assistance of the Kenya Revenue Authority at border points, random inspection of cargo will be conducted. Also, on the Mombasa– Nairobi highway, random checks will be conducted at regular times on public, private and cargo vehicles and trains. The project will also strengthen intelligence reports, which are expected to lead to arrests and prosecution of offenders. New location of patrol bases will be modeled and identified using remote sensing and GIS data layers and appropriate software.  
Specific outputs from this project include: reduced poaching of elephants, better equipped and coordinated security patrol teams, improved reliable data on the current poaching hotspots, reduced impeded dealing with ivory and ivory products. In the long term, it is anticipated that the concerted effort to eliminate illegal poaching and trafficking of elephants in Tsavo and the country at large will drastically go down, which will lead to growth in the elephant population in Kenya.  The specific objectives of this project are:
  1. To equip patrol teams with modern technology for monitoring poaching activities
  2.  To determine the number and distribution of elephant carcasses in Tsavo
  3. To ensure sustained security presence in the entire conservation area
  4. To seal major ivory transit routes and borders

  1. To identify new locations of security patrol bases
  2. Develop a documentary for creating awareness on the need to conserve elephants.
Sharon C

Monday, 24 February 2014

Kenya’s luxurious accommodation

Kenya offers the traveler a wide range of accommodation options. From youth hostels to five star luxury suites, from pitching your own tent in the wilderness to relaxing in a private beach side villa, the possibilities are endless. 

Your choice of accommodation for your stay in Kenya should be dictated by your personal travel budget, but also by your own interests. For some people, sleeping under canvas in the Kenyan bush, by an open fire and surrounded by the spectacular night noises of wild animals, is a once in a life time experience that has greater value than the most costly hotel or lodge.

For others, the experience of enjoying unparalleled luxury, fine cuisine and world class service while surrounded by the wonders of the wild makes Kenya the ultimate destination. Whether you're looking to rough it or relax in style, Kenya can cater for every taste, budget and personal interest.

There are travelers who prefer staying at an Eco-friendly accommodation facility. These are unconventional camps and lodges that offer a different safari experience. 
This choice of accommodation assures guests that they are leaving a positive footprint on the environment and local people.
Kenya is one of the global leaders in community-based ecotourism, working with the many local tribes to develop innovative ways to protect the environment and local culture. Kenya is ahead of the ecotourism pack in other areas as well, planning to be Africa’s first country to develop and use international criteria to rate Eco-lodges and tour operators. A leader in innovative Eco-lodges, Kenya has won many international Eco-lodge awards and promoting ecotourism in Kenya.
Eco-tourism Kenya is a civil society organization that was founded in 1996 to promote ecotourism and sustainable tourism practices in Kenya. Founded with enormous industry support, the society was charged with the responsibility of providing the required support for the development of ecotourism and sustainable tourism in the country.

Today, the society continues to pursue the vision of making Kenya’s tourism sustainable, in terms of concern for the environment and the welfare of local populations. As a membership organization, Eco-tourism Kenya brings together individuals, community based organizations (CBOs) and corporate organizations in a forum where they can discuss the concept of ecotourism and use this knowledge to improve practices in their respective fields.
Eco-tourism Kenya has completed the 'Eco-ratings' system, giving Kenya’s tourists an opportunity to choose a 3 star or a 4 star Eco-lodge, based on internationally accepted criteria.
These criteria also provide Kenya’s Eco-lodges, Kenya safaris and tour operators the tools they need to compete in the global market as one of the world’s top ecotourism destinations.
Sharon C

Friday, 21 February 2014

Kenya gets bilateral support for anti-poaching fight to safe wildlife in the wild.

Recent report from Canadian and Dutch Governments says, “they have committed themselves to supporting Kenya in combating international wildlife trafficking”.
The Canadian government committed $2 million (Ksh160 million) emergency funding while the Dutch Government will support Kenya Wildlife Service activities at the Mombasa port, including provision of additional sniffer dogs, container scanners and capacity building.
Canada will build the capacity of Kenya Wildlife Service to combat international wildlife trafficking at source, thereby improving national security and stability in the rural and border areas by disrupting illicit networks involved in poaching and illegal trade of wildlife. Specifically, the money will be used in wildlife security enhancement, equipping the forensic laboratory and outreach, public awareness and education on poaching.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird made the announcement at the just-ended London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade which ran from February 13 to 14.“Illegal wildlife trafficking is known to fund the drug trade, corruption and terrorist activities in Africa,” said Mr Baird. “Canada continues to make a positive contribution to this fight.”
In his address to the conference, Mr Baird recommended that the world take urgent and decisive action to deal with the current poaching crisis that threatens the survival of the African elephant and rhinoceros populations and has dire consequences for security, governance and the livelihoods of communities. Prof Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources led a high-powered Kenyan delegation that included KWS officials to the London conference. Illegal trade in wildlife has increased exponentially over the past five to seven years and affects international security, stability, governance and biodiversity. In curbing all these will increase Kenya tourists in Kenya.
Sharon C

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Great achievements on Kenya safari with KQ’s Flight

It might soon become more attractive for a business or leisure traveler to take a flight from Nairobi to Kisumu Mombasa or Eldoret rather than use road transport.
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This follows introduction of low-cost carrier Jambo Jet by Kenya Airways, which will launch flights from Nairobi to Kisumu, Mombasa and Eldoret at Sh3, 000 one-way. Passengers currently pay between Sh1, 600 and Sh1, 800 for a bus ride from Nairobi to Mombasa. The announcement by Kenya Airways comes at a time when night bus travel ban is still in force, a situation that is inconveniencing to businesspeople that need to travel often. “I believe the market in Kenya safaris is ripe for low-cost carriers. The economy is growing and there is a fast growing middle class with IT penetration and credit/debit card usage much more widespread than in many African States,” said Dr Elijah Chingosho-secretary general, African Airlines Association. In an email interview, he said most middle-class people currently travel by surface transport. A low-cost carrier will result in reduced ticket prices and this will make air transport more affordable. Affordable travel Experts maintain that the lowering of the cost air tickets will lead to development of a new markets by attracting people who have never used air transport before. “It will be possible to travel faster, easier and cheaper from Nairobi to Mombasa-especially when required to physically verify cargo at the port,” said William Ojonyo-Chief Executive-Keynote Logistics Limited. Beginning April 1, 2014, Jambo Jet will begin local flights on the Nairobi to Kisumu, Eldoret and Mombasa routes before venturing to other regional destinations. It costs about Sh1,500 to travel by a luxury bus service from Nairobi to Eldoret in a journey that lasts between five-six hours, while it costs half of this amount and about four hours in a shuttle. KQ’s re-entry into the low-cost carrier business puts it on a collision course with other players already in this segment. The crowded field in low-budget operators includes East African Safari Air Express, a subsidiary of Fly 540 Kenya, which began three weekly flights from Nairobi to Lokichogio a few days.


Monday, 17 February 2014

Experience the Little Five wildlife creatures on Kenya safaris.

Traveling in Kenya safaris, undoubtedly you will be viewing the Big Five. Strong, fierce and wild, the Big Five game is Africa’s pride and receives central attention. But there is another unique group that should not be forgotten – the Little Five. Finding the Little Five can also be a rewarding wildlife experience in Africa safaris. These Little Five creatures include the elephant shrew, ant lion, rhinoceros beetle, buffalo weaver and the leopard tortoise.
Elephant Shrew
The Elephant Shrew has long noses resembling elephant trunks but with a size similar to a large mouse, the elephant shrew is the smallest mammal among the Little Five.  With their long legs, they hop in search of small bites to eat.  The elephant shrew is hard to find as they are well camouflaged with their sandy brown colors.  Occurring throughout South Africa and Botswana, watch out for the small creature scrambling across dusty safari roads.  An interesting fact about elephant shrews is that recent scientific research has shown that elephant shrews are genetically closer related to aardvark and elephants than to the rest of the shrew clan.
Ant Lion
The smallest creature in the Little Five group, the ant lion cleverly survives in the African bushveld.  Ant lions are larvae of an insect similar in appearance to the dragonfly.   With an impressive display of technique and skill, the ant lion digs a funnel-shaped crater in sandy soils. These funnels act as a clever drama stage: when potential prey approaches, the ant lion will pretend to be an ant falling down the funnel, stimulating the prey to lurch after the fallen ant, an easy meal!  But only to discover it has been trapped, and so the ant lion catches prey in its trap.
Rhino Beetle
The rhino beetle is one of southern Africa’s largest beetles.  With its impressive body armor it is kitted to win the bushveld battle.  The rhino beetle’s horn resembles the rhino’s horn.  This horn is used to dig and burrow for food.  The rhino beetle is known for its impressive strength – in comparison to its small body size.  Male rhino beetles also use their horns to fight over food and females. 
Buffalo Weaver Bird
There are a few kinds of buffalo weaver birds in Africa, including the Black Buffalo Weaver, the Red-billed Buffalo Weaver and the White-headed Buffalo Weaver.  Buffalo weavers are large birds feeding on insects and fruits and seeds.  Living highly sociable lives with huge communal nests, these weavers are highly enjoyable to watch.  Home to many of Africa’s large parks, the buffalo weaver is the easiest among the Little Five to find and observe.

Leopard Tortoise
  Unlike its namesake, the leopard tortoise covers land very slowly.  The leopard tortoise shells are quite beautiful, with perfect symmetrical black and yellow patterns.  The largest tortoise found in Africa, the leopard tortoise is found throughout southern and eastern Africa but with preference for savanna grasslands.   As they mature, their tortoise shell color changes from dark brown to yellow.
Africa is a continent of true diversity, as so clearly demonstrated by the Big Five and Little Five wildlife.  The purpose behind Africa’s Little Five is exactly this: to demonstrate the extreme wildlife diversity found on the continent - from extremely big to extremely small, you can find them all on safari.  Some of these Little Five creatures are quite hard to spot, making your encounter with the Little Five even more remarkable experience to recall. 
Sharon C
Kenya Africa safaris