A highlight of the month was coming First Runner Up (i.e second place) at the EcoWarrior Awards Gala dinner Ceremony in the category entitled: ‘Best Accommodation Facility – Promoting Biodiversity Conservation’. The event took place at the Trademark Hotel in Nairobi on the 26th of October.
Dominic Grammaticas accepts the award on behalf of Governors’ Camp Collection
Our six properties are located in some of the most important wildlife areas of Kenya. We are honoured to have received this acknowledgement for our dedication towards the conservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources in these sensitive areas of operation.
Governors’ camps are located in the best wildlife viewing areas of Kenya – photo credit Felix Rome
We employ close to 500 people across our business; many of whom hail from the local areas surrounding our properties. Considering that each staff member in turn supports between 3 and 7 other family members, the wider positive impact is considerably large.
Our staff mostly come from surrounding communities – photo credit Felix Rome
Through land leases, bed night fees and conservation fees, we directly contribute towards the overall protection of Kenya’s wild spaces and the rich biodiversity found within them. We continuously engage with numerous community and conservation organisations on multiple levels to ensure that both our neighbouring communities and wildlife further benefit from our tourism presence.
For over 50 years, we’ve been working hand in hand with our community neighbours – photo credit Felix Rome
There are around 42 threatened species that we help to protect either indirectly through our tourism presence or directly through our support of conservation projects that work to protect them – some of which include the big cats (all currently listed as Vulnerable), striped hyena and Northern giraffe (Near-threatened), elephants and Grevy’s zebras (Endangered), Rüppell’s vultures and black rhinos (Critically Endangered).
Four out of six vulture species in Kenya are listed as Critically Endangered
It is hugely unfortunate to report that illegal night-time cattle incursions into the reserve have resulted in a number HWC incidents in recent months. Most recently, Marsh Pride female Dada was reported with a deep wound to her back that was consistent to that of a spear injury.
Marsh pride lioness Dada was a mother of two very young cubs when she was injured – photo credit Ann Aveyard
Our team reported the injury and followed up with the Kenya Wildlife Service / Sheldrick Wildlife Trust vet unit until treatment was provided. Thankfully, she appears to be recovering well and we continue to closely monitor her. She did have two young cubs at the time of the incident, though sadly, both of them have since been killed during a natural conflicts with male lions at a later stage.
The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust managed to treat Dada in less than forty minutes – photo credit Frankie Adamson
In response to the HWC issues concerning the Marsh Pride, we have begun providing the necessary amount of fuel needed by Narok County Rangers in order for them to conduct regular night-time patrols, in an effort to keep the cattle out of the area and thus keep these lions safe. On the 23rd October we invited the SWT back to the marsh territory to check on Dada’s progress and to check on two other lions that had non-HWC injuries, all of which are expected to fully recover.
Dr Njoroge and his team observing Dada on their second visit to the marsh – photo credit Harry Blakey
They also took the time to check on Yaya over on Rhino Ridge – photo credit Harry Blakey
Please follow our dedicated Facebook (The Marsh Pride of Lions) and Instagram (@themarshpridelions) pages for regular updates on this famous pride.
‘Period poverty’ encompasses the educational and economic inequity that directly or indirectly results from menstruation. Research suggests that about 40% of girls in rural Kenyan communities will miss 20% of school days each year because of either the social stigma that surrounds menstruation (menstruating females are considered to be unclean) or an absence of the supplies she needs to manage it (and the shame that accompanies that).
School girls at Mara Rianda are educated on Menstrual Hygiene Management – photo credit Frankie Adamson
This absenteeism from school often means that girls will score lower on tests, fall behind, or drop out of school altogether. Studies show that educated girls and women are more likely to have fewer and healthier children, and these children are in turn, more likely to receive an education that propels them out of the poverty cycle.
This month we were delighted to work with Pad Mad Kenya; a project that provides a sustainable, long-lasting solution for menstruating girls and women. They create employment for marginalised women and make the reusable cloth pads using locally produced materials.
Photo credit Frankie Adamson
Many thanks to Madhvi Dalal for travelling to the Masai Mara with Governors’ Aviation, in order to help educate ~100 girls at Mara Rianda Primary School on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) & Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).
The afternoon was very successful and we provided 120 reusable sanitary pad kits to the girls in attendance. We hope this is just the beginning of such support and aim to increase our reach to all areas of our operation in Kenya.
Reusable sanitary pad kits were donated to the girls at Mara Rianda Primary School – photo credit Frankie Adamson
In October we provided another KES 100,000 towards the provision of high-quality food for rescued birds of prey in the Great Rift Valley. This brings the total amount we have specifically donated towards this cause to over One Million Kenya Shillings.
Kenya Bird of Prey Trust director, Shiv Kapila, feeds one of the raptors – photo credit Fernando Faciole
If you are planning to stay us at Loldia House we highly suggest that you visit the Naivasha Raptor Center, which is located one hours drive away from Loldia House and is home to an assortment of interesting species, many of which you can get up close and personal with. The team have a wealth of knowledge to share and they are all passionate about their role in protecting Kenya’s avifauna.
Our Impact Manager, Alisa Karstad, meets a lappet-faced vulture called Horace – photo credit Fernando Faciole
In order to reduce and prevent the predation of livestock within Mugie Conservancy, four female lions (from four different prides) and one male were fitted with specialised GPS-collars. These collars allow the Conservation Team to follow the pride movements.
A lion tracking map courtesy of Mugie Conservancy
From this map, it is possible to note that females Gaby, Sarabi and Esmi spent good amounts of time outside the northern boundary of the Conservancy. Their collars allowed Mugie’s team to keep the communities in these areas informed about the presence of lions, which in turn allowed for a better tolerance of the lions.
The Esmi Pride on Mugie Conservancy – photo credit Harry Blakey
As part of the ‘Healthy Kids’ sessions that we support through the Mugie Community Office and in collaboration with Ekorian’s Mugie Camp; we provided educational game drives for 43 grade 6 and 8 students from Suguta Mugie School.
A photo stop for the kids of Suguta Mugie School
The children were able to observe wildlife in their natural habitat and ask any questions they had to the guides. This is the second educational game drive we have assisted with and we hope that they help to enhance the children’s understanding of conservation and biodiversity, ultimately inspiring them to consider careers in tourism or conservation, or simply being passionate to conserve their natural heritage and sharing this passion with others in their communities.
Governors’ Mugie is happy to assist with educational game drives
Basic healthcare is not readily accessible to many of our community neighbours in Laikipia. Services that so many of us take for granted on a daily basis such as immunisation, family planning and access to medical treatments are almost unheard of in many remote areas.
Medical outreaches at Mugie – photo credit Nick Penny
We were pleased to help sponsor a recent medical outreach clinic that was run at the Luoniek Dispensary near to Mugie Conservancy. The Mugie Conservancy Health Clinic, in partnership with The Moyo Foundation, the Kenya Defence Forces medical team and other clinical officers frequently run such clinics.
John Lomelo, our Mugie guide, helps with capturing basic health data – photo credit Nick Penny
This collaborative effort was dedicated to enhancing the healthcare services in the local community. Throughout the day, a total of 323 patients were attended to, demonstrating the significant impact of this initiative on the community’s health. We thank Akiba Chenene and Julius Saruni, two of our Governors’ Mugie guides for assisting the Mugie Clinical Officer on the day by collecting and recording basic patient data.
Vulture populations are plummeting at a rapid rate across much of Africa. Much of the reason for their decline is Human-Wildlife Conflict, specifically wildlife poisoning. In an attempt to slow this trend, The Mugie Conservancy in collaboration with Kenya Wildlife Service, Wildlife Research and Training Institute, The Peregrine Fund, the Kenya Bird of Prey Trust and National Geographic opened a ‘Vulture Restaurant’ at Mugie.
The Vulture Restaurant at Mugie – photo credit Alisa Karstad
From this Vulture Safe Feeding Site, poison-free carrion is now being put out twice per month for the birds. The idea behind the project is to measure its short-term effects on scavenger and predator populations; local communities as financial beneficiaries; and the tourism experience, as a gauge to its long-term sustainability. If it proves to be a success, the hope is to create such sites across Laikipia.
The carcass of a calf that was killed by hyenas is put out for the vultures – photo credit Alisa Karstad
The conservancy has already started feeding the birds with drug-free livestock and begun collecting data on the performance of the site. Guests staying at Governors’ Mugie may be lucky enough to enjoy this experience from the newly constructed hide if they are staying over the time a carcass has been put out for the birds.
Photography opportunities are wonderful when the birds come down to feed. If you would like to sponsor a carcass in order that you can be sure to enjoy this activity during your stay, you can do so, the cost is roughly USD250.
By Alisa Karstad, Impact Manager for Governors’ Camp Collection. If you would like to learn more about any of our Community and Conservation efforts you can reach out to us via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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