Governors’ Camp Collection camps and lodges all participate in active tree-planting programs. We focus on planting indigenous species in an attempt to boost biodiversity and reverse tree loss where this has become apparent.
Elephants in their constant search for food knock down trees, and uproot saplings – it’s just something that they do.
Deforestation of unprotected areas and climate change are impacting the flow of the Mara River so that during periods of heavy rainfall, floods have become more intense with the result that large portions of the river bank have been lost; and with it go many of the trees. Over the years we have seen the riverine forest decline and shrink. In an attempt to reverse this trend we have initiated a tree planting exercise in our Masai Mara camps. We have planted hundreds of trees throughout our campgrounds and have also donated many trees to local schools, projects and villages.
We only plant indigenous species, including sausage trees (Kigelia africana), wild figs (Ficus thonningii), East-African greenhearts (Warburgia ugandensis), broad-leaved crotons (Croton macrostachyus), quinine trees (Rauvolfia caffra), wild African olive (Olea europaea ssp. cuspidata) various species of acacias and many others.
Our current focus is on growing the East-African greenheart. This species is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. Unfortunately even though they are protected from threats such as logging in the Masai Mara National Reserve, they still suffer losses from a disease which causes the tree to rot and fall. Their fruit are a favourite food for elephants and the seeds germinate best after passing through the gut of these pachyderms. Our groundsmen collect the fallen dung each morning from along our camp pathways and extract the seeds- these are taken to the nursery and cared for until they are big enough to be planted back out in the wild.
We also support the Eburru Rafiki Forest Community Group in their tree planting efforts that focus on the Mau-Eburru Forest. This is a critical mountain bongo habitat located on the mountainous hills above our Lake Naivasha property, Loldia House.
Guests are welcome to take part in our tree-planting program.
An elephant pepper seed extracted from elephant dung
An elephant pepper shoot growing in elephant dung- a natural fertiliser!
Recycled milk cartons provide perfect pots for the young seedlings
Tree protectors help the young saplings survival