September was full of colour and culture as we explored a new community experience from Governors’ Mugie; visiting the Samburu Tribe, also known as Kenya’s ‘Butterfly People’. We are proud to have further widened our support of education in our areas of operation by paying the salary for a new maths teacher in Laikipia and we continued our conservation efforts on the ground by providing food for rescued birds of prey, distributing Predator Deterrent Lights and supporting tree-planting initiatives in the Eburru Forest. Please read on for a full account of our work.
A country-wide issue facing many of the public schools in Kenya is that there are too few teachers supplied by the government for the ever-growing number of children enrolled in the schools. With this in mind, Governors’ Camp Collection have provided financial support to pay the salaries for school teachers in the Masai Mara for the past eighteen years.
Teacher Edwin Nenkayioni teaches pre-primary students – photo credit Frankie Adamson
At present, we cover the full salaries for five primary school teachers in the Masai Mara. Nick Suru and Edwin Nenkayioni are two of these teachers and they both work at Mara Rianda Primary School, which has a student population of just over 1000. Nick has worked as the English teacher for seven years, while Edwin has taught PP1 (4-5-year olds) for the past six years.
Teacher Nick Suru – photo credit Frankie Adamson
For the past three months, we have also paid the salary for the Home Science and Christian Religious Education teacher Mrs Teresia Mwangi, at St Andrew’s Tarabete Secondary School near to Loldia House.
Last but not least, following a specific request from the Mugie Community office; we are proud to have extended our assistance to one more teacher Ms Rael Losinyolo, who has been employed at Luoniek Secondary School as the maths teacher.
A lesson underway at Luoniek Secondary School – photo credit Alisa Karstad
Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) poses a major threat to predators in the Masai Mara ecosystem. Weak livestock enclosures at night and poor herding practices during the day, often result in predation incidents which can ultimately lead to HWC.
David Pesi, a monthly beneficiary college student of Governors’, helped to identify two Maasai bomas in Enkikwei village, Mara Rianda, that are prone to predator attacks at night. With our support, the Mara Predator Conservation team purchased ten Predator Deterrent Lights and installed them around the livestock enclosures of these two bomas.
David Pesi installing a Predator Deterrent Light – photo credit Mara Predator Conservation Program
The lights will help to protect more than 300 head of cattle at night in an attempt to improve tolerance of predators in conflict hotspots. “Now we can sleep without fear of lion attacks” were the words of Duncan Pesi, one of the boma owners.
In September we continued our commitment towards the provision of high-quality food for all of the rescued raptors at the Kenya Bird of Prey Trust rehabilitation centres. A total of KES 100,000 was donated in order to buy beef, chicks, fish and rabbits for the various species that all have very specific dietary requirements.
Director Shiv Kapila with ‘Phil’, a Verreaux’s eagle-owl – photo credit Alisa Karstad
Some of these birds are listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered, Vulnerable and Near Threatened with extinction by the IUCN. This means that their conservation should be made a top priority, though unfortunately, many people do not consider saving birds to be as important as some of the more ‘iconic’ species. This is why we are committed to helping as much as we can with their rescue, rehabilitation and release back into the wild.
Feeding time at the Kenya Bird of Prey Trust – photo credit Alisa Karstad
We made a donation towards the ongoing reforestation efforts in and around the Eburru Forest; this latest contribution brings the total number of seedlings sponsored by Governors’ Camp Collection in this important area to 1532.
A blue monkey in the Eburru Forest – photo credit Alisa Karstad
“Thank you so much once again for the recent donation and continued support that Governor’ Loldia House are giving Eburru Rafiki. It is extremely reassuring to know that we have the ongoing support of a local tourism business and that your guests can learn about Eburru Forest’s beautiful diversity and even come to experience the forest for themselves. You are helping to protect and restore this indigenous mountain forest to its original pristine state” ~ Tony Church, CEO- Eburru Rafiki.
We have now been providing a daily cup of ‘Uji’ porridge to between 150-220 children from low-income families in Kasarani Village, for an entire year. This supplementary food support is heavily relied upon by each of the recipient children since, in many cases, it is the only guaranteed meal in their day. We thank our partner, the TAFA Community Centre, for facilitating this work and for helping to transform the lives of the youth in their area for the better.
A mug of Uji provides some sustenance to the lives of young and active children.
A total of fifty lions live on Mugie Conservancy. In a partnership between the Conservancy, Lion Landscapes, Kenya Wildlife Service and The Wildlife Research and Training Institute, five lions from different prides have been collared in order to monitor their movements across the landscape and to help prevent conflicts from occurring. This map, extracted from EarthRanger, shows the movements of the five collared lions in August 2023.
Lion pride movements across Mugie Conservancy in August 2023
Esmi and Gaby spent good amounts of time outside the conservancy. Their collars allowed Mugie’s team to keep the communities informed about the presence of lions in their area which allowed for a reduction of conflict and predation incidents.
The Gaby Pride on Mugie Conservancy – photo credit Frankie Adamson
We are now offering guests another truly authentic cultural experience from Governors’ Mugie – a visit to a nearby Samburu village.
The Samburu are closely related to the Maasai, speaking a similar language, derived from Maa – photo credit Alisa Karstad
The Samburu are a Nilotic people of north-central Kenya that are related to but distinct from the Maasai. They are semi-nomadic pastoralists, who herd mainly cattle but also keep sheep, goats and camels and are widely known for their beautiful attire.
The Samburu are also known as the Butterfly People due to the bright colours and colorful beads that adorn them – photo credit Alisa Karstad
Interested guests are encouraged to pay a visit to a Samburu homestead where you will learn first hand about this colourful and culturally rich tribe. You will be welcomed inside their home, which is made of wattle and plastered with a mixture of cow dung and earth. The houses are dark and smoke from their constantly mouldering fireplace fills the air inside.
The Samburu tribe settlements are called ‘manyattas’ – photo credit Alisa Karstad
Well-used gourds are prized possessions, used to make the traditional drink of cows blood and milk. The houses are divided into two small rooms, one for the women and children and the other for the man. The whole family sleeps on slightly raised beds which are covered by cow hides.
Outside you will enjoy a vibrant song and dance performance by the ladies, learn how to make a fire in the traditional way by rubbing two sticks together and will have an opportunity to appreciate all of the comings and goings of Samburu daily life. A guide will share plenty of interesting information about their culture and you are welcome to take as many pictures as you please.
This visit can be made either as an alternative or in addition to visiting the Pokot Village. Both visits should be booked in advance and have a set donation amount of KES 15,000 (approximately USD 100 exchange rate depending).
Experience a Samburu cultural performance of traditional song and dance while staying at Governors’ Mugie – photo credit Alisa Karstad
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 email@example.com.
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