We are delighted to announce that we received the results from the stringent EcoTourism EcoRating Audits for our three main camps in the Masai Mara and all three audited properties (Governors’ Camp, Little Governors’ Camp and Governors’ Il Moran) have received Gold EcoRatings!
Little Governors’ Camp is 100% solar.
The results are based on site assessments that took place in April 2023 as well as detailed application questionnaires for each camp. The committee commended our camps for “excellent and continuous efforts in upholding best practices in sustainable tourism”.
We have eliminated all single-use plastics from our camps.
To receive just one Gold certification is no easy feat so congratulations to our whole team on this well-deserved achievement, which is a strong testament to our long-standing dedication to operate responsibly for the benefit of both people and wildlife.
“Governors’ Camp is one of our key partners in the Mara Ecosystem and our collaboration has led to significant improvements in predator conservation efforts. Through their support, we have been able to implement effective strategies for reducing human-predator conflict and promoting coexistence between communities and predators. This partnership has also helped raise awareness among local communities about the crucial role predators play in maintaining a balanced ecosystem, fostering a greater appreciation for their conservation.” ~ Dr Irene Amoke, Executive Director of The Kenya Wildlife Trust.
Michael Kaelo, Programme Manager for MPCP (left), inspects a recently donated recycled plastic pole ‘boma’ with community members – photo credit Fernando Faciole
As well as making financial donations to the project we also offer free of charge seats in our aircraft between the Masai Mara and Nairobi for their team. These are given in an effort to help reduce their running cost expenses and instead allow them to target their funding where it’s needed the most. In July we donated four seats, bringing the total donated to date to 43 flights, equating to a total saving of USD6,500 for the project.
Governors’ Aviation provides complimentary flights to MPCP so that their funds may be utilised instead towards wildlife conservation.
“Governors’ Aviation’s generous support has significantly enhanced the effectiveness of Kenya Wildlife Trust’s mission to utilise data-driven approaches in understanding the impact of human-led changes on predator movement and behaviour. With these flights, the staff of KWT and the MPCP can now travel seamlessly and efficiently between Nairobi and the Mara, allowing them to maximise their time on the ground and focus on their vital conservation efforts”
The Mara Predator Conservation Program – photo credit Fernando Faciole
A decade ago, together with our partners, we opened a new Health Centre just outside the Masai Mara National Reserve. The facility sees around 100 patients each week – dramatically improving access to quality healthcare for the Maasai community in the Mara Rianda area. The clinic is operated by Community Health Partners Kenya (CHP). CHP offers accessible, affordable and quality healthcare for all people.
Mara Rianda’s health clinic – photo credit Alisa Karstad
The most recent improvements have included a KES 4.2M solar facility which provides a constant source of green power to the clinic and a KES1.3M electric fence.
Photo credit Alisa Karstad
A newly opened KES 8.4M volunteer staff accommodation block allows visiting health professionals to stay on site, offering their expertise and improving the skills of the local medical staff.
The newly build staff accommodation block – photo credit Alisa Karstad
We are very proud to have been partners in this great venture since its inception in 2013 and we wish to thank The PD Foundation, the MacTavish Family, The Mara Rianda Charitable Trust, CHP and everyone involved in the project.
Primary school education is free in Kenya, however due to an ever-growing population there are huge numbers of students enrolled in the limited number of public schools. Too few teachers are provided by the government to support the high number of students. The schools therefore must privately employ more teachers to fill the gap using their meagre resources. Sometimes the parents are required to contribute towards teacher salaries; which for low-income earners is a challenge.
Students at the Mara Rianda School.
For the past 18 years, Governors’ have been financially supporting extra teachers to help alleviate the strain felt by the schools. Each month we provide grants to cover the cost of five teachers in the Mara, whilst our charitable partner, The Mara Rianda Charitable Trust supports a further four teachers. This month we broadened our assistance to include one teacher in Naivasha and in September we shall do the same for a teacher in Laikipia.
On the 25th of July we received news of a Rüppell’s vulture that appeared to be unwell on Mugie Conservancy. After the team at The Kenya Bird of Prey Trust reviewed the videos of the bird, they concluded that it appeared to be suffering from ataxia, most likely caused by poisoning.
Unfortunately, by the time a team was able to get back to the scene the bird was nowhere to be found. However, Governors’ Mugie guide, Solomon Epodo, was able to find an African white-backed vulture which was also suffering similar symptoms. He rescued it and brought it back to the lodge for the night where it was kept in a warm, dark room as it awaited treatment.
Early the next morning whilst out on another game drive, Solomon rescued a different Rüppell’s vulture that was also unwell. Poisoning was the only logical cause that three birds would all be exhibiting the same symptoms.
Solomon Epodo rescuing the poisoned Rüppell’s vulture
Later that morning, Simon Thomsett (Director of the Soysambu Raptor Center) and vet Dr. Juliet Waiyaki arrived all the way from Soysambu to provide treatment to the birds.
Dr. Juliet Waiyaki attends to the sick vulture – photo credit Frankie Adamson
Thankfully both animals responded well; the white-backed (who seemed to be less seriously affected), was ringed and then freed after 48 hours, and less than a week later the Rüppell’s made a full recovery and was ready to be released back into the wild.
Governors’ Mugie Manager, George van Wyk, assists with the release – photo credit Frankie Adamson
Having been fitted with a solar-powered, GPS-tracking backpack (to monitor its movements) it was on its way, soaring high up into the thermals above Mugie Conservancy.
The released vulture takes to the skies with a second chance at life – photo credit Frankie Adamson
A map indicates the first few days worth of the tracking data for the Rüppell’s vulture – map supplied by the KBoPT and the Peregrine Fund.
Wildlife poisoning remains a serious threat to wildlife across many parts of Africa. It is illegal, but it is difficult to control or catch the perpetrators of the crime. Though it is hard to confirm with certainty, the most likely scenario is that all three birds fed from the same animal carcass that had been laced with poison outside of the conservancy by someone who aimed to retaliate against the predation of their livestock.
Unfortunately, poison ends up killing not only the predators such as lions, hyenas and leopards, but also vast numbers of scavengers such as birds of prey, jackals and even insects. These two rescued birds are the lucky ones that managed to survive after receiving help – it is impossible to know how many others weren’t so lucky and perished. We encourage you to please consider supporting the important work carried out by KBoPT- donations can be made via our secure online payment platform.
A total of fifty lions live on Mugie Conservancy. In a partnership between the Conservancy, Lion Landscapes, Kenya Wildlife Service and 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.
‘Sarabi’ is one of five collared lions on Mugie Conservancy – photo credit Felix Rome
The map below, extracted from EarthRanger, shows the movements of the five collared lions in June. Sarabi and Esmi spent good amounts of time outside the conservancy. The 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.
Every second month we sponsor a medical outreach clinic for rural communities living in Laikipia. This month’s support brought the total number of sponsored outreach clinics to eight. Each outreach brings vital medical supplies and trained personnel to people who would otherwise not be able to access basic services. We thank our partners at The Mugie Conservancy and the Moyo Foundation for their continued efforts to support the people living close to Mugie Conservancy.
A medical outreach clinic on Mugie Conservancy – photo credit Nick Penny
Nine months ago, we donated towards a fundraiser to buy an X-ray machine for The Soysambu Raptor Center. The machine has been in place for three months now and has already become an integral part of the clinical management of raptors at the rehabilitation centre.
A considerably large number of birds are seen with fractures so diagnosing the issues in order to know the best course of treatment has been made far more possible now. The X-ray plates are transported to Nakuru town for reading and the X-ray copies are then sent back (unlike in the past when they would have to drive out with the injured bird for the same). Safe to say, the ability to get the subtle details has increased their orthopaedic surgeries successes tremendously.
Image credit Kenya Bird of Prey Trust
Each month we aim to provide the funding needed to ensure that enough quality meat can be purchased to feed all of the 60+ rescued raptors that are being cared for between the two KBoPT centres. Raptors require high quality meat, especially to encourage their breeding in captivity and the costs of supplying this to so many birds would be a financial burden too large for the project to bear on its own.
We are pleased to report that this month we covered the full costs of the food (KES 100,000). You can read the KBoPT Raptor Report 2023 which gives a special mention of our recent raptor guide training course.
Feeding the vultures at the Naivasha Raptor Center – photo credit Alisa Karstad
This month marked the tenth consecutive month whereby we have provided funding to supply a cup of porridge to between 150-220 children each day at the TAFA Community Center in Kasarani Village, Naivasha. Most of these children come from very low-income families where they do not have access to sufficient food each day. This supplementary food support helps to ensure that as many children as possible are able to meet basic nutritional needs and have the energy required for their school work and extracurricular activities.
TAFA’s feeding program – photo credit Nick Penny
By Alisa Karstad, Community and Conservation Manager for Governors’ Camp Collection. If you would like to learn more about any of our Community & Conservation efforts you can reach out to us via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to support our work you can do so via our secure online payment platform link below