Over two hundred ‘elephant pepper’ (Warburgia ugandensis) seedlings are now growing from the seeds that we have been collecting from elephant dung dropped within our campgrounds.
Fred – the wonderful man behind our reforestation efforts – photo credit Nick Penny
We are planning to extend our current tree nursery exclosure in order to fit in more seedlings so that we can continue to ramp up our efforts. Our workshop team will soon begin making metal plant protectors to place over the saplings so that we can begin planting out around the camps with a higher success rate.
Seedlings of indigenous trees of the Mara – photo credit Nick Penny
We have also begun growing seedlings from both African wild olive and acacia ‘seedballs’. ‘Seedballs’ are indigenous seeds coated in a mixture of charcoal dust and nutritious binders.
Seedballs – photo credit Nick Penny
We are in the early stages of creating a wildlife club for the children at Mara Rianda Primary School. Our community liaison officer, Julius Karia, and the two community officers from the Mara Predator Conservation Program held a meeting at the school and it was agreed that 30 students from grade 4 – 8 will be recruited.
This will be embedded in The Wildlife Clubs of Kenya overall program. We will donate the acacia seedlings from our tree nursery towards their school reforestation efforts.
“In the end, we will conserve only what we love; we will love only what we understand and we will understand only what we are taught” ~ Baba Dioum
We have stocked up on a further 25kg of wild olive seedballs so that passengers flying with us on Governors’ Balloon Safaris can enjoy re-greening the riverine woodland from the skies!
Help regenerate the Mara from our balloons – photo credit Felix Rome
Governors’ Balloon Safaris soars above the forests of the Mara – photo credit Fernando Faciole
In collaboration with the Mara Rianda Charitable Trust, we were extremely proud to open a new boys dormitory at the Enkereri Primary School. This will accommodate eighty male pupils; eighty girls are already being housed in a separate dormitory that was opened earlier this year.
The new boys dormitory at Enkereri School – photo credit Nick Penny
In September 2011, Director and Trustee, Richard Long, visited Enkereri Primary School. It had outgrown its existing building which was made in the traditional style of mud, dung and sticks. The community desperately wanted to build another classroom but could not afford to do so. The MRCT assisted by funding the building of a new classroom block of four classrooms and this was opened with much delight and celebration in February 2012.
Ambroces Mwema (expert builder for all Governors’ community projects), Richard Long (co-director and trustee of MRCT) and MD of Governors’ Camp Collection, Dominic Grammaticas at the opening – photo credit Nick Penny
Through the generous support of its donors, the charity has also been able to fund the cost of providing each pupil with two school uniforms, shoes where needed, the salaries of two teachers and have a small kitchen and also latrines built.
Enkereri School children – photo credit Nick Penny
The school is situated on top of the escarpment and boarding accommodation is valued highly by the community as it allows the children to safely remain at school and study, rather than having to walk back and forth from their homes which can often be located many kilometres away, with the constant threat of potential encounters with dangerous wildlife.
Julius Karia, Community Liaison Officer for Governors’ Camp Collection addresses pupils and dignitaries – photo credit Nick Penny
We would like to express our sincere gratitude to Richard and Pola Long, Nigel Hollingsworth and Colin Bird, whose passion to help a community located thousands of miles away from their own homes in England, has really changed countless lives. We are proud to have supported this partnership since 2004 and we look forward to many more decades of uplifting lives for our community neighbours together.
A new solar facility has been opened at the Mara Rianda Health Clinic. This is instrumental in providing a constant source of (green) power to the clinic that is needed to run their medical equipment and lighting.
The new solar system at Mara Rianda Health Center.
As part of our conservation partnership with the Mara Predator Conservation Program, we provided free return flights between the Masai Mara and Wilson (Nairobi) for their communications officer in our aircraft.
Loldia House, Great Rift Valley
We have donated two refurbished desktop computers and one extension cable to the TAFA community centre in Kasarani to aid and expand their extra-curricular computer literacy classes.
The new desktops have been gratefully received – photo credit Nick Penny
These will make a big difference to improving this essential life skill for the kids. They were incredibly grateful to receive them as this was the most pressing need that they had this month.
TAFA Soccer Academy is a football training and education centre for children between the age of 7-17 years – photo credit Nick Penny
On the 8th and 9th of June, our team participated in the large-scale clean up of Lake Naivasha through the use of our boat and man-power. We also made a 50,000 KES donation to the Lake Naivasha Riparian Association towards the overall effort. You can read more about this issue here.
Pulling out discarded fishing nets from Lake Naivasha – photo credit Alisa Karstad
Thank you to everyone who took part, especially all of our team who helped to clean the lake and the lake shore as well as the older children from the TAFA community centre who helped in cleaning up their home village of Kasarani.
We purchase delicious, pure honey from the local community surrounding the Eburru Forest, in order to provide them with an income that is derived from an environmentally sustainable and renewable source.
Honey collection in Eburru Forest – photo credit Felix Rome
The honey is served on the breakfast tables for our guests. We are also selling it in up-cycled jars that have been hand-engraved with beautiful floral designs. The honey is available for purchase by guests in the gift shop for USD10 per jar.
Delicious honey in beautiful hand-engraved jars from Loldia
The 21st of June marked World Giraffe Day. In celebration of this we made a 40,000KES donation to the Giraffe Conservation Foundation in support of their fundraising efforts. This year’s WGD was aimed at reintroducing over 350 Southern giraffes over the next five years into areas of Mozambique where they have been driven to the brink of extinction due to decades of civil unrest. This will open up over 3 million acres of prime giraffe habitat for giraffes to thrive.
Reticulated giraffe on Mugie Conservancy – photo credit Ann Veyard
We are working on how best we can support their work in Kenya. They are primarily focused on monitoring reticulated giraffes in northern Kenya in collaboration with The Twiga Walinzi who are a group dedicated to giraffe research in Kenya.
Tala is a reticulated giraffe on Mugie Conservancy and most definitely one of our ‘cast of characters’ – photo credit Felix Rome
If you would like to learn more about sustainability in Africa, please see this sustainable tourism definition, done by one of our partners who is very involved in green tourism in Africa.
By Alisa Karstad, Community and Conservation Manager for Governors’ Camp Collection.