Category Archives: Reserves

Battle in Samburu

After a long unsuccessful morning of looking for lions in Samburu National Reserve, Jeneria and I were heading back to camp, when some tour vehicles rushed passed us and yelled “wild dogs” out of the window.  We followed and sure enough came to the famous “Daraja ya Wire” in Samburu National Reserve where 15 wild dogs crossed the road in front of us and went down to the Ewaso Nyiro River to drink.  They were excited and nervous as well as they quickly ran around in the river, drinking a little at the same time. We were parked on the riverbank, in perfect view of the scene that was about to enfold around us.

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Pack of 15 wild dogs come to the Ewaso Nyiro River to drink

Suddenly, the wild dogs started barking in our direction and right below us a huge crocodile came out of the riverbank and moved towards the wild dogs.  I have never seen a crocodile move so quickly!  The wild dogs continued to drink quickly but at the same time, the front ones started running off across the river into Buffalo Springs.  The crocodile did not give up and continued moving towards the dogs.  Three dogs were at the back of the pack and they eventually started running towards Buffalo Springs as the crocodile got closer.

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A crocodile moves quickly towards the wild dogs

As I was taking photos of this amazing scene, Jeneria suddenly whispered loudly “Simba!”.  We had no idea that there was a lion there, but out of the thick riverine bushes, Lguret, our maneless male lion, jumped off the riverbank in front of us, into the great Ewaso Nyiro river and pursued the wild dogs together with the crocodile who was also making progress.  This time the wild dogs did not hang around – they ran off quickly, leapt up the sandy riverbank and into Buffalo Springs.  Lguret did not stop.  He ran right across the river and just as he was about to get up the riverbank, he slid on the sand and fell back into the river.  Lucky for the dogs-as the last ones got away.

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Lguret chases the wild dogs across the river

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Crocodile keeps following in hot pursuit

Lguret tried again to get up the riverbank and then stopped and watched the dogs disappear.  After a few minutes, he walked down into the river and slowly crossed back into Samburu.  He soon joined Loirish, his brother and both males settled down for the day.

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This was one of the best wildlife sightings I have ever had.  Jeneria managed to capture the whole scene on video.  We rarely see wild dogs in the reserves – most often we see them in Westgate Community Conservancy.  This was a real treat for everyone.

Lions Kill Cheetah

We had very few cheetahs sightings in 2009 but finally towards the end of 2010, we started seeing more.    Cheetahs tend to leave parks and reserves where lion numbers are high and appear to do better outside in the community areas. We are now seeing cheetahs almost on a weekly basis and most of the cheetahs have cubs!   Unfortunately, we learned that lions killed one of the cheetah cubs in Buffalo Springs.  The cheetah cub was under 5 months old and belonged to a well-known mother who was trying to raise 4 cubs successfully.  Since then, we looked for the female and found her with only 2 cubs who are  currently doing well.

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Lion tracks near the dead cheetah

We’ve had a few rain showers recently but it is still very dry.  So this continues to be fantastic predator time as we are seeing leopards, lions and wild dogs often.   We’ll keep you posted on what happens to the cheetahs.

Thanks to Save the Elephants and Louise Bell (STE volunteer) for the photos.

Ewaso Lions Funds New Entrance into Samburu

During the devastating March 2010 floods, the main bridge connecting Samburu National Reserve and Buffalo Springs National Reserve was washed away, along with the entrance gate into Samburu. As you know, Ewaso Lions works closely with the Reserves and we wanted to offer support after the flood. We decided a great gift to Samburu National Reserve would be to repair the wall and entrance. Thanks to your donations, we were able to help rebuild a stunning new entrance into Samburu.

I met with Kyalo, the artist who had painted the old entrance many years ago, and together with the wardens of Samburu, we came up with a striking new design and mural for the entrance, one fitting for this great park. Kyalo based some of his work on photos we have taken over the past few years.

The wall is now complete and it looks fantastic!  We are thrilled with the results and Samburu now has a brand new entrance. The photos below show the process we went through and the completed wall.

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The old wall after it was destroyed in the March 2010 flood

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The first steps

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Completed Entrance Wall 1

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Completed Entrance Wall 2

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Mural seen upon exiting Samburu

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Mural at exit

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Sopili (from our Warrior Watch programme) admires the warrior painting

The wall has been admired by tourists, wardens, guides and everyone driving through. The reserve management are now hoping to repair some of the other walls destroyed during the floods, mainly at Westgate.  Ewaso Lions hopes to contribute towards the repair and painting of this wall and we are seeking donations from you to enable us to do so. Please make a donation so we can make the Westgate entrance look as fantastic as this one at the main Samburu bridge.

What do you think? Do you like the new entrance?

Predators Everywhere!

Predator sightings over the past few weeks have been quite remarkable.  We have been fortunate to see predators almost daily. We recently had one of the most amazing single day of predator sightings in Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves. We left camp at 5:30 am and at 6:10 am, bumped into 11 wild dogs on the main road.  They were full and appeared to have just made a kill in some bushes nearby. Close to them was a spotted hyena who was running in and out of the thick bushes. The wild dogs moved off quickly before I was able to take any ID photos.

We continued on our drive and entered Buffalo Springs. We bumped into a cheetah and her 2 cubs at about 7:30 am. I hadn’t seen this particular cheetah in a long time – she was radio-collared by Action for Cheetahs Kenya – and had gone missing for months only to return with 4 cubs (1 was killed by a lion and another disappeared). It was great to see her and her two little cubs. They were curious about us and climbed a small tree near us. It was a fantastic cheetah sighting. We left the cheetahs and made our way to the eastern sector of Buffalo Springs Reserve.

As we drove along the main road, we bumped into 2 honey badgers which I don’t normally see often. Soon after that, we spotted some lions in the distance. We came across 5 members of the Ngare Mara Pride feasting on an oryx that had just been killed a few moments ago. We stayed with the lions for a while watching them rip apart the oryx. We left them at about 9:30 am and drove towards the Ngare Mara Gate where we saw 2 more lions! Lguret, our maneless male, mating with a female from Ngare Mara. It was amazing that between 6 am and 10 am, we had seen 11 wild dogs, 1 hyena, 3 cheetahs, 2 honey badgers and 7 lions!

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It got better! The following day, we saw more lions, another cheetah and a fantastic sighting of an aardwolf for more than 10 minutes. It is a great time to visit Samburu and Buffalo Springs at the moment – predators are literally everywhere.

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Bridge Destroyed in Flood is Reopen

In March 2010, devastating floods rocked the area. The great Ewaso Nyiro River burst its banks and destroyed the main bridge which connects Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves.  This was a huge problem for us.  Trips to the airstrip in Buffalo Springs would now take us 4 hours one way compared to the usual 1 hour as we’d have to drive all the way to Archers Post.  We also struggled to go into Buffalo Springs as often as we’d have liked to as it meant camping out in the field after tracking lions late in the evening.  The wear and tear on the vehicles and extra fuel and mileage incurred were unplanned and it really did take a toll on our field budget.

Finally, good news came our way in September.  Thanks to facilitation from Sasaab Lodge and the Samburu and Isiolo Councils,  the British Army agreed to fix the bridge.  They begun in September and completed it by mid November.  The official opening was on the 25th of November and it was a fantastic day.  Representatives from both Samburu and Isiolo councils were present, managers and guides from the lodges, British Army personnel and resident researchers.  Community members from neighbouring villages were also present – they had been stranded for months and struggled for access to food and supplies. They danced and sang across the bridge, excited with the opening of the bridge.

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The new bridge!

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Turkana dancers entertain the crowd

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Large crowd gathers at bridge opening

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British Army addresses the crowd

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Elders bless the opening of the bridge

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Wardens of Samburu and Buffalo Springs open the bridge!

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Walking across for the first time

We are thrilled to have the bridge open at last and relieved to know that we have easier access to Buffalo Springs again.  It was a great moment, walking across the bridge (it actually rained on us as we did that which the Samburu people believe is a blessing) and also driving across for the first time since March!

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Driving across for the first time since March

Ewaso Lions is sponsoring the repair of the wall near the entrance to Samburu thanks to your flood donations. We’ll keep you posted on this!

Fieldwork in Shaba

I resumed work in Shaba this year after stability returned to the area – it was a bit unsettled last year.  Jeneria and I spent a few weeks between January and March followed by some time there in June and August.    We often saw lion tracks on the sandy roads in Shaba, however sighting them was difficult and often we’d lose the tracks in thick bush.  Finally in June we managed to see 2 females and their 2 cubs, plus loads of tracks all over the roads in August.

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Shaba lions

Working in Shaba is different to the other reserves.  Animals here are more shy and its tough work finding them!  The roads are also very rocky in some areas and some would just disappear.  Our daily routine would start at 5:30 am when Jeneria and I would pack up camp and set off at 6:00 am.  Often we’d drive for hours before stopping for a break, covering more than 100 kms a day on the rough roads.  The heat is relentless in Shaba, but Jeneria is a star. He’d stand up through the roof hatch the entire day keenly looking out for the lions and pushing me on.  We’ve been lucky to see loads of striped hyena, jackals, elephants and even the rare lesser kudu.  During our drives, we’d discover some stunning areas along the river which would be perfect rest stops.  Our day would end at 7 pm.  Joys Camp kindly allows us to camp at their stunning camp near the swamps and this gives us access to water and security.

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Shaba landscape

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Shaba is beautiful. Its tough work finding these lions but driving around in this stunning landscape makes it all worth it! I’m looking forward to heading back there in December to find more lions.

Ewaso Lions Mid-Year Report: News on Lions and Community Projects

Dear friends of Ewaso Lions,

We are pleased to present our Mid-Year Report to provide you with news from Samburu, information on our lion research and conservation activities, and to keep you posted on life in Camp. It’s been one of our most challenging field seasons yet – from severe drought to massive floods to increased threats to lions. The Ewaso Lions team pushes forward, working with communities, to ensure the long-term survival of Kenya’s top predators and other wildlife.

Lion News

We are currently monitoring close to 40 lions in the Ewaso ecosystem of Samburu. The lions did well during the drought of late 2009. All cubs survived and thrived when most other animals succumbed to the severity of the drought. Most of the females have cubs at the moment, including Magilani in Westgate. We are very excited to report that she was finally seen in April 2010 with two young cubs. She was last seen in August 2009, so it is a huge relief to see her again, especially with cubs.

Conflict:

Lions face high pressure from recent conflict. Lions are struggling to find wild prey and are turning to livestock. Recently in Westgate Conservancy, lions killed three camels; in response, we have held seven community meetings within the entire group ranch. We addressed the need to make bomas stronger with closed entrances so livestock does not escape and end up in predator territory. Herders need to be extra careful and avoid areas where lions are present. The meetings were well-received and the livestock owners have responded by reinforcing bomas to protect livestock better. We will be actively involved in a boma reinforcing project from May onwards thanks to support from our donors.

A lioness killed in retaliation by a person.

If conflict continues, things could get grim for the lions and we are working hard to continue with our awareness and education programmes. It is thanks to your donations that we are able to go out each day and hold meetings and travel around the group ranch talking to the communities about lions.

To read our blog on the increased conflict, click here.

Radio-Collaring:

After months of trying, we successfully collared the elusive male lion, Lguret, in late February. He was first collared in 2009 and it was time to replace his collar. It was no easy task to find him; we spent a total of 60 field days over the past eight months, averaging 12 hours each day, and driving nearly two thousand kilometers! Lguret now has a new radio/GPS tracking collar and we will be able to capture valuable movement data.

For photos and a detailed account on this collaring operation, click here.

Lguret, the radio-collared lion in Samburu.

We have begun to analyse the data from his old collar and preliminary results already show interesting patterns where he moved out of the reserves to areas where large numbers of livestock were present. Lguret was re-collared before the March floods and we are yet to know where he has gone during this time. We still have plans to collar at least four more individuals.

Collaring lions is very tough work and requires a lot of time and funds. We are grateful for all the donors who have assisted us so far and I urge you all to keep supporting us so we can monitor the Ewaso lions closely.

Camera Trapping:

Thanks to donors, we have acquired two camera traps for the project. Identifying individual predators in Westgate is difficult since they are nervous and often run away before we can take good identity photos. Plus, the candid photos of wildlife in the absence of humans may give us insight into some of their natural behaviours. Each night we place the camera traps in the Conservation Area of Westgate in strategic locations where we know lions, hyenas and other animals pass. It is always exciting in the mornings to go and check the cameras and see what the cameras have captured. So far, we have managed to get some great photos of elephants and hyenas (including one of a hyena biting the actual camera!). We have since built metal boxes around the cameras to deter curious and toothsome hyenas. In time, we hope to have a collection of ID photos to estimate the density of carnivores in this community area.

A spotted hyena captured by our camera trap.

Other Wildlife News:

Many animals died during the severe drought in 2009. Almost all buffalo, waterbuck, warthog and impala died during this time. The rains returned in October and the survivors made the most of the new grass shoots that emerged. Rains in March and April have created a lush green paradise in the reserves. Fattened oryx, huge herds of impala, gazelle and giraffe are scattered all over the reserves and elephants are back in large numbers.

We have been fortunate to have some good predator sightings, including our first cheetah sighting in Westgate. We are excited to have seen wild dogs on numerous occasions both in the reserves and in Westgate, including a pack that passed right behind our camp kitchen! We’ve also seen caracal and had a very special sighting of an aardvark. The vegetation has now begun to dry up and we are busy recording and monitoring all wildlife changes.

Wild dogs seen in the Conservation Area.

Staff News

Paul Thomson joined the Ewaso Lions team full-time in January. Paul has over five years professional experience in African wildlife conservation and is pursuing a Masters degree at Yale. Before joining Ewaso Lions, Paul worked with the African Wildlife Foundation in both Kenya and Washington, DC. We are very excited to have Paul join the team and you will be hearing a lot from him as well. Karibu sana Paul!

In April 2010, we employed two new field members. Moses Letitiya has taken over Jeneria’s position as Lion scout in the Sasaab region. Jeneria is now our head tracker and research assistant. Robert Lenongiro has recently started as Community Officer. Both Robert and Moses are from Westgate. Ricila is now in charge of the Warrior Watch programme (see below) and is Camp Chef. Joseph is Camp Manager and is being trained in data management.

The Ewaso Lions team.

PhD

After some challenges in 2009 due to the security troubles and severe drought, Shivani is busy catching up with PhD-related work and data analysis. She has about another year to complete her PhD with the University of Oxford. She will be traveling to Oxford towards the end of the year to begin writing her thesis. The guys will carry on with activities in the field and in Camp whilst Shivani is away.

News in Camp

Ewaso Lions Camp, located in Westgate Community Conservancy just outside Samburu National Reserve, has seen some real growth this past year. We finally have permanent shade, thanks to our new Mess structure kindly provided by Sasaab Lodge. It is no longer possible to pack up the whole camp in Gypsy the way we used to in 2008!

We still need a lot more in camp: more tents, tables, cooking items, and fuel. Our chairs are broken and solar battery has died. Also, with the rains, our bathrooms have all collapsed and need to be rebuilt. We appreciate any donation towards our Camp needs and are grateful to all of you who have supplied so much to date.

The project has just acquired a Toyota Landcruiser. The vehicle has been christened Winslow (don’t ask!) and is a great companion for the faithful Suzuki, Gypsy. Together, Winslow and Gypsy will allow us to expand the reach and impact of our work across our project area, which covers over 900 km2.

Paul driving around in Winslow, the new project vehicle.

We have hosted many visitors over the past few months. Christina Tsantes from Hunter College, New York, stayed with us for six weeks in July/August and greatly assisted with setting up of databases. Scott Smith from the Wildlife Conservation Society spent a wonderful week in camp in October and witnessed both the severity of the drought and the first rains. Stacey Gardebrecht visited and assisted us for a week in February, followed by Aimee Guha-Roy from the University of Oxford who helped with data and gained some field experience – little did she know she would arrive for the floods! We are happy to host Mary Wykstra and her team from the Action for Cheetahs in Kenya at our Camp whilst she conducts fieldwork in Samburu.

Warrior Watch

We are thrilled to announce our newest programme, Warrior Watch. Through Warrior Watch, Samburu warriors become active within their communities as wildlife ambassadors by reporting on wildlife sightings and issues such as conflict in exchange for a stipend and educational lessons. In partnership with Westgate Conservancy, we selected and trained the first six warriors in January. The programme is already showing signs of success: the warriors seem to genuinely enjoy their new roles; they’ve held meetings throughout the group ranch; and have attended over ten conflict cases in four months. We hope to increase the number of warriors in the programme and are currently seeking funds to enable us to do so. Meet the warriors and see what else they do here.

Shivani working with the warriors on predator tracks identification.

Sponsoring Students

We are happy to announce the first two students sponsored by Ewaso Lions, Samson and Edward. These bright boys completed primary school at Lpus Leluai here in Westgate Conservancy. Under the Ewaso Lions sponsorship, they will continue their education at a highly ranked secondary school in Meru, and their tuition will be covered for four academic years. We received donations from Christina, Nina, Kathy and Trey to enable the boys to go to school. At the end of their first term in their new school, both boys achieved a grade of B- in their subjects, and we are thrilled with these results. Meet the boys here!

New Book: Simba Stories

In May, Ewaso Lions will release Simba Stories, a book of poems, stories and illustrations that celebrate lions, all made by students from Lpus Leluai Primary School in Westgate. The artwork encapsulates their perceptions of lions as they parse together their own young experiences with those learnt in their community and through conservation education programmes. We will be distributing the book locally to increase awareness on the importance of lions and conservation.

Simba Stories will be available for purchase – the details will be posted online. Proceeds from book sales will be used to establish a Wildlife Club at Lpus Leluai Primary School. A very special thanks to Lindsay Morency for putting the book together and making it look so fantastic!

Floods in Samburu

On March 4th, Samburu was rocked by severe flooding, which left eight camps and lodges destroyed, hundreds of people without jobs, infrastructure ruined, and tourism essentially shut down in the area. We were very fortunate – the Ewaso Lions camp was not affected.

Ewaso Lions’ friends and donors responded quickly to our appeals and we were able to assist many Samburu residents with food and clothing. Things are now beginning to recover and lodges and camps are being constructed and repaired. We are yet to assess the impact on wildlife as so many roads are still impassable. See photos of the flood and its aftermath here.

Launch of Kenya’s Lion and Spotted Hyena Strategy

Ewaso Lions was represented at the launch of the National Lion Strategy. Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officially launched it at an event in Nairobi on the 17th of February together with the strategies for spotted hyena, cheetahs and wild dogs. This management plan recognises the current and potential geographical range for lions and the threats facing them, and provides guidance for their conservation and management.

Ewaso Lions played an important role in the management plan by providing data and information on lions and hyenas from the Samburu region. Ricila & Mporian, warriors from our Warrior Watch programme, joined Joseph, Paul, and Shivani at the KWS headquarters for the launch. Mporian was given the honour of opening the ceremony with a traditional Samburu blessing.

Lion Research Safari

In January, we had our first Lion Research Safari in conjunction with Gamewatchers (a fantastic, eco-friendly safari company which has a number of Porini Camps in Kenya). Our guests, the Wills family of Scotland joined us during our research activities in Shaba and visited our community programmes in Westgate. For more information on Lion Research Safaris, and how they help our project, go to: http://www.porini.com/lion-research-safari.html

Kenyan Kids on Safari

We have now taken more than 40 young kids on game drives in Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves. Kenyan Kids on Safari (KKOS) and Todd Cromwell donated cameras, binoculars and a print station to Ewaso Lions to allow us to take young children in villages and schools into the National Reserves to see wildlife. Many of these children have never seen the big cats or elephants close-up and only get to see the negative side of wildlife. Together with Intrepids and Sasaab lodges, we have shown these kids a positive side of wildlife. We hope to take more kids on safari in 2010. For more, visit kidsonsafari.org

Children from Kenyan Kids on Safari.

Tree Project

We have planted 75 trees to date within schools and villages in Westgate. Unfortunately most of the trees died during the 2009 drought. We hope to resume and reenergize the Tree Project over the next few months.

Westgate Marathon

Together with Sasaab Lodge and Westgate Conservancy, we held the first-ever Westgate Marathon on the 1st of May, 2010. The Westgate Marathon was open to everyone. The theme was “Running for Lions.” The marathon was a huge success – we had 30 runners participate including five from the Ewaso Lions team. The winners will be sponsored to run the famous Safaricom Lewa Marathon in June. We hope to hold another Westgate Marathon in 2011 and this time both Paul and Shivani will be out there running for lions!

Joseph running in the Westgate Marathon.

New Ewaso Lions Logo

Ewaso Lions finally has a logo! Paul helped create the bold new logo, which will raise the profile of our growing project and has given our team a sense of identity. We now have stylish new shirts and decals on our vehicles bearing the logo. We hope you like it!

Blog, Facebook and Twitter

Ewaso Lions has launched a full-scale attack on the Internet. We’ve updated our website, we continue to blog as much as possible, and we are more and more active in growing our online community through our Facebook and Twitter pages. Please friend us, follow us, and send us feedback. Also, spread the word and encourage your friends to join Ewaso Lions.

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Thanks to you – our donors and partners – we have come this far in a relatively short period of time. Without your support, our work would not be possible. We are making real progress here, but there is still so much more to be done. We hope you will continue to support this important work as we continue to expand our research and conservation programmes.

Your donations and support are ultimately helping safeguard the future of lions, while improving peoples’ livelihoods, in the Ewaso region of northern Kenya. Donate online here.

For lions. For people. Forever.

With our very best wishes from Samburu,

Shivani Bhalla & Paul Thomson

Directors, Ewaso Lions

Contact

Ewaso Lion Project

P.O. Box 14996

Nairobi 00800

Kenya

Tel: (+254) 721 696 443

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.ewasolions.org

Blog: www.ewasolions.wildlifedirect.org

Join Ewaso Lions on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @EwasoLions

Thank You For Your Donations After the Flood

Thank you to everyone who responded to our appeal for assistance after the massive flood hit Samburu. We are so grateful to numerous individuals who dropped everything to come to our rescue and also made donations through this blog!

A huge thanks to Lee, Norma, Keri, Deborah, Tom, Junia, Tatjana, Lindsay, Paula, Paul, Isadora, Jan and Christina for their donations through this blog which amounted to $1,165 .  These funds will be used to help the people in Samburu who lost most of their belongings during the floods and also for the rebuilding effort.

We also thank Tropic Air, who was the first on the scene after the flood and provided many people with drinking water. Their chopper pilot Mario was fantastic and made numerous water drop offs during the first day of the floods. The Karuna Charitable Trust were fantastic and quick to respond to our appeal. They donated 1200 kg of maize meal. Pete Henderson, Save The Elephants (STE) trustee, and David Hewitt and Paul Muoria from the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) drove this flour to Samburu together with lots of drinking water. 13 bales were distributed amongst the Samburu National Reserve rangers and the remainder at Save the Elephants and Elephant Watch. We also managed to get 6 large bags of clothes donated thanks to Ashok Bhalla and his friends. The Red Cross of Kenya also arrived to give out blankets and mosquito nets.

We received many messages, emails and text messages from friends, supporters and individuals. Thank you all for your support and encouragement during this difficult period. Things are slowly getting back to normal. Samburu is so green and wildlife are coming back into the reserves. Only time will tell how the landscape and park will recover.

The 1,200 kg of maize meal donated by Karuna Charitable Trust went to feed people in Samburu.

Donated clothing was handed out to people who lost everything.

Trying to Recover After the Flood

We are slowly getting back on our feet here in Samburu and trying to recover from the devastating floods. I will write more soon about my personal experience of being caught in the floods, but for now I wanted to update you on where we are now.

The Save the Elephants research camp is slowly drying out and things are still being recovered from the bushes.  Some tents were pulled out from masses of mud and sand and a few belongings recovered.  The research centre is dry, power is on and the internet is also working.  A temporary camp has been set up with little pup tents on the hill near the camp.  The county council trucks also have arrived with water – finally there is clean water and the washing can begin.

I don’t think these computer disks are going to work so well.

Elephant Watch Camp staff are also working hard at removing all the remains of the camp and are also recovering things buried in mud more than 1 km away!  They have also set up a temporary camp thanks to tents dropped off by the British Army helicopter.

Oria Douglas-Hamilton, owner of Elephant Watch, at one of the destroyed rooms.

We received a generous donation of 1200 kg of maize meal, which arrived yesterday thanks to STE trustee Pete Henderson and the African Wildlife Foundation.  The Red Cross also responded to our appeal and arrived with enough blankets, mosquito nets and cooking utensils for the Samburu rangers and Save the Elephants.

Red Cross representatives (left) handed out supplies.

It is still raining in Samburu.  I did manage to drive to our camp in West Gate a few days ago through a temporary road.  The rain has made the luggas almost impassable but we just made it through.  I checked in with all the guys in camp who are doing well and keeping busy with trying to keep camp dry from the huge amounts of rain we keep getting.  We were fortunate – our camp is located about 1 km away from the river.  However, others were not so fortunate – and we are trying to assist as much as possible.

It is hard to think about next week or even tomorrow at this stage.  We are just thinking of now and planning for the hour.  Samburu Reserve will take many months to recover and I hope it wont be too long before tourists will resume coming here.  I will be doing my first game drive today to see how the reserve has been affected and to see if Pixie, Nabo, their cubs and the rest of the lions are ok.

I used to love to hear the sound of the Ewaso Nyiro River flow… however now when I hear it at night, I begin to panic and worry that it will come up again.

Thank you to Red Cross, AWF, Tropic Air (who were amazing and came to evacuate tourists and drop water just when we really needed it) and so many others who have assisted us.   Many donations are also coming in and we are so grateful for this.  This will go directly to getting Samburu back on its feet once again. Thank you and please share your comments.

The 1,200 kg of maize-meal donated to Ewaso Lions for Samburu flood victims.

Photos of the Flood Aftermath

More photos showing the wreckage caused by the massive flood in Samburu on March 4.

Samburu National Reserve after the Ewaso Nyiro River burst its banks.

This used to be the Uaso Bridge, a main bridge connecting Samburu and Buffalo Springs National Reserves.

David Daballen of Save The Elephants stands where camp used to be.

The destroyed sign that welcomed visitors to Samburu National Reserve.

A vervet monkey killed in the flood.

The wreckage at Save The Elephants research camp.

Debris lying out to dry at Elephant Watch.

The kitchen of Elephant Watch.

Samburu County Councilors visit the destroyed camp.

A dik dik, like so many, killed in the flood.

One of the destroyed bedrooms at Elephant Watch.

The British Army provided this tent for Elephant Watch staff to have some shelter.

Ewaso Lions is helping provide food and supplies to those who lost their lodges, camps, homes, jobs, and personal possessions in the flood. Please donate to help, or email paul at ewasolions dot org

All donations will go directly to Samburu.

Thank you!