National Judicial Dialogue on Wildlife and Environment Crimes Ongoing

The second National Judicial Dialogue on Wildlife and Environment crimes is ongoing at the Nairobi Safari Park Hotel. The conference was this morning officially opened by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. http://www.ktf.co.ke/news.asp?ID=86

In its second year, the conference is focusing on the Wildlife Conservation & Management Act 2013 that was assented last year December, and its implications.

The conference comes at the time when the first suspect to be tried and convicted under the Wildlife Conservation & Management Act 2013 was this week sentenced to pay a fine of Kshs20 million or serve seven years in prison for conviction of illegal possession &trafficking of an ivory tusk weighing 3.4 kgs at JKIA, in transit from Mozambique to China via Nairobi. This sentence has received widespread acclaim as its severity will act as deterrent for other would be offenders.

The stringent penalties for wildlife crimes as set in the new law download the Wildlife Conservation & Management Act 2013, heralds a welcome dawn in the fight against wildlife crimes, which in the past was hindered by lenient punishments, as evidenced in the manner in which suspects routinely accepted the charges in court as the sentences handed were not tough enough.

Stakeholders have welcomed the renewed engagement of the judiciary in fighting wildlife crime, illustrated in this conference organized by the Judiciary Training Institute and bringing together various organizations and government agencies involved in the fight against wildlife crimes in Kenya. Participants at the conference include the Chief Justice, Magistrates, KWS, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kenyans United Against Poaching, Africa Network for Animal Welfare and other conservationists, KRA and Ministry of Environment. With all these efforts and strategies will boost Kenya safaris to a better level.

Sharon C

www.soinafricasafaris.com

 

 

Advertisements

Adventure on the Great Mountains in Kenya safaris

Kenya is a land of contrasts with magnificent attractions and nowhere is this more apparent than in its range of altitudes. The hills and mountains of Kenya are a world apart from the lowland valleys and plains. Adventure on Kenya safaris for these great natures!High altitude Kenya offers something for everyone. There are refreshing hill walks through bird rich areas or more active hikes into montane forests.Above all there is mighty Mt Kenya, whose slopes are the perfect trekking destination. The mountain’s alpine peak is a challenging technical summit for the experienced mountain climbing.

Mount Kenya adventures

Mount Kenya, Africa’s second highest peak is regarded as the realm of Ngai, god of the local Kikuyu people. Traditionally, all Kikuyu home were built to face this sacred peak. They call it Kirinyaga, or place of light.  The mountain is an awe-inspiring sight. Its ragged series of peaks are crowned with snow, and its slopes are thick with forest. The mountain is best seen at dawn, when the day early light silhouettes its impressive summit high over the surrounding plains.

The highest point has a height of 5199 meters call Batian and its summit is a difficult task to climb, the lesser peak of Point Lenana 4985m can be easily reached by any fit trekker. This trek takes between 3 and 5 days, through a fascinating world of forests, wildlife, and unique montane vegetation zone including podocarpus and groundsel, and finally one of the world’s rarest sights, equatorial snow. For those who don’t want to climb the Mountain the cool highlands that surround its base are well worth a visit. The forests are ideal for game viewing, and there are crystal clear mountain streams that abound with Trout as you keep climbing.

Mount Longonot tours

Mount Longonot remains as an active volcanic mountain in Kenya safaris with spectacular fissures and lava flows. Standing over the shores of Lake Naivasha, at 2886 meters this massive dormant volcano dominates the landscape for miles around. As you climb these slopes, you pass through herds of grazing game as spectacular views of the Rift Valley and Naivasha unfold below. Its vast crater is an awesome sight, the jagged edge surrounding a broad expanse of vegetation. Geothermal steam trickles upwards from the walls, while buffalo and other game make their way across the crater floor.

Mount Elgon safaris

Rising from the jungles that border Uganda, Mt Elgon is an impressively craggy extinct Volcano. This remote region makes an amazing trekking through deep forest and across broad moorlands.

Adventuring on this Mountain you will witness plenty of wildlife and other amazing views. The peaks are ideal for climbing, and shelter a series of warm geothermal springs. The mountain has many caves for the visitor explore. In these caves, known collectively as Elkony, ancient cave paintings decorate the walls, bats and rock hyrax are found among the winding passageways.

The most famous cave of all is Kitum, where each night Elephant herds gather and begin a slow procession deep into the mountain. The elephants make their way through the caves, following well worn paths made by generations before them. Deep in the cave, they use their tusks to excavate the walls, seeking the natural salt which they lick from the scarred rock. Witnessing this incredible sight is just one of the many wonders of Elgon safaris to remember in a lifetime.

Sharon C

Kenya safaris

www.soinafricasafaris.com

Kenya Birding Safaris.

From the world’s biggest bird, the Ostrich, to spectacular flamingos that congregate in their millions at the various Lakes of the Great Rift Valley (Lake Nakuru) and camouflage them in pink, Kenya safaris holds some remarkable birding sights that you have to witness by your own since  Kenya’s birding is one of the best in the world.  

It is not unusual for birding trips to record 300-600 different varieties on a short trip or to record more than 120 at a particular site on a single day!  The variety of birds in Kenya is made possible by the favorable climate, diverse habitats and geographical features that make it a suitable migratory route for birds. Some of these birds are migratory while others are residents.

Even without venturing outside Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, more than 600 resident and migratory bird species are found.
Other destination in Kenya where you can spot these great birds is Nairobi National Park or the grounds of the National Museum is likely to turn up bright black and yellow weavers, tiny iridescent sun-birds resembling flying jewels, Secretary Bird, Bustards and Mouse birds with long tails, which are unique to Africa. The giant Marabou Storks, a frequent visitor to the city, now nests on the acacia trees along the streets. 

With the rainy seasons of April and November coincide with migration of birds from and to Europe and Asia, and some of the top day’s totals have been recorded at that time.
Migrants make up only about ten percent of Kenya’s bird life, however, and the spectacular birds of the bush –guinea fowl, go-away birds, rollers and barbets, to mention but a few – are active all year. 

Visits to a variety of habitats, such as the dry-country parks of Tsavo or Samburu, the western grasslands of the Maasai Mara, one of the Rift Valley lakes or one of the highland forests, will produce a long and varied bird list that makes your safari fabulous.

 With other destination having unique birds and Kenya’s rarest bird, indigenous and unfortunately endangered birds, the bird enthusiast needs to seek out forests or highland grasslands tucked away amongst various farmlands in place like Arabuko-Sokoke Forest near Malindi, tops the list, with the six threatened bird species of the Sokoke Scops Owl, Sokoke Pipit, Spotted Ground Thrush, East Coast Akalat, Amani Sunbird and Clarke’s Weaver. This raises alarm on the Kenya government to protect these important bird species.

Traveling in western Kenya, Kakamega Forest is a little patch of Guineo-Congolian rainforest in Kenya. Among the many rainforest species found are spectacular Turacos and Hornbills can be easily spotted with other bird species in your guide’s safaris.

Sharon C

www.soinafricasafaris.com

 

 

 

 

Wildlife safaris in Kenya

Kenya wildlife safaris remain as the most preferred attractions by tourists from all over the globe. No other African country can boast such an incredible range of landscapes, unique geographical features like plateaus and Mountains, Great Rift Valley, cultures, beaches, and various species of birds among other attractions than Kenya safaris.

A safari in Kenya offers visitors a chance to experience a natural world unchanged by the passage of time. The Kenyan wilderness is home to an endless array of ecosystems, the staging ground for natural cycles of life, death and regeneration of life in wildlife scenarios keeping life to continue in eternity.

This great range of natural habitats for wildlife means that there is plenty to adventure and plenty of species to encounter in your safari. This is a land of endless potential for the wildlife enthusiast. From great migratory herds term as the great wonders of the world  to an incredible abundance of birdlife, from the depths of a tropical rainforest to the depths of the Indian Ocean teeming with marine life and coral reef  keeps Kenya safaris a world of natural wonders to recall forever. A safari into the wilds of Kenya is a journey into nature at its purest. Everywhere you view there is a profusion of life existence making you to yearn back for Kenya adventure.

However, without leaving behind another exciting experience camel ride safaris. It is perfectly adapted and widely used throughout Northern Kenya destinations. They are usually used for pack animals rather than riding, and are ideal as back up on a trek through the bush. Camels with saddles are usually also supplied for those who want to ride.

This is a once in a lifetime experience, walking through the bush with only the sounds of the lullabies songs of the birds, roaring sound of the wild and the soft tinkling of the camel bells, you will find yourself travelling at a relaxed pace, with the rhythms of nature.

Sharon C

www.soinafricasafaris.com

UNEP praises Kenya’s new wildlife law

Kenya’s efforts to fight poaching and illegal trade in Kenya wildlife have been recognized by the United Nations. http://kws.org/info/news/2014/7Jan2014UNEPpraisesKenya.html

Mr. John E. Scanlon, the United Nation’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Secretary-General, noted that Kenya had passed a law with stiffer penalties against poachers and wildlife traffickers.  He was speaking in Guangzhou, China today where he had gone to witness the destruction of confiscated ivory tusks and carvings as part of efforts to raise awareness of elephant poaching.

Mr. Scanlon said: “And just ten months after the conclusion of CITES CoP16, we are seeing enhanced measures taken across range, transit and destination States – such as in Kenya where new wildlife laws that impose significantly higher penalties for those involved in wildlife crime have been assented to by President Kenyatta, and in Malaysia where the Department of Wildlife and National Parks has filled 43 new posts for enforcement and prosecution.”

Officials in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, pulverized 6.1 tons of confiscated tusks and carvings in an event attended by representatives from 10 countries including the UK, and elephant states including Kenya, Gabon, and Tanzania.

The function was also attended by the Kenyan Ambassador to China, HE Kinyanjui, Assistant Director for International Affairs, US Fish &Wildlife Service Mr. Brian Arroyo and high-ranking Chinese environment officials.  The burning of the 6.1 tones of ivory stockpiled over the years marks the first major commitment by the Chinese government to publicly fight the multi-billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade. In a letter addressed to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) last week, China invited representatives from foreign embassies, international organizations, and government departments to witness the event.

The Department of International Co-operation and the State Forestry Administration announced the intention to burn illegal ivory and other wildlife products in Guangzhou — a major hub for ivory trade — after concerted international pressure to close its market for animal trophies.

China has prepared and is implementing its comprehensive National Ivory Action Plan, as agreed with the CITES Standing Committee. The Plan has been shared with the Committee, which will discuss it and the other seven plans in July.

Amongst other initiatives, China led the first cross-continent wildlife enforcement effort known as Operation Cobra, has agreed collaborative enforcement-related initiatives through the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, and most recently China (Hong Kong SAR) returned seized ivory and rhino horn to South Africa.  China has also provided funding to the African Elephant Fund and MIKE, and in-kind support to African range States, which will be further enhanced over the coming year.

Kenya’s proposal to fight poaching of elephants and rhinos won backing during the CITES meeting held early this year in Bangkok, Thailand. The country has since submitted an ‘Ivory Trade Action Plan to reduce poaching & Ivory Trafficking. This was after Kenya was blacklisted among the so called ‘gang of eight’ for fuelling environmental crime within the region as a major transit and source country for ivory.

The objective of Kenya’s national action plan is a collaborative effort to ensure elephant poaching and illegal trade in elephant ivory is reduced to the bare minimum and enhanced Kenya safari holiday all year round.

The key thematic areas of the Action Plan are:

  • Legislation and regulations
  • Enforcement actions, investigations and national inter-agency collaboration and coordination
  • International and regional wildlife enforcement collaboration
  • Outreach, public awareness and education
  • National reporting to CITES Secretariat and Standing Committee.

Sharon C

Kenya wildlife

www.soinafricasafaris.com

Experience Gorilla trekking and cultural dancers in Rwanda safaris

Rwanda is the tiniest landlocked country in East Africa, lying on the eastern rim of the Albertine Rift and is the watershed between Africa’s two largest river systems which is the Nile and the Congo. Rwanda borders on Uganda in the north, Tanzania in the east, Burundi in the south and the Democratic Republic of Congo in the west. Referred to as the “land of a thousand hills”, Rwanda is a mountainous country with an average elevation of 1,700m making Rwanda safaris realistic and memorable.

The country’s capital is Kigali, housing its international airport to which international and intra-East African flights operate.
On the western side of the plateau you will find Rwanda’s principal geographic feature known for the famous chain of volcanoes – the Virungas – which it shares with Congo and Uganda and which are part of the Albertine Rift and home to the most famous tourist attraction as the mountain Gorillas!

Rwanda has without doubt more to offer than the mountain gorillas. Another of Rwanda’s popular attractions is the Nyungwe National Park, which primarily is a montane rain forest and a unique habitat of more than 300 colobus monkeys, chimpanzees and other primates! There is also the beautiful Akagera National Park – savannah plains with elephant, hippo, antelope and crocodile. Lake Kivu is a beautiful inland sea enclosed by steep terraced hillsides and home to a large variety of bird species.

In the Rwanda safaris it also has a rich culture with its second city, Butare, having one of the finest cultural museums in Africa. Rwanda, together with Burundi and Tanzania, was part of the German East African colony. After the First World War, the country became a Belgian protectorate. Originally the domain of hunter-gatherers, Rwanda emerged into a centralized state with a feudal monarchy in the fifteenth century.

French, English and Kinyarwanda are the most widely spoken languages and the population of about 10 million people is largely Christian with some Muslim and traditional communities. With all these immense attraction makes your Rwanda safaris the best ultimate choice to travel.

Sharon C

www.soinafricasafaris.com

 

 

New report from Kenya Wildlife service(KWS)

A new report from Kenya Wildlife service’s wishes to inform all the stakeholders, agents, guests, tour operators on the new park fee on all Kenya National parks which took effect on January 2014.  http://kws.org/export/sites/kws/tourism/downloads/KWS_eBrochure.pdf

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) also would like to notify the public that Lake Nakuru National Park continues to be fully open, operational and accessible by road despite challenges of flooding in the recent rains.

The roads that were submerged were on the Northern and Western sections.  Currently, new roads have been done and accompanying drainage structures, including bridges and culverts have been constructed hence the circuit is complete and all-weather. Further, the standard airstrip continues to be operational.

KWS self-catering accommodation-Naishi guesthouse-as well as all tourist lodges in the Park (Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge, Lake Nakuru Lodge and Flamingo Hill Camp) have not been affected by the rising lake water level. Makalia public campsite and special campsites including Nyuki, Nyati, Chui, Rhino, Reedbuck and Naishi as well as Baboon Cliff, Out of Africa and Lion Hill observation/picnic sites are all open and fully operational.   

Lake Nakuru National is renowned for its bird diversity, high species density and richness that have continued to attract large numbers of domestic and international tourists. However, recently the park has faced numerous challenges occasioned by flooding caused by rising lake water levels – which is an environmental concern.

We assure you of our commitment to further invest in the improvement of services and products to enhance Kenya’s global position as a tourism destination and look forward to receiving your clients to Lake Nakuru National Park and other KWS Parks and Reserves across the country as the festive season ends in Kenya safaris.

Sharon  C

Kenya safaris

http://www.soinafricasafaris.com