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HANDS OFF OUR ELEPHANTS - The message is loud and clear!

CONSERVATIONISTS ISSUE A RED ALERT AS POACHING OF JUMBOS INTENSIFIES
 

Nairobi, July 26thConservationists in Kenya have issued a warning that poaching could exterminate elephants in the next 10 years unless measures are undertaken to stem this crisis.

Led by WildlifeDirect, a world life conservation charity organization, they now want the Government to respond to the crisis as a national disaster and work with all sectors to address it.

According to Dr Richard Leakey, former Director of KWS and the Founder of WildlifeDirect, there has never been such a level of killing as we are experiencing today, unless we do something now elephants will be gone from the wild within the next decade. Leakey is credited for bringing an end to poaching in 1989

“Today the situation is worse. Until the elephants are physically counted by an independent group we need to be very wary. We need to change things urgently and find creative solutions. Kenya’s wildlife belongs to the citizens of Kenya’s who must stand up to defend this heritage.  I believe that partnerships with private sector are critical. We cannot afford any further delay and we have to be tough!” warned Dr Leakey.

WildlifeDirect has announced their partnership with Key stakeholders in Government, NGOs, Private Sector, local celebrities, community leaders, corporate organizations to mobilize the nation in a joint
effort to save elephants.

The movement dubbed HANDS OFF OUR ELEPHANTS calls for action by Kenyans of all walks of life to help. The campaign seeks to create awareness about the crisis, and demand for a massive surge in anti-poaching and investigations at ports to crack down on corruption and trafficking of ivory, followed by convictions that send criminals to jail for tens of years. The public can help by providing information through the use of a wildlife crime hotline. 

Speaking during the Press briefing, Cabinet Secretary for Water, Environment and Natural Resources, Prof Judy Wakhungu, said the government is fully supportive of this initiative. She added that the new wildlife legislation will soon be presented to parliament for endorsement. 

“We need the help of partners and we will also do our part. Under this new legislation, anyone found dealing in trophies of ivory or rhino horn will be liable to a fine of not less than one million shillings or imprisonment for a term of not less than five years or to both, while poachers will be liable to a fine of not less than three million shillings or imprisonment for a term not less than five years”, said Prof Wakhungu.

Kenya Airways CEO, Titus Naikuni, a key partner in the campaign noted that his airline will not allow delivery of poached goods across the borders and any staff found engaging in illegal activity will be dealt with.
 
Speaking for Vision 2030, Director General Mugo Kibati added that “Kenya has hardly begun to tap the economic potential of her wildlife tourism. We welcome this initiative as it will ensure that Kenyans realise the country’s economic aspirations. Tourism is key to the economic pillar of Vision 2030 and without wildlife, there will be no tourism. Losing elephants threatens the very stability of our country. ” 
 
The demand for ivory in the Far East, particularly China, has attracted criminal cartels to Kenya who are feeding the insatiable demand for ivory in the Far East, especially China and Thailand. Conservationists warn that unless the demand is extinguished, poachers will wipe out Africa's elephants. 
 
CEO Wildlife Direct Dr. Paula Kahumbu lauded the government for welcoming the initiative which brings Kenyans together to save the country’s heritage. 
 
“Kenya traditionally has been at the frontline in combating elephant poaching but we have lost that ground in recent years. It is essential that we work together and restore our leadership position in the world to ensuring that we protect our endangered species, and a global heritage. While we crack down on wildlife crime in Kenya, we also need the help of governments of Africa, Thailand, China, and USA whom we are asking to ban the domestic markets of ivory as legal markets are a cover for laundering illegal ivory. We will also appeal to the hearts of anyone buying ivory in these countries as they are contributing to the slaughter of African elephants”. 
 
The HANDS OFF OUR ELEPHANTS campaign is a plea to every member of the public and all sectors of the economy to champion the campaign against elephant poaching. The First Lady, Mrs Margaret Kenyatta is the campaign patron. A similar effort has been announced by Hilary Clinton in USA who seek to coordinate actions of the US based conservation community around this crisis. 

The situation facing Kenya is grave. According to the Kenya Wildlife Service, (KWS) poaching is escalating out of control, the country lost 384 elephants to poachers in 2012 up from fewer than 50 just five years ago. For every matriarch killed several young will also have died. The country is also witnessing a surge in poaching by local communities who are using traditional methods including poison arrows, spears and traps.  Tanzania with 70,000 elephants report that they are losing 10,000 elephants per year, and conservationists warn that these poachers will move to Kenya once Tanzania herds are depleted. 

For more information, kindly contact: Vata Nganda, Senior strategist TBWA Kenya on 0736436157 or Email: vata.nganda@tbwa.co.ke

Lewa Conservancy now on the list of World Heritage Sites

What do Lewa, the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon and the Pyramids have in common? . . . They’re all UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Ngare Ndare Forest Trust were honoured to be added to the existing Mount Kenya World Heritage Site. This unique recognition is reserved for places of outstanding universal value to humanity that, as such, have been inscribed on the list to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

The World Heritage Committee considered Lewa and Ngare Ndare for their outstanding natural beauty, as well as their varied and impressive ecosystems and biodiversity.  The site will continue to be known as the Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest to allow for future nominations further north of Lewa to also be included.

Lewa, Ngare Ndare, and potentially the areas to Lewa’s north, are all connected to Mount Kenya through the elephant corridor. Lewa was instrumental in the creation of this crucial migration passage that serves as a route for landscape connectivity, stretching from the mountain through Lewa and onwards north into the wide expanse of the Samburu region.

Lewa is hopeful that the prestige from joining the World Heritage list will raise awareness and generate international recognition, promoting local and national pride and commitment to the perpetuation of conservation in these iconic areas. It is Lewa’s fervent belief that the World Heritage Site status will raise already high levels of national and overseas tourism, creating employment opportunities and income for local communities.

So book your next visit to Lewa now so that you can say you stayed on a World Heritage Site! 

For bookings to any Lewa Conservancy property, contact us.

Information lifted from The Lewa Conservancy Newsletter, released on 27th June, 2013. 
Image courtesy of Cheli & Peacock Newsletter, released on 15th July, 2013 

Experience Hemmingways Nairobi

When we first heard that Hemmingways were expanding their property collection in Kenya, we were very excited considering we have been selling their Beach - Watamu property for years! So when we planned to do our annual Nairobi Hotels Fam trip, we were all pretty much eager to see this property that seemed to be getting very many positive remarks from clients who we sent there.

About Hemmingways Nairobi:

If you are a person who loves fine luxury and 5 star comfort, then this is the place. Elevating the standards of boutique hotels in not only Nairobi hotels but the whole of Kenya, Hemmingways Nairobi consists of  45 rooms.

The rooms: 

Lofty, expansive, with vast, bright en-suite bathrooms are characteristic of our boutique hotel’s wonderful sense of space and use of natural light. We have 45 high-ceilinged rooms, two of which are penthouse style Presidential Suites and 43 Junior Suites culminating in vaulted beams. Muted colours and textured fabrics in ecru and taupe create an ambiance of contemporary-chic while subtle touches of brass, mahogany and leather bear reference to the classic elegance of vintage East African safaris. Your attentive butler is on hand to rustle up a treat from the pantry and tend to the artisan bouquets of fresh roses in your room. Beyond the balustrade of your private balcony,they have chosen for you a view of The Green Hills of Africa, as described in Hemingway’s novel.

 
In the rooms:
  • Spacious en-suite bathroom lined with hand cut Italian marble, walk-in wardrobe, double vanity, separate toilet, bath and shower
  • Complimentary wired and Wi-Fi Internet access
  • Pop-up 40" LED television
  • Dual Telephone lines with conference call and speakerphone capabilities call forwarding and voice mall
  • Bathroom telephone
  • Air conditioning and ceiling fan
  • Personalised bar
  • Electronic safe with charging socket and space for 17” laptop
  • Hairdryer
  • Bathrobes & Slippers
  • Overnight kit
  • Hypoallergenic pillows available
  • Finest Egyptian cotton bed linen and towels
  • Complimentary daily newspaper (local)
  • Same day international newspapers available
  • On request laptop PC, DVD player, fax machine, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 

Luxury suite features: 
  • Early check-in and late check-out, on request and subject to availability 
  • Complimentary international daily newspaper of choice
  • Laptop PC, DVD player, fax machine 

Introducing Segera Retreat - A new age of Tourism in Kenya

When we first heard of Segera Retreat, we read of it in the Financial Times. And as we may all know, a Retreat featured in the Financial Times must have something unique that most retreats in Kenya do not have.  

First and foremost, Segera Retreat is owned by German entrepreneur Jochen Zeitz, who was appointed as chief executive of Puma aged 30, he is now the director of luxury goods group Kering (whose brands include Gucci, Stella McCartney and Balenciaga). He is also the chairman of its sustainable development committee. A three-time winner of the Financial Times’s Strategist of the Year award, he also sits on the board of Harley-Davidson and, with a Benedictine monk, wrote The Manager and the Monk, a discourse on responsible and sustainable business, which has so far been translated into 15 languages!

 
It is said that he bought Segera in 2006, and hopes to spend three to four months of the year there, but has just opened it to the public. There are eight guest cottages; rates are between $880 and $1,280 per person per night.

Location:
Segera is the central wildlife sanctuary in Laikipia, situated in the wooded savannah and grasslands of the Laikipia Plateau at an altitude of 1 700 – 1 800 m (5 577 – 5 906 ft) and immediately north of the equator. Home to a vast array of animal, bird and plant life, Segera provides an important corridor for the migration of elephant and other wide ranging species.

Segera’s central location and expansive 20 000 hectares (50 000 acres) at the very heart of Laikipia ensures that it is essential to effective wildlife and habitat management for the Ewaso ecosystem as a whole, forming part of a vital migratory corridor and providing a permanent home to many endangered species.

 
The Retereat:

Six timber and thatch villas are raised above a profusion of botanical life in the Segera “Oasis” with its sculpture garden; their elevated wooden platforms look out onto the surrounding savannah, swing beds below providing the perfect shaded midday relaxation as well as for a night out under the stars, surrounded by the sounds of Africa.

The gracious Segera House and perfectly positioned Villa Segera boast similarly spectacular views and even greater privacy and luxury. Run on solar energy and water being sustainably harvested and recycled, the villas gaze out over the Laikipia Plateau towards the spectacular Mount Kenya.
Within the privacy of the villas, a large bedroom and en-suite bathroom fill the upstairs space under timber trusses. 

A private sun deck in the garden offers comfortable sun loungers for soaking up the African sun, while a Jacuzzi bath, sunk into the deck outside the bedroom, offers a unique vantage point. Each villa includes in its décor original, individually selected paintings and other art from a range of Africa’s most inspiring artists.

Why they stand out from the rest? 

Segera aims to achieve sustainability through a holistic balance of the 4Cs, operating a tourism retreat and integrated land-use enterprise whilst fostering community development, cultural stewardship and biodiversity conservation. As a founding member and flagship Long Run Destination, Segera is setting a new standard for sustainable tourism and is a driving force in promoting and developing sustainable thinking and practise. 

 
Segera Ranch is sustainability in action. It allows guests to ‘4C the future,’ catching a glimpse of a positive and sustainable future for all and providing inspiration and practises for guests to take home and adopt in their own lives.
 
In essence, by sharing the 4Cs concept and the philosophy of acting today for a better tomorrow, we are confident that our guests will reconnect with nature and embrace a new way of viewing their relationship with the natural world and other cultures.
 
 
The 4C's

1. CONSERVATION
True to its belief that biodiversity is life, Segera is committed to biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources, safeguarding the integrity of the ecosystem of Laikipia.

2. COMMUNITY
People matter to Segera, as evidenced by its extensive efforts to contribute to and enhance the livelihood and wellbeing of its neighbouring communities and those throughout Laikipia.

3. CULTURE
At Segera we understand that our world is culturally diverse and therefore promoting intercultural respect and understanding is essential to safeguarding cultural heritage.

4. COMMERCE
Commercial sustainability represents the central elements of creating long-lasting change and sustainability.

 How to book them? Call us or drop us an email and we will book them for you!

 

Lake Turkana Festival

The Lake Turkana Festival will take place for the 6th consecutive year in Loyangalani town; on the shores of the awe-inspiring Jade Sea this May 2013. It is here where the 10 ethnic groups of the Lake Turkana region; El Molo, Rendille, Samburu, Turkana, Dassanach, Ghabra, Borana, Konso, Wata and Burji demonstrate through song and dance their unique differences and traditions.

In this remote and forgotten region; we are also made aware of the challenges faced by these minority tribes which include drought, environmental challenges, poor infrastructure and wrangling amongst each other. Thus whilst we awe at their impressive dress and ornaments and study their artifacts and way of life in the dramatic landscape that makes up the north of Kenya; the underlying goal remains and continues to be the promotion of peace and furthermore the appreciation of these fascinating tribes.

We are offering an exciting, adventurous and informative cultural tour on the shores of the Jade Sea (Lake Turkana)!

The tour also visits the Samburu Game reserve which is a fascinating park to visit with its peculiar mix of savanna and semi-arid landscape where the Ewaso Nyiro River forms the life line for the parks animals which include lions, numerous elephants, gerenuk, Grevys Zebra and various other species. 

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