We frequently receive updates and news from many of the camps we operate with throughout Africa. We have had two wonderful updates from our friends from Great Plains – whose lodges and camps include the wonderful Duba Plains in Botswana, Mara Plains in the Masai Mara of Kenya and Zimbabwe’s Sapi Explorers Camp – As well as Saruni – whose camps include Saruni Mara, Saruni Rhino and Saruni Samburu in Kenya. We thought we should share these updates from the ground with you!
Great Plains have updated us on revisiting their Great Plains Foundation. They are encouraging and incentivising all their staff to play a role in the Foundation. These opportunities include conservation and community work, volunteering, coming up with new project ideas and taking roles in where they can give back to the communities and conservation.
A recent report Great Plains has received, shows the incredible work achieved during two challenging years and exactly what this small foundation team has achieved. It talks about what they can do as conservationists and as players in Conservation Tourism to spread benefits from their business into protecting land and species and helping the communities around us. This new initiative dives more profoundly into conservation by empowering the staff to guide the Foundation on projects that will give more significant insights from the ground level to what is most relevant to the communities. An excellent example of this is already in place at Kenya’s Ol Donyo Lodge. The guides here approached the Foundation to consider funding teachers at the nearby schools. This week, the foundation approved the project to raise matching funding for scholarships for 100 Kenyan children.
In Botswana’s Seronga area, instead of arriving and imposing grand ideas on the community, the foundation went from village to village asking questions and finding out what was important to them. Only then did the foundation start to design projects and initiatives which the foundation might be able to fund.
Fun news from Saruni reports the following: ‘Stay away from my cubs!’ The moment when a huge adult male lion is chased away by Kisaru, the famous mama cheetah in Lemek Conservancy, home to Saruni Wild in the Masai Mara. Nature can be cruel. Having already lost some of her litter to hyena, Kisaru didn’t waste any time in sending this marauding lion on his way. In a bid to protect her remaining two cubs, she bravely gave chase. Luckily for them, the lion headed off without further fight.
Photos of this chase were captured by Saruni Mara’s head guide Saruni Kisimei whilst out with guests in the Conservancy. It’s not just Saruni who found it fascinating – an eagle-eyed follower on Saruni’s social media alerted two of the UK’s daily newspapers and they both ran with the story!
Do keep an eye on our own social media in the next couple of days as one of our team is jetting out to Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park and Victoria Falls, so stay tuned for some of our own highlights. Who knows, we may feature in a National UK news paper!