MAASAI BEADWORK IN THE MARA

On your next African safari, there’s one place you will be sure to find the best Maasai beadwork in Kenya. At Basecamp Explorer’s Enjoolata Information Centre in Maasai Mara. Beadwork is one of the most complex forms of artistry, certainly outstanding, perhaps even exclusive, since it involves a lot of creativity and uniqueness. But, often, we only come across the finished products without putting much thought into the process used to compose this eccentric form of art. At Enjoolata Information Centre in Basecamp, Maasai Mara, not only will you get the finished product, but you also get to watch and understand the fine art of Maasai beadwork.    

Beaded belts
A trader displays pieces of the fine beadwork done by the Basecamp Maasai Brand community project at Enjoolata Information Centre in the Mara. The project is meant to empower and give women in the region a source of livelihood.

    To the Maasai people, beads highlight their dress code which is never complete without beaded decorations. Be it a belt. Bangles. Pendants. Bracelets. Anklets. Trinkets. Sandals. Necklaces. So forth. Beads are the main condiment in Maasai attire. Beadwork is, therefore, an activity accorded great importance in the community. It represents the cultural values and traditions of the Maasai and signifies age and social status. So important is the practice that women, who do the Maasai beadwork, are expected to learn and perfect the art for the benefit of the community.

Beaded bracelets
Bracelets are part of the fine Maasai beadwork made at the Enjoolata Information Centre in Basecamp, Maasai Mara. The community-based project benefits 160 women from the region.

    Maasai Brand is a community project supported and housed by Basecamp Explorer at the Enjoolata Information Centre in the Mara. The community-based organization led by the project manager, Jemimah Sirowua, has 160 women from the Maasai Mara landscape who participate in the beadwork program. “We make different kinds of items. Bracelets, belts, bangles. We also do leatherwork like leather bags and wallets.” Explains a soft-spoken Jemimah. Basecamp began the project in 2003 with four main aims. First was a desire to empower the local women, give them a source of income, eradicate poverty, and modify the Maasai culture of beadwork. Basecamp Explorer buys the material used for the beadwork. The women go through capacity development and quality control training to maintain the standards and enhance their beadwork skills. They are provided with space for a workshop alongside a shop where they practice their skills and sell the art.           

    Here, at the serene setting of Enjoolata Information Centre, you will find the Maasai women of the Mara countryside busy doing what they love best. The women’s commitment to beading is so palpable. Their superb display of skill and passion comes with almost infectious energy. One cannot help but stare as their dextrous hands string the beads as if by magic chance. When you witness it first-hand, Maasai beadwork appears a craft as simple as it is complex. You get to watch, love and respect the effort put into the work, and marvel even more at the finished product. Most importantly, perhaps, you finally understand why beadwork deserves a higher pedestal in the world of art. In supporting the project, Basecamp Explorer Foundation must have seen and decided to cultivate this massive potential in the sole interest of the community.

Maasai women
Women sort out their beadwork at the BMB workshop. They are taken through capacity development and quality control training to maintain the standards and enhance their beadwork skills.

    The project manager, Jemimah Sirowua, says the project has gone a long way in uplifting the women. “They are paid for each piece they make. 75% of the cost of the item goes back to the lady who has done the beadworks. 25% of the cost of the item covers the administration costs of the project. We have eight staff members here working for the women. Some are working at the shops, and others are within the workshop centre. The project has impacted women in various ways. They can take their children to school, buy food, afford hospital bills and buy assets.” She explains. This Maasai beadwork empowerment has changed dynamics in a community where women were not allowed to own assets. “Because of Basecamp Explorer Maasai Brand project, most of the women have been able to own plots and cows. The main economic activity here in the Mara is livestock. Most of them now have cows that they proudly call their own,” asserts Jemimah, who has adorned herself with a beautifully beaded necklace made at the workshop.

   On the job, the women train on how to get the sizes right, perfect colour combinations, and create contemporary designs. Some of them are able, albeit with lots of practice, to master complex patterns and teach their peers in the group. Apart from these work-related benefits, the Maasai beadwork project educates the women in other disciplines such as investment; how to save and apply for loans in banks. In addition to this, they have also benefited from the social empowerment they get from the project. “Some acquire leadership skills and become chair ladies of certain groups from the six subdivisions that we have within the brand.” Reveals Jemimah Sirowua. 

Beautiful Maasai Woman
Basecamp Maasai brand project manager, Jemimah Sirowua, signs off a sale as one of the workshop workers looks on. The project has uplifted hundreds of women in the Mara and provided employment to quite a good number of locals.

   The Maasai beadwork project by Basecamp Explorer sources materials needed for the work through recycling. A rice bag provides the thread used to string the products. The women pull a strand from it and twist it nicely, an activity that requires a lot of patience. It reduces the cost of production, and since the source is reliable, they get a constant supply of the thread. The project also relies on the tips of horns of dead cows to make a button for leather handbags and a twisted leather necklace. One of Basecamp Explorer’s other main involvements in the Maasai Mara community is a waste management project that involves the collection of plastics for recycling.

   For the women of the Mara who have benefited from this project, the Maasai Brand beadwork is a golden chance to make something out of their lives. As the sun sets on the last day of our trip to the Mara, two beneficiaries of the Maasai beadwork undertaking tell me how much this opportunity means to them. “I enjoy beadwork, and although my passion lies in the fact that the venture is beneficial to me, I love coming here every morning.” Says a beaming Janet Rakwa. “Through the money I get, I send my kids to school, sometimes buy utensils and furniture. I can even start another business if I want.” Adds Jennifer Muronya. “If not this job,” she adds, “I would be staying at home, doing chores, being a housewife.” Both women agree that the project is a source of solace to them. They have a home at Enjoolata Information Centre, a place where they can polish their cherished beadwork skills, find shade, and make hay while the sun shines.                

Maasai Beads
The Maasai women train on how to get the sizes right, perfect colour combinations, and create contemporary designs. Some of them are able to master such complex patterns and teach their peers in the group.

WRITTEN AND EDITED BY: Tim Njugi, Writer, Blogger, and Photographer

STORY COURTESY: David Macharia, CEO and Founder, Versatile Photographers          

Maasai Mara: Enjoolata Information Centre

When you set out to the great Maasai Mara on a maiden trip, your imagination is alive with scenes of vast grasslands, endless savannah stretching for kilometres as far as the eye can see. Wavy hills, the occasional sprout of an acacia, the slow march of elephants, the trot of wild dogs, and the rowdy gallop of wildebeests. You envisage lions on the prowl seeking the next zebra to devour. Overhear their roar. And you foresee the cheetah’s lightning-speed sprint. It all plays out in your mind as you travel to The Mara. And then you arrive at the Enjoolata Information Centre.

Lion cubs
Two lion cubs trot in the Maasai Mara jungle. As you travel to the region, your imagination is awash with such scenes. PHOTO COURTESY: Versatile Photographers.

Set within Base Camp, Maasai Mara, which lies in the hems of the National Reserve, Enjoolata Information Centre is like gold in the midst of an ocean. Encountering the place comes with a feeling of awe and satisfaction, not only because it wasn’t part of your expectations but also because the serene setting is the perfect place to host a haven of information. Enjoolata, which, in Maasai, translates to knowing or finding a hidden thing, feels just like a discovery. The architecture itself is unique with open, spacious rooms that invite some soothing birdsong, the serene ambiance of the place, and convene at a quadrangle for a night-time bone fire and an outdoor cinema. Each of the eleven sections holds equal weight in the quest to empower and garner information. There’s an addictive library, its shelves rich in literature ranging from Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield to National Geographic picture books, and walls dotted with expressive art pieces that leave you smiling. Two exhibition centres showcase pictures and facts about the local wildlife. There is a space set aside for an upcoming community radio station that will no doubt impact the people living around the area.   

Enjoolata Map
A map of Enjoolata information Centre. Each of the eleven sections holds equal weight in the quest to empower and garner information.

   Enjoolata Information Centre was founded in 2019 by the Basecamp Explorer Foundation, a non-governmental organization immersed in fighting wildlife extinction in conjunction with local communities. Although still in its infancy, the centre boasts a lively human presence, rife with the excitement of the opportunity to be here, to find this treasure trove of information and knowledge in the middle of The Mara. Such was the enthusiasm seen on the faces of six employees of the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA) when they attended a three-day USAID-sponsored photography training by Versatile School of Photography at Enjoolata Information Centre’s Edit room. A few steps away at room five is a BMB workshop where local Maasai women have been provided with a space to do their beadwork beside a shop where they sell their craft. One cannot help but see the zeal of these women who are finally empowered.

Enjoolata Library
A section of the library at Enjoolata Information Centre within Basecamp in the Maasai Mara, Kenya. The serene ambiance of the place makes it the perfect place to lose yourself in a good book.

At the centre of Enjoolata’s core values are conservation and the need to involve the local community in these efforts. The founder seeks to answer two pressing questions in the Maasai Mara. How is climate change affecting the preservation of flora and fauna? And how is it affecting the livelihood of the Maasai People?  “It is a call to action,” says Mr. Francis Sopia, the Basecamp Explorer Foundation’s Chief Project Manager. “How can we as a community contribute to curbing climate change and reduce the effects in the conservation arena and also in our livelihoods?” He poses. The information about climate change provided by the centre goes a long way in creating the public awareness needed to fight climate change which has gravely affected the world. It is no wonder that three of Basecamp Explorer’s five major projects are on conservation. The first, reforestation, encourages the locals to participate in reviving and restoration of lost vegetation cover. Second, a water project provides accessibility of clean water to the Maasai community. The foundation also runs a waste management plan that involves collecting plastics from lodges and areas around and sending them hundreds of kilometres to the capital, Nairobi, to be recycled.

One of the employees of the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (MMWCA) who attended a three-day photography training by Versatile School of Photography practices videography skills. Two rooms at the Enjoolata Information Centre are dedicated to a gallery where pictures and facts of the local wildlife are displayed.

  The centre is a pot stewing with Maasai values. “This is where you will find the culture of the Maasai. Talk about the artifacts. Talk about everything that concerns or pertains to the Maasai culture.” Says Emmanuel Kisemei, a communication officer at MMWCA. Enjoolata Information Centre is also the hub of research done in the Maasai Mara. In seeing the need to keep the Maasai cultural info and the data of certain species intact, Basecamp Explorer Foundation also offers material on how Maasai culture and conservation come together. Today, the foundation has provided an opportunity to safeguard both the culture and the breath-taking experience of the Maasai Mara. Enjoolata Information Centre has two rooms for professors who wish to come to the Mara to do their research. “In order not to lose the information, we’d like it to remain with us here at the centre. If the stakeholders, landowners, or community need the info, they can find it here at Enjoolata.” Concludes Mr. Francis Sopia.

Maasai women
The Maasai beadwork workshop at the Enjoolata Information Centre. The project benefits 160 women from the Maasai Mara landscape.

WRITTEN AND EDITED BY: Tim Njugi, Writer, Blogger, and Photographer

STORY COURTESY: David Macharia, CEO and Founder, Versatile Photographers  

Jim Justus Nyamu Official Flag Of at KICC

Official flag of of the East Southern Africa walk through Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana to South Africa.

We, Versatile Adventures met Jim Justus Nyamu the Executive Director at Elephant Neighbor Centre during the global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions which happens annually  as we were sharing our conservation idea as Versatile Adventures. It has been a journey, a successful one because we all believe in creating awareness through a walk and photography. 

One of the exclusive images of Versatile Adventures available at The Versatile Art Gallery at Village Market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Nyamu objectives include, to raise awareness of the fast depleting population of elephants and rhinos at the grassroots level, To encourage local communities to participate in conservation programs and To educate communities on laws enacted.

Wildlife photographer, and founder Versatile Adventures, David Macharia with executive director at ENC during official flag of day.

The director at Elephant Neighbor centre, has so far walked for 12000 kilometres, and 560 miles to the United states of America through the 8 states, to encourage USA to stop availing ivory market. On this day 14th July, 2018 the official flag off of the East Southern Africa walk took place at Kenyatta International Conference Centre on the Comesa grounds.

Ready to take off! Elephant Neighbor centre Gear.

 

 

 

USA ambassador H.E Robert Godec buying merchandise to support the East Southern Africa walk.

Mr. Jim Nyamu and his team embarks on a 4200 kilometres walk from Kenya to South Africa through Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. The walk will take 160 days sensitizing communities at the grassroots level on the need to protect the Elephants.

Jim Nyamu with dignitaries. And the 4200 kilometre walk kicked off from KICC through Parliament road Kenya. 

 

 

 

Speaking during the official flag of, the executive director at ENC, challenged Kenyans to stop taking up the role of killing their own pride and heritage. Mr. Jim Nyamu will make several stop overs addressing communities who have a closer proximity to the wild realize the worth of having the elephants and Rhinos alive.

Executive Director at Elephant Neighbor Centre addressing the publics before his official take off.

In attendance was H.E US ambassador Robert Godec, H.E Ireland ambassador Dr. Vincent O’Neil, H.E Colombian ambassador madam Elizabeth Taylor and a representative from the British High commissioner. Giving his speech, US ambassador assured Jim Nyamu full support from his country and wished him a safe and successful walk.

From left,Representative from the British High Commissioner,  Colombian ambassador madam Elizabeth Taylor, Dr. Patrick Omondi, USA ambassador H.E Robert Godec, Mr. Jim Nyamu, Ireland ambassador Dr. Vincent(black t-shirt) and Hon. Mwenda Mbijiwe. 

Representing the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Principal Secretary, state department of wildlife Dr. Margaret Mwakima was Dr. Patrick Omondi, Heard of research. In her speech, Dr. Margaret Mwakima acknowledged Jim Nyamu’s initiative saying it demonstrated the uniqueness of Kenya in bringing together public, private partnership in wildlife conservation sphere. The impact and significance of the East Southern Africa campaign cannot be underestimated and the government is in full support of the campaign objectives, she said.

Executive director, Jim Nyamu ready for the 5 months journey.

 

If you touch an ivory from an elephant, thats a dead animal. #Lets stop poaching

#IvoryBelongsToTheElephant

#StepWithNyamu

#PhotographyForConservation

#PhotographyInTheWild

Story written by Christine Mwaura

The Elegant and Swift Impala

 

The elegant and swift Impala is a species found in the open plains, such as the #NairobiNationalPark where this photo was taken. Impalas are the most widespread and common antelope in the savannah’s and woodlands of east and southern Africa. They have an acute sense of smell and hearing, though their sight is not well developed. These antelopes spot a reddish brown glossy coat and can leap up to 11 meters in length and 3 meters in height when being pursued by predators. They live where water is available, feed mainly on short grasses and occasionally browse from trees and bushes, and live in herds of between six to 20 animals. Impalas are the most common source of food for predators.

Conservation status Africa is home to 72 of the world’s 91 antelope and gazelle species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the Impala as a species of least concern. The black-faced subspecies which is confined to southwestern Angola and Kaokoland in northwestern Nambia, is classified as a vulnerable species, with less than 1,000 individuals remaining in the wild as of 2008.

Special Thanks to @Kathy Karambu

Versatile Adventures is a Versatile Photographers initiative to create awareness for Wildlife, Conservation, Tourism and Culture through content development

#PhotographyForConservation

#PhotographyInTheWild

My 1st Experience at Nairobi Park during #PhotographyInTheWild Event

We should all promote Domestic tourism, I’m proud because I got to attend the photography in the wild March edition. Walking up early was quite the challenge but just to see the beautiful sunrise, anything is possible. What makes it better is we were given one two tips on shooting beautiful sunrises by the renowned David Macharia. We then continued with the game drive with our awesome guide, Saidi Mwash from Bigfoot Adventures Kenya,getting to see about 12 vichwas, 2 pembes, and lots of shingos. If you really don’t know the terms then get out of your comfort and join Versatile adventures for the April edition. The kichwa is a lion,pembe is rhino and shingo…I’ll leave that to you to find out. We would stop just to get the perfect shot.

A Lion Hiding in the Bush at Nairobi National Park

 

A Giraffe’s  ossicones are used to fight

The stop at the picnic site was just the best. We were taught that patience is the biggest value required while doing wildlife photography. You can wait for about 3 hours just to get that perfect shot. Yes… 3 hours.
From there we continued with the game drive spotting a lot of antelopes.

Photographers, hobbyists,bloggers conservationist and tour guides during photography in the wild March edition

Lunch is a story for another day.

You can join Versatile adventures for the April edition on 21st. Mark that date for you don’t want to miss out on this and more.. let’s capture images of our resource and caption them in your own words how to conserve them #PhotographyForConservation

@GloriaNdanu

The Dark Earth

In the past few recent years, a tremendous revolution in the industrialization sector in developed countries has led to immeasurable and the most damaging effects on the environment. This contagious necessary evil has extended to the third world countries who are fighting to live up to the level of these developed nations. It is with deep regret that only a few individual countries are up to the fight to once again bring life back to the once vibrant environment. At this rate, it is plausible to foresee a dark planet which screams for mercy to breathe again.

Poor vegetation along Kenyan Highlands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Kenya for instance, and specifically our capital-Nairobi, environmental conservation is a major setback that has robbed the city of the clean vicinity, air as well as a noise-free city. The rot that has masked the city is a Herculean task to handle. In this regard, the National and County governments should be put to task and explain or at least come up with concrete ideas to refresh the city once again.

Nairobi clean city, that everyone wants to live in. 

It goes without saying that the rot that is eating up both Nairobi River and the Dandora dumpsite exposes the kind of poor sanitation we are living in. That said, cleaning and keeping our environment and city should be a prime responsibility of all and sundry. The government should be lauded for banning the plastic bags that were choking our environment. It is encouraging that the governments of East Africa Nations have taken the same initiative.

Marine species was at a risk of extinction due to choking by plastic bags

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the other hand, it is of the essence to sensitize the people on various ways to ensure that environment remains habitable for all organisms. This should be made possible by mobilizing masses to support the government in its efforts of conservation. To encourage them to embrace environmental conservation, the government should strengthen them by providing facilities such as bins in strategic positions which serve to collect garbage, Garbage collected should be separated into organic waste, plastic waste thus being easy to recycle.

Through conservation, we will enjoy favorable climatic conditions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Environmental pollution by carbon sources is also another worrying factor that has continued to inflict wounds in our precious nature. It is sickening to live in a city where the filth of smoke and smog are a part and parcel of our otherwise clean air. This has been contributed by rapid industrialization as well as automobiles which have seen bad days but still operating on the roads. The government must move swiftly to salvage the worrying trend of the carbon and its products which has played a big role in choking our environment. A better solution and which seems saner than the use of fossil fuel is the adoption of the green energy. The industries are encouraged to adopt the use of solar-powered engines to avoid depletion of the ozone layer which has drastic impacts on the environment.

Tree planting one of the initiatives by Kakamega Heritage Foundation and Versatile Adventures team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The immediate resultant effects of these carbon sources in respiratory diseases which affects human beings. Another immediate effect is the contamination of the water sources which could lead to various ailments due to poison in the water. The National Assembly should enact laws which regulate the use of the fossil fuel in order to conserve our environment.
In conclusion, conservation is the heartbeat of our existence and our prime responsibility is to keep it in its appealing nature.

 

 

Spirit of Adventure

‘Drying Mara spells doom for wildlife’. It’s one of the headlines which captured my mind and took my attention. This was in one of our local newspapers, ‘The daily nation’. I had to take time and think about this. ‘Our wildlife our heritage’ is one of our slogans as Kenyans. Kenya benefits a lot from the wildlife and tourism industry and if we get to hear such news, it is true we have to be and get worried for they are not pleasant to listen to.

Activities such as tree cutting is among the highly discouraged anthropogenic activity at the Mara National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anthropogenic activities have posed a great threat to our tourism industry. Encroachment of wildlife habitats by locals for farming and settling due to high population growth has directly affected our ecosystems. The many benefits we enjoyed from the vast forests and vegetation we had including temperature regulation, climate regulation, carbon sinks have to a far greater extent been slowly diminishing from our sights.

Leopards often drag their prey on top of a tree to avoid them being taken by other animals. Mara National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clearing up of huge areas under trees have been the order of the day. We have developed some notions in our minds of caring about much for today without wanting to know how our present actions will affect the future. We tend to be much focused with what is for today and forgetting about tomorrow. We all know that tourism, plays a pivotal role in economic development and the main tourist attraction element in Kenya is the rich wildlife resources we have. Maasai Mara in particular is one of the most exciting places famously known for the annual spectacular wildebeests migration to Serengeti Park. The conditions in the park are of no doubt unbearable to the wildlife. According to the newspaper, already wildebeests, hippos, elephants and buffalos have migrated to Serengeti Park in Tanzania.

Herd of elephants moving towards the Mara tree for a shade and rest.

It is clear that we have to join hands to avoid further destructions of the ecosystem. Checking on the population growth and the over exploitation of natural resources within the core areas of the Mara should be our sole goal so that we can save the reserve. The migration of these animals is a great concern that should not be taken lightly for it risks the sustenance of our future generation.

Giraffe good eyesight helps it to avoid surprise attacks from predators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is our mandate to protect and conserve the forests which are sustaining the Mara River which are Mau and Nyakweri Forests in Transamara, Enoosupuka Forest in Narok West and Loita Forest in Narok South. The Mara River ecosystem is the sole determiner of life in the region. This calls therefore for efforts to be made and actions to be taken to ensure this ecosystem is protected. Its effects are very clear for if the wildlife in the reserve have steadily reduced in population, then it’s definite that we shall have few tourists visiting the area and corresponding decrease in income earned.

The best way to protect the Mara is through planting a tree and adopting it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is my appeal to all stakeholders and all locals concerned, it is our role to advocate for sustainable development. Let’s stand in solidarity to protect Maasai Mara national park and save lives. It’s our obligation to care for our wildlife and promote and protect tourism.

Versatile Adventures is a Versatile Photographers initiative to create awareness for Wildlife, Conservation, Tourism and Culture through content development

#PhotographyForConservation

#PhotographyInTheWild

#March Edition Photography In The Wild Game Drive at Nairobi National Park

Game drive session. Maasai Mara National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Early morning game drive at Nairobi National Park?

This is what you need to know about the game drives at National Parks. Since you will be leaving early in the morning, park the previous day. For instance, if your game drive is on Saturday, pack on Friday evening. Charge your batteries, remember the park has no charger, or electricity connectivity, its the wild, home to animals who know nothing about electric power, its an adventure. Remember to buy snacks. Pack everything you need early enough so as not to forget.

Conservationists gear in use was off the chain! #PhotographyForConservation

 

 

Father and son preserving memories at Nairobi park early in the morning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carry your sunscreen, sunglasses and a cap. Put on comfortable shoes, adjustable cloth wear because in the morning the weather tends to be chilly but come mid-morning hours, it turns out to be hot. Be at the meeting point early enough for you not to be left behind. Remember to carry your national identity for identification purpose the Kenya Wildlife Service, if you are a Non-residence, or a Residence make sure n to carry your passport. 

Bigfoot Adventures Executives vans parked outside Radisson Blu to ferry tourists to the park.

Versatile Adventures is a Versatile Photographers initiative to create awareness for Wildlife, Conservation, Tourism and Culture through content development.

We as Versatile Adventures, hold a monthly event dubbed #PhotographyInTheWild. An initiative which takes people to visit Nairobi National Park once every month with an aim of communicating the need to conserve the park using Photography as a tool to sell the importance of our Natural Heritage, our pride.

During the Game Drive, always have in mind what is it that you want to capture,  compose it in your mind before you click. Which story do you want to tell? What impact will it have to the society? Make sure it is a conservation revolution.

Photography is an Art and a tool to communicate the need to conserve the Natural Heritage. How would you feel when someone invades your privacy for instance your home and decides to build a public trespass through your acre of land? Is that not the same thing that the wild animals are facing? The animals may be resilient at first but eventually they will run away. Kenya as a country, will lose its title as the only country with a park in the city.

Beautiful view of Nairobi city from the Park

How will the game rangers, office administrators families that depend on Kenya Wildlife Service sustain their lifestyle? Human wildlife conflict will be the order of the day because, the wild animals will try to secure a safer home, this will end up with them being attacked too.  

This is a treasure that Nairobi city has, a pride of Lions, Bufalos, Cattle Eget bird I am sure you don’t know what type of bird it is. Come visit the park and experience this peaceful atmosphere with the only destruction being noise from the birds melodious

Join us the next edition which will take place on 21st April, 2018 from as early as 5:30am.  

The Silent Voices of Wildlife

The silent voices of wildlife have been heard far and wide globally. However, it is unfortunate that there is part of humankind that is not humane and has turned a deaf ear to these voices. Human illegal activities have led to an alarming decline in the wildlife population. Our vibrant biodiversity is at risk of depletion due to our activities that hurt their habitat and wildlife itself. It is a high time we stop and think what would be the welcome note to our future generation into this sickly planet with sickly inhabitants.

A cool and quiet atmosphere enjoyed by the birds at Hyena dam

A current case example that serves to send the point home is the construction of the Standard Gauge Railway across Nairobi National Park. It is an immeasurable act of insult to our vibrant National Park that poses a great risk of decline in wildlife that inhabits it. This may result from destructions caused by the trains noise, air pollution which may lead to health risks of the animals in the park as well as their death. Various animals will respond differently to the effects of the construction of this railway and its use. This will lead to a decline of the endangered species as well as the decline in revenue generation from this park. This is a prime area and the only park within the city thus the government must reconsider its decision to construct this railway across it.

This beautiful creature was captured at the Nairobi National Park during #PhotographyIntheWild event

According to the Living Planet Report 2014, the population sizes of vertebrate species which include birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish have declined by 52 percent over the last 40 years. This means that those populations around the globe have dropped by more than half in fewer than two human generations. It also noted that our own demands on nature are unsustainable and increasing almost uncontrollably. Further, the report indicated that we need 1.5 Earths to generate the natural resources we currently use. According to this report, the most hurting part is that we cut down trees faster than they mature, harvest more fish than the ocean replenish, and emit more carbon into the atmosphere and the oceans can absorb. These directly affect the wildlife existence and its reproduction.

The African Savannah Impala grazing captured at Maasai mara National Park

Such inhumane activities by human beings, however, can be salvaged by putting across various measures. This can be achieved by bringing together various stakeholders concerned to save the situation. These measures include creating awareness of the importance of wildlife habitats as well as provide alternatives to the use of resources from these habitats. Another measure is the reduction of carbon emission by encouraging industries to adopt the green energy initiative in order to stop the poisoning of our wildlife.
The government is also encouraged to draft legislation that will regulate the release of various chemicals and oil spills into rivers and oceans respectively. This will ensure that the aquatic life is protected against harmful and toxic chemicals.

A team of conservationists creating awareness through photography. Event #PhotographyInTheWild

In conclusion, the global governments and international communities should prioritize issues related to trends in wildlife and historical changes in climate and its implications for biodiversity to ensure that the future generations will get to enjoy our heritage.

Versatile Adventures is a Versatile Photographers initiative to create awareness for Wildlife, Conservation, Tourism and Culture through content development

#PhotographyForConservation

#PhotographyInTheWild

 

African Buffalos

A pair of African Buffaloes, also known as Cape buffaloes, graze near the dam at the #NairobiNationalPark. Buffaloes are one of the Big Five game attractions making them a sought after trophy in hunting. Their characteristic horns form a continuous bone shield across the top of their head, referred to as a “boss”. The horns form fully when the animal attains the age of five or six years. African buffaloes weigh about 631 kilograms are unique to South and East Africa. They have never been domesticated and are widely regarded as dangerous animals, reportedly goring and killing over 200 people every year.

Conservation status The current status of African Cape buffalo is dependent on the animal’s value to both trophy hunters and tourists, paving way for conservation efforts through anti-poaching patrols and village crop damage payouts. Buffaloes are classified as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as the species remains widespread with an estimated global population of nearly 900,000 animals. More than three-quarters live in protected areas.

Special thanks to Kathy Karambu.

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