World rhino day went round with celebrations from wildlife ambassadors, Conservationists and everyone who believes in nature for one reason or two. But let’s look at it from the other side ; Yes, we all posted a rhino photo or two on our social media posts but how often do we look at the real issues , at what’s the main reason behind extinction and endangerment. What’s the Root CAUSE?
Is it human settlements and destruction of natural habitats or is it the Insatiable demand for rhino horn in the Middle East encouraging poaching?
FACTS of a BLACK and WHITE rhino.
BLACK Rhinos are browsers, have triangular hook shaped upper lips and have wound scars on their rough skin mainly covered in mud.
WHITE Rhinos are grazers, have square upper lips and have more smooth skin with no wound scars.
The white rhinos are calmer unlike the black rhinos that are known to randomly charge and unleash their anger on your sudden introduction into their territory. A rhino once charged on us out in the wild, hit our car and made a big hole on the driver’s door, that’s the scariest i’ve come to any wild animal.
Looking back at my previous post on Rhino conservation in Laikipia, to be honest I didn’t even have it in mind that it was a few days before the World Rhino day, otherwise that post would sound differently now and maybe be more detailed.
Have you heard of SUDAN? The last standing Northern male white rhino on earth?
Having been transferred from Czech to Kenya because of favorable conditions to survive here and to induce its breeding, its lifespan has increased and that’s a major success story for Olpejeta conservancy. Together with the other only surviving two northern white rhinos they are protected round the clock with sensors and guards and although the breeding trials with the southern whites have been unsuccessful, this conservation program has been a success story so far.
Olpejeta also has one of the largest Southern white rhino populations.We also have numerous privately owned conservancies that have stretched a hand to conservation.
Great RHINO VIEWS in KENYA.
Poaching has been a nightmare for black rhino conservation in Kenya but over the last few years we’ve seen the rhino population grow. More focus has been put to save this vulnerable animal from poaching. Some of the places with high rhino populations and perfect for a rhino game safari in Kenya include:
1. Solio Game Reserve.
Lying in central Kenya, Solio was the first rhino sanctuary in Kenya, protecting rhinos and providing a safe home to the threatened species. Black rhinos wander out in the open plains and offer amazing sightings on your game drive.
2. Lewa Conservancy.
Competing with Olpejeta on the southern side, Lewa sits on the northern side of Laikipia and has a large population of black and white rhinos whose conservation was pioneered by the legendary Craig Family. A usual game drive here is characterized by a close encounter with a black rhino. It also Borders Borana Wildlife Conservancy that also focuses on black rhino conservation.
3. Nakuru national park.
Kenya’s only premium park acquired this status as a result of rhino conservation and the random sightings of calm grazing rhinos by the lakeside. Lake Nakuru is a protection zone for white and black rhinos among other wildlife species that are easily identified on the dusty rugged landscape when you shift eyes away from the millions of pink floating flamingos on the lake.
4. Tsavo East National park.
Rhino protection is a major deal for Tsavo and Ngulia Rhino sanctuary in Tsavo has provided a home for this threatened species. Famous for its lions, Tsavo is one of the largest wildlife protection zones in Africa and you are sure of a rhino charge if not a roaring blood thirsty lion.
5. Aberdares National Park.
Rhinos hate being surprised and the dense vegetation of Aberdares does not make this easy. Driving around Aberdares, its not the usual savannah sightings of wildlife experience but a rather keen predetermined search of the elusive rhinos a midst trees and tall tuft grass. Aberdares also offers great Big 5 sightings in-between the dense grasslands.
6. Nairobi national park.
Spilling out from a major International airport it’s also famous for Kifaru Ark which is an identity it holds for protecting the endangered species. Enraged black rhinos wandering out on the golden savannahs in front of the amazing skyscrapers backdrop is a sunset view anyone would yearn for in a safari.
7. Maasai Mara National Park.
There is a reason Maasai Mara is an ultimate destination for any African game safari. While it’s outstanding for the wildebeest migration wonder, other wildlife species are also in abundant existence here and rhinos are part of the big 5 sightings.
Other places Include:
Meru National Park, Olpejeta Conservancy, Ngwesi Ranch, Ruma National Park, Amboseli and Samburu National park.
I am a conservationist at heart, an advocate for the environment and while the struggle to make a big change is overwhelming, it’s always about the small things, like how you would re-use and recycle stuff, how to not dispose that waste on the street or how to just plant one tree even when you haven’t cut any. How to protect what we already have and how to conserve it for future use.
KENYA’S PLASTIC BAN.
Then we have the Plastic ban issue that’s going on around Kenya currently. I’ve avoided the discussion because we are still trying to adjust to it but maybe if I’d take two seconds to air my opinion,I hope you wouldn’t scold me for it.
It saddens me to hear people around complain about the plastic ban, not because they can’t live without plastics, or it’s reducing their lifespan in some way, but just because humans hate change, they hate going out of their way to slightly alter some routine. But if I look at it, the only issue is maybe the few extra shillings you have to pay to pack your shopping items once you hit the shop and remember you didn’t carry your bag. On the positive side a few years from now if we implement this bill to the letter then we’ll look back and wish we did this way earlier. Am glad finally someone stood for conservation and pollution. My worry is for this implementation to work we need to go all the way or just maybe 90% all in.
It’s not really about the shopping bags being banned or the “Mama Duka” wrappers but we need to go down to the food packaging at the factory, to all the household items wrapped up in plastic. To be a bit honest most of the plastic waste is from household goods packaging because that becomes useless immediately we take the last bite. There is no two way about the plastic ban, implementing it at the consumer level while still having it at the production level is a waste of time. We need a conscience mind, the right sense of implementation and total adherence to the rules and if still 6 months down the line we see items still packaged in plastics then we need to go back to the drawing board for this to work.
Rhino conservation has been around for ages, but how come there is still a market for Ivory?
I would blame it all on poaching but I’d also look at the existing natural conditions to survive. The diminishing natural habitat that ensures the endangered species thrives. While the human population graph is shooting upwards daily and urbanization is at its core we need to protect the natural habitats, Respect the conservation process and with a conscience mind have that conversation as often as possible.
Kenya is one of the countries that pride in tourism for economic development, but what’s tourism without the wildlife safaris. It’s not about the luxurious hotels and fancy restaurants by the beach but it’s about the experience acquired during the day outside that dimly lit room and once the plates are lifted from the dining table. We pride in Conservation, our parks and conservancies have gone a great mile to protect the rare species we have and to ensure we benefit from these resources in the future.
Be a part of conservation, be a part of change, be a part of the only solution to human problems. 🙂 🙂