Orchids of Lolldaiga Hills Ranch

The plant family Orchidaceae is geographically extensive, with representatives found in every country excepting a number of islands and Antarctica. Because of their vast ecological range and brilliantly diverse flowers, orchids are of special interest to botanists, plant collectors, and conservationists alike. To date, four species of epiphytic orchid have been located on Lolldaiga Hills Ranch. While three species have come into flower, allowing for their identification, one species is currently being observed and will be identified once it blooms. Based on the shape of its leaves, however, this species is probably Aerangis confusa. No species of terrestrial orchids have yet been found on Lolldaiga Hills Ranch.

Below are photographs of the three species that have been identified for Lolldaiga Hills Ranch.

A First for Africa – Microchips for NRT Cattle

NRT Trading is trialling a cattle microchip, never before used in Africa, which will revolutionise the Livestock to Markets Programme and benefit thousands of pastoralists in northern Kenya.

The NRT Trading Livestock to Markets (LTM) Programme bought over 2,360 cattle from 10 different conservancies in 2014. Identifying each animal bought is vital to prove ownership, measure performance, monitor disease and medication, and access information about age, breeding and origin. But traditional methods of identification include hot iron branding, paint marks, and ear tags, each of which is subject to a number of challenges. Paint comes off, ear tags can be tampered with, and hot iron branding can become illegible. Reading and recording a given identification number is also subject to a large amount of human error, as notes from the field have to be manually transferred to a computer database.

In response to these challenges, NRT have been trialling an electronic identification (e-id) system with LTM partners, Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The e-id system, currently only in use in the USA and India, is based on a small microchip inserted behind the animal’s ear. This can be read using a specialised scanner. Information is automatically recorded in a database, along with any other desired details, to provide a comprehensive history of the animal and its products. The trial in Ol Pejeta has shown that implementing this system across the entire LTM Programme will save time, money, labour and cut down error margins. Not only that, but the database can be made readily accessible to high-end market customers, providing assurance of the origin and quality of the product and justifying the levy of premium product prices.

Kenya Buget Highlights

We provide this information as a service to our members. We do not vouch for the accurancy of the report supplied by our accountants. However, you may enjoy the error at the bottom of page 5 where only Ksh 5 has been allocated for “contingency”.

Kenya Budget

 

#TECHMEETSWILD at Ol Pejeta Conservancy – Laikipia

techmeets wild2Poking, Meta-title, Avatars, Blog-roll, Widgets – words that belong in some sort of science fiction manual but also easily articulated by avid bloggers who are transforming the way news is delivered and stories are told. These unorthodox writers are paving the way for heated discussions that are setting the World Wide Web ablaze and are clearly set on moving away from conventional ways of broadcasting stories.

And so a great opportunity was presented when Ol Pejeta Conservancy, located in Laikipia County, recently hosted 5 of Kenya’s brilliant bloggers with the aim of giving a new spin on news; to benefit not only the Conservancy but the entire County.

Laikipia seems to be misunderstood. Conversations surrounding the County rarely include the beauty resulting from a melting pot of diverse cultures; a deep love for conservation and prosperity, and complex dynamics set in motion as a result of those who have made the conscious choice to find sustainable solutions to conservation challenges.techmeetswild3

Community partnerships have been formed with the hope that all can benefit from Laikipia’s unique offerings, and there are plenty of organisations leading the efforts. In fact, it is estimated that over USD7million is invested in various Corporate Social Responsibility activities in Laikipia annually!

Ol Pejeta for example, has provided support to surrounding communities through various programmes – investments valued at Ksh 45 million. The conservancy is also exploring the possibility of using drones for security purposes to join the already existing elite 32 man armed-team and anti-canine poaching unit.

The beauty of Laikipia’s topography epitomises what is great about the region but so do the people. So perhaps with more initiatives like #TechMeetsWild, and a conscious effort from Kenya’s writers and journalists, more insight into why Laikipia is loved by so many will come to light.

Like-ipia? We Love it!

Tech Meets Wild.

Organic Waste Management Practices at Tourism facilities

Greetings from Ecotourism Kenya!
One of the main challenges faced by accommodation facilities is on organic waste management. There are several unique models adopted by various Eco-rated facilities. This weeks’ Eco-byte is focused on sensitizing members on the replicable organic waste management practices at facilities.
Organic waste is the most common type of waste produced by accommodation facilities and at the same time, a challenge to manage. Internationally, we all aim to abide by the general waste reduction hierarchy; reduce, reuse and recycle.

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What’s next when you have to compost?
Ecotourism experts recommend the most replicable practice on organic waste management for hotels is by donating it to either local community as pig feed or compositing for manure.
Composting provides a mechanism for disposing off extra portions of waste in a way that can benefit the environment. In this article we specifically look at viable composting options where pig feeding is not an option. Below is a brief overview of the different composting methods; however, it is important to pick the most effective and appropriate model depending on the circumstances.
Option 1:
In this model, a metallic cover with lockable lids is placed on a pit. This model can be improved by installing a cage (illustrated above) to reinforce the metallic covering. This is crucial in wildlife areas to keep off scavengers notably monkeys. In addition, it would assist to avoid possible wildlife falls into the pit.

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Option 2: Composting:
In this option, a cover is made using iron sheets for rain proofing purposes – the edges are enclosed by wire mesh to prevent scavengers notably monkeys and mongoose.

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Option 3
In this option, different permanent chambers (enclosed with a tight lockable lid) are constructed and used in alternate as they fill up. The dry compost is later removed and used as manure to the surrounding lawns or gardens.

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Option 4:
This is open composting which is not viable for facilities located in wildlife prone zones due to scavenging. In this system, different pallets are constructed where bio-degradable waste is put for composting. Once composted, the waste is used as manure for kitchen gardens, lawns, flowers etc.

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Do and Don’ts to follow

  • Location: Ensure your compost is at least 60 meters away from a water body (river, borehole, spring etc.) This is to avoid possible leachate which might end up being a pollutant to the water body.
  • Moisture: Composting stops in a too-dry pile. An active compost pile should feel like a damp sponge. Don’t leave your compost open, the pit should be preferably rainproof – that is, ensure water does not drain inside the hole. This can be achieved by making sure the metallic cover is tightly fixed.
  • Odour: Wood ash can be used but in small amounts.
  • Biodegradable matter: Do not mix organic with non-biodegradable matter. The pit should be strictly left for organic waste – biodegradables only.

Lastly ensure the compost section is well maintained, the pit or surroundings should be lockable and preferably the section allocated a specific person for monitoring purposes.
It is smart to be responsible

Training the trainer Course 17- 20 June 2015

The Laikipia Wildlife Forum in partnership with Global Platform Kenya will deliver a four day training that will be hosted by William Holden Wildlife education Centre. The trainer course is aimed at equipping participants with facilitation skills on;

• Identifying training needs

• Preparing and designing a training

• Delivering a training

• Evaluating a training

The training targets practitioners working in conservancies and group ranches who are engaged in different fields of training. Applications are limited to only 20 participants and you are required to follow the link below while applying.

For application click Link :

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2NRY6MR

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The Laikipian set to host First Ever Conservation Charity Quiz Night in Support of Wildlife Conservation.

The Laikipian, a Laikipia-based social enterprise, is set to host a Conservation Quiz and Fundraising Night at Gerry’s Bistro located in Nanyuki Town, on 12th June 2015 from 7pm. The first- of –its- kind initiative has been made possible through the support of BATUK and Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF) in order to raise funds for the printing of the Let’s Go Wild Colour book which will be distributed to the less privileged children of Laikipia. The initiative has been inspired by the belief that educating the next generation about the importance of conservation is vital to the sustainable success of conserving Kenya’s wildlife resource.

Let’s Go Wild is an interactive wildlife colour book for children between the ages of 7-13 years that emphasises the need to protect the environment and nurture wildlife.  The book has been developed by The Laikipian in collaboration with the best conservation minds that have put in a lot of ingenuous ideas into making the book a success. Some of the team members include Dr. Elena Chelysheva-Project Manager from the Mara Cheetah Project and Sammy Wanjau – LWF’s Education Officer. The fantastic poems in the book were developed by Grace Wanene – Miss Tourism Laikipia 2013/2014 who will grace the event together with other officials from the County Government of Laikipia.100_4144

This book is all about the children – it is edu-tainment (the unique combination of entertainment with education) at its best and, includes interesting facts about wildlife as well as interactive components such as puzzles. Powerful messages are included in the book to encourage a conscious appreciation for Laikipia’s unique bio-diversity as well as encourage active participation in conservation.

The theme of the event is “Education of children is key to protecting wildlife and ending human wildlife conflict”. All proceeds will go toward the printing of 1000 copies of the Let’s Go Wild Colour book that will be distributed to Laikipian children in specified public schools as well as those in group homes.

2000 copies of the colour book have already been published and distributed to various schools in Laikipia and are also available in several bookshops in Laikipia and all Text book centre outlets in Nairobi. Mara Cheetah Project is also in process of printing over 1000 copies for distribution in the Mara Eco –System through the support of Margot Raggett – a UK-based photographer, and Entim Camp in the Maasai Mara.

The fun quiz night will include 6 rounds of questions aimed at keeping mind juices flowing! Entry to the Quiz Night is set at Ksh 500 per person and there is no limit set on the size of teams wanting to participate. There will also be an auction during the event to raise more funds for this noble initiative.

You can follow the event page on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1027350337277392/

Find out more about the initiative from this YouTube link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So6hvhCPTVc.

For more information, please contact Dan on 0719 449 874/3 or email: huntmenotcomic@gmail.com

See you all there!

Kenya Moves to Tourism Facilities Classification System

The purpose of the classification scheme is to help improve the competitiveness of Kenya as a destination and improve standards generally across the board.
The introductory training will be held in Meru 3-6th June incl 3rd June for managers and directors, 4-6th June for a key member of staff who will be helping with implementation. However they are strongly encouraging managers to stay for the full training if it is possible. The training is to HELP stakeholders prepare, and hopefully reduce issues during the actual classification process.
Classification is going to be COMPULSORY and they are intending to start classifying hotels in the Nyeri/Laikipia region in August September this year. (The process has already started in Western Kenya and Nyanza). If properties are not ready to be classified when they are approached by TRA in Aug/Sept – they can delay BUT they will then not be entitled to a free assessment – the classification process will cost Kes 50,000.00. 60 days after the assessment the classification committee will agree on a rating, which will then be made public.
The scheme is an East African Community initiative and all 5 presidents of the EAC have signed up to the agreement that by June 2016 the initial classification process across all 5 countries will be completed. A meeting will be held in Arusha in 2016 to r/v the process and challenges and adapt the process accordingly.
Attending this meeting will help properties prepare for the process. At the end of the training every person will be given a self assessment form to identify areas of weakness and plan for improvements. 40% of the weighting of the classification scheme is on HR and staff welfare.
Please read the attachments.
For more info:
Nyeri TRA 061 2034057
There is lots of information on the website.
standardization and classification minimum quality standard tourism regulatory authority
A tool for enhancing destination Impact of human resource