Sunday, November 26, 2006

Latest fees in the Maasai Mara area

Maasai Mara fees also went up, but in a somewhat confusing and complicated way. The reserve itself, south of the Talek and east of the Mara River, and the group ranch area to the north of the Talek, are still charging $30 per day per person. There is, however, no free movement betwen the two, as there has been for years. Now, you have to pay again! The Mara Conservancy, the triangle formed by the Mara river, the escarpment and the Tanzanian border, is charging $40. This information comes from Kicheche camp. They told me "Not sure how this will pan out in 2007 as there is a lot of politics ongoing. We have to play it by ear." Politics in the Mara? That's putting it mildly from what I've heard. But that'll have to wait for another post.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Bad news for your budget


National Park fees increased across the board last summer – frustratingly just after the latest edition of the Rough Guide went to the printers. But heh, that's what blogs are for, right?

The main parks raised their daily entrance fees from, in most cases, $30 to $40 for non-residents of Kenya, with other parks somewhat cheaper. Click on the table to view it more legibly (click "refresh" if you get gibberish).

And visit the Kenya Wildlife Services' very useful website for further details of camping fees and accommodation.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Good news on Mount Elgon


Lillian Nsubuga, writing in The East African (Nairobi) says Uganda and Kenya have recently allowed visitors to Mt Elgon National Park to cross the mountain's common border. Tourists visiting the park will now be allowed to climb Mt Elgon from either side. She goes on to say that more than 100 visitors have already made the crossing which previously involved making arrangements in advance with the park authorities. She reports the chief warden of the park as saying tourism authorities in the two countries had improved security to stop illegal immigrants from abusing the cross-border tourism facility.

The image from Google Earth shows Mount Elgon - a real giant in overall area, though not as high as Mount Kenya at 4231m, and below the snowline – viewed from a little west of Kitale on the Kenyan side. The white stuff? Clouds.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

From the Rough Guide coverage of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust elephant and rhino orphanage


After many years of trial and error, David Sheldrick's widow, Dame Daphne Sheldrick, and her staff, have become the world’s experts on hand-rearing baby elephants, sometimes from birth, using a specially devised milk formula for the youngest infants and assigning keepers to individual 24-hour physical guardian-ship of their charges, a responsibility that includes sleeping with them in their stables. Without the love of a surrogate family and plenty of playtime and stimulation, orphaned baby elephants fail to thrive: they can succumb to fatal infections when teething, and, if they physically survive, can grow up unhappy and badly prepared for reintroduction to the wild. At the time of writing, there were nine baby elephants at the orphanage and two partly rehabilitated young rhinos who make occasional and brief visits.