Let’s Go to the Kingwal Swamp

Let’s Go to the Kingwal Swamp

Let’s go to the Kingwal Swamp. I have been thinking about it for some time and I think it’s time I seriously squeeze it into my next adventures. Stay tuned, I will share how it will unfold. For now, let us get to know a little about this swamp.

Where is Kingwal Swamp found?

It is a wetland located in Nandi County off the Eldoret-Kisumu highway. Covers approximately 10,000 hectares that includes some part of the land donated by the community to the wildlife.

It is a home for the rare and endangered semi-aquatic antelope species, Sitatunga. As well as different species of birds and reptiles.

It’s main source of water is the river Keses.

It’s uniqueness

It is believed to have the largest population of the endangered Sitatunga in the world.

Therefore a very important home for these disappearing antelopes.

The communities and involved bodies are working together to ensure these species don’t get extinct.

What can we enjoy at the Kingwal Swamp

Enjoy viewing and spotting wildlife. The swamp hosts a wide variety of wildlife. Although for the Sitatungas, you may miss them as they are very shy and secretive.

Being a wetland, birds can be easily found in the areas. Hence one of the best spot for bird watchers.

Hiking. It has several trails that you can take long nature walks.

Its located within the Nandi community allowing you a chance to enjoy their cultures.

What do you think?

Read the full article here.

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Exploring the beautiful Flamingos

Exploring the beautiful Flamingos at the shores of the Lakes.

Exploring the beautiful Flamingos at the shores of the Lakes. The pink line that steals our heart many miles away. Did you know that that line was a colony of flamboyance. Is it that amazing?

Lets know a little bit of these flamingos

Flamingoes are wading birds distributed throughout America Africa, Asia, and Europe. They are known to standing on one of their leg while the one is tucked beneath their bodies.

Did you know that their colour would reveal how healthy they are?

Their pink or reddish color comes from carotenoids of animal and plants plankton in their diet.

Flamingos

A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly colored, thus a more desirable mate. It can be white or pale if unhealthy or malnourished. Captive flamingos are a notable exception, they may turn a pale pink if they are not fed carotene at levels comparable to the wild.

Flamingos are filter feeders and mostly feed on the blue-green algae and other creatures found in the water bodies.

They are filter feeders
They are filter feeders

We have greater and lesser flamingos

Greater flamingos

They are the tallest and heaviest

Lesser flamingos

Shorter and weigh less than their counter parts.

Something interesting to learn about Flamingos in Kenya

In Kenya, they can be found in Lake Nakuru, Lake Elmentaita, Lake Bogoria as well as Lake Magadi.

Lake Nakuru National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park

They prefer to breed at the Lake Natron in Tanzania. Hence known as their breeding site.

They migrate in huge colonies forming a beautiful V shape in the skies.

Their movements and migration are dictated by need for food or breeding. If the lake lacks enough food, they will gladly migrate to the greener pasture.


Conservation status

Read the full article here.

Understanding Planet as an Ecosystem

Understanding Planet as an Ecosystem.

Understanding Planet as an Ecosystem. Earth is an ecosystem as a larger scale.

What is an ecosystem?

Ecosystem refers to an interconnected system.

It’s a biological community that involves interactions between the organisms and their physical environment.

These organisms include humans, animals, micro-organisms, etc. Anything that qualifies to be a living organism.

There are various types of ecosystems. Namely:

  • Forest Ecosystems
  • Grassland Ecosystems
  • Desert Ecosystems
  • Tundra Ecosystems
  • Freshwater Ecosystems
  • Marine Ecosystems

These ecosystems have been classified as per their vegetation types and nature, climatic conditions as well as water type.

They can be subdivided into various other groups when being very specific of an ecosystem in a particular area.

What connects living organisms and their physical environment ?

They are connected by the nutrients cycles and energy flows.

Everything in our planet depend on another thing for basic needs such as food, habitat, reproduction, dispersal, etc.

What happens to this ecosystem when one species is destroyed or goes extinct?

As we have seen we are a connected system. So our survival and quality of life relies on the connections among us. So when one thing is removed, we will surely feel the inbalance.

Food chain vs Food Web in the ecosystem

Foodchain is a linear sequence of organisms which starts from producer organisms and ends with decomposer species. While foodweb is a connection of multiple food chains and follows different lines.

Food web helps understands representation of the energy flow through different organisms in an ecosystem.

In both food chains and food webs, we have producers, consumers and decomposers.

If producers reduced, consumers will have nothing to consume and decomposers will have alot to decompose due to high rates of death as a result of hunger.

The producers need help from insects and other animals so as to disperse, fertilise and reproduce. If these organisms are not present to aid in this process. Producers will eventually die. So there will be no production of food. And the effects will be felt along the chain and web.

Are humans affected directly by the extinction of species in our ecosystem ?

Read the full article here.

What do you need to have unforgettable trip in the wild?

What do you need to have unforgettable trip in the wild?

Everyone looks forward to having an epic time out there during their trip. To create unforgettable moments and memories. To have one of a lifetime trips/weekend/safaris, etc.

It’s a time to shake up the usual, let go the burden and stress of life as well as allowing our soul time to heal and rejuvenate. So it has to be one of a kind.

Everything that gives best results includes proper prior arrangements and preparations. You can’t just go blindly hoping that things will sort themselves out. You may end up not enjoying your time in the wild.

Nature is full of surprises, both bad and good. The plan may change but it was better to have had a plan anyway. Because it helps to smoothen the surprises .

So what are the basics for such trips?

  • Knowledge about the place you are planning to visit

It’s very important to do a research about the place you are planning to visit. This is irregardless of whether you will have a local guide or not.

The research will help you know what to expect. From the local community and their cultures. You don’t want to find yourself in trouble for offending any of that. Or not being able to mingle well with the locals. To really enjoy some where new, locals offer the best intel.

Research helps you know about the weather patterns and geographical structures. You will know what animals to look for, plants native to that area, and many more.

Ideally, the research gives you a preview of your trip. An angle to ensure that you fully exploit that place.

  • Documents

Ensure to carry with you all the needed documents to avoid any inconveniences.

  • Budgeting

Money is very vital. You have to know how much you need to be able to enjoy your trip. And always carry more than you expect to use. Know how much stuff cost in your area of interest, exchange rate if need be and pricing of different things.

Write down all the activities that will need you to pay for. Research will offer you this information.

  • Map of the area or a GPS and a guide book

Technology has made it easier not to get lost in new places as well as offering directions to various points. So having a GPS device with you is vital.

Map is also very important if you want to explore all the hidden nature treasure. The map will help you find the caves, waterfalls, parks, and many others. Basically, map is your google in the wild.

If you don’t want to miss all the fun spots, carry a map plus a compass with you. These two tools make explorations one amazing adventure.

Guide books helps in a wide variety of tasks. From helping you in understanding the local language, giving you directions to places such as hostels/restaurants/ATMs/public transport/etc. You don’t have to risk be lied to by the ”unwilling” strangers.

It’s an evil world and not everyone will treat you well all the time. It’s good to have some basic knowledge to stay safe.

  • Understand seasons and consider your timings

Read the full article here.

How do you prepare for a trip in the wild?

How do you prepare for a trip in wild?


This article will help improve your next safari/hike or any activity you are planning to have in the wild.

How far have your explored this world of ours. Lets ensure we explore and visit different places before we vanish .
How far have your explored this world of ours. Lets ensure we explore and visit different places before we vanish or get too old to travel.

Preparations

Get the full article here.

Does a repeated or ignored mistake turn to be a good thing?

Does a repeated or ignored mistake turn to be a good thing?

Whereby you keep repeating a mistake previously made by someone else. Or choose to ignored it all together since no one seem to ask you about it. And when they eventually ask you about it, you work hard to justify your wrong doings.

What point am I trying to clear out here?

This is the exact scenario happening in most countries where people have encroached or grabbed wildlife land. Maybe its their relatives or someone else or even themselves that stole that land. Knowing very well that it doesn’t belong to them.

Years passed by and no one seem to question them. So they either stole more or started getting comfortable and brave about such land. They went ahead to turn this land to farms, ranch, built permanent structures and fenced it.

Basically, they offered themselves ownership rights. They decided for themselves to grab the wildlife land and turn it to be theirs.

The brilliant ones that knew something may happen someday. And they risk ‘losing’ the stolen land. They collaborated with corrupt officials, politicians or some people in power. And generated fake / ‘original’ papers to convince the rest of us that the land rightful belongs to them.

That being not enough, some went ahead and sold the land to other parties. Who may or may not have knowledge of the circumstances associated with this land.

How many mistakes do we have so far?

  • Someone stole wildlife land hence misplaced the occupants (Wildlife).
  • Human-wildlife conflict results. No living organisms gives up their space without a fight.
  • The stolen land forced the culprits to forge ownership papers.
  • An innocent person buys a stolen land unintentionally.

So how do they justify these mistakes?

Read the full article here.

What do you think about Trade of Live Wildlife?

What do you think about trade of live wildlife? Is it ethical or deserve any legal backing whatsoever?

I saw it in one of my friend’s tweets. That some Africa countries are working towards legalising trade of live wildlife. And the thought of it has been eating me up ever since. I have tried to research and get to know more about it. Results made me more sick and angry.

This is renewed slavery

If you studied history somewhere while at school. You might have come across study about the slaves. Even movies do show how slavery trade was conducted.

Most of the slaves came from the developing countries. They would be transported under harsh conditions and mostly against their will.

Most of the slaves lost their lives in the oceans before making it to their destinations. Some succumbed to diseases as a result of change of climate among other foreign stuff introduced to them.

Same is happening to the wildlife now.

There’s a logic reasons why each wildlife is found and located where they are. They have gradually adopted to their environment.

What happens when we introduce them to a foreign land? Mostly they die. And why do we do that to them? What is so complicated about respecting our wildlife.

It’s clear that most of the live wildlife trade is illegal. And now some organisation is trying to legalise it. In short, give more power to the monsters. A free ticket for death of our wildlife.

What happens when a live wildlife is transported to a foreign land?

  • If they are unable to adapt to the new environment , they die. There will be need to replace these dead wildlife. So more of them will be stolen. You can imagine that impact on their population.
  • The health state. Do we even consider the effect of the new changes to the animals? How does it affect them psychologically? Just like humans, they do feel changes imposed on them. And sadly, they do experience stress too.
  • Limited resources. These wildlife are being introduced to a land that already has its own wildlife. And the new comers do come with their own food or habitat. They end up competing with the earlier owners.
  • Depending on the strength and degree of adaptability. The new wildlife may end up wiping out the existing wildlife. Power of invasive species. Read more about the effects of exotic species on indigenous species here.
  • Their transportation gives them 1% chance of survival. Being an illegal trade, these wildlife are transported in worst ways you can imagine of. To avoid being caught. And as I result, most of these wildlife die during the transport process.
  • They end up getting extinct. Most people will only buy something that is rare. This is true in live wildlife trade. The endangered and rare species are the victims here. And as result of this live wildlife illegal trade, they will soon get extinct.

Can we do anything to help?

Get the whole article here.

The 5 W’s and I H of Wildlife Conservation

What are the 5 W’s and I H of Wildlife Conservation? Let’s try to break down what wildlife conservation entails.

Conservation has been a global concern lately. And more people are showing interest in it. It’s no longer a thing for the concerned parties like the researchers and the like. People are now recognising the importance of a healthy planet. Appreciating the importance and survival of our natural resources. Hence doing our best to practice sustainable utilisation.

A lot has changed in our present world. From developments, technology, climate, natural resources and human population. We have evolved and managed to adapt to the changes. But sadly, some species are giving up and unable to catch up with the random changes. Eventually getting extinct.

Definitions

Wildlife : It’s any undomesticated animal/plants species that grow or live wild in an area without being introduced by humans.

Conservation: Refers to the preservation or efficient use of resources (in an efficient or ethical manner).

What is Wildlife Conservation?

It involves protecting the wildlife and their habitats.

  • By protecting wildlife, we should be able to provide them a conducive environmental conditions. Abiding to conservation rules when we visit them. Avoid activities such as hunting, poaching, unnecessary laboratory experiments that use wildlife, causes deaths within the parks due to overspending, heavy human traffic inside the parks, wildlife circus, just to name a few.

We should be able to only do what is harmless towards the wildlife. And have their welfare as a priority.

  • Land encroachment and grabbing should stop. And land given back to the wildlife. As much as we need that space too. We should not take from the wildlife since they are the voiceless ones. We should also be able to co-exist peaceful with wildlife that live within the communities.

There are some areas that still have wildlife roaming freely within the surrounding communities. And they have been living peacefully for years. We should be able to work towards eliminating any human-wildlife conflicts.

Why should we conserve wildlife?

Do you think we should conserve wildlife?

All wildlife are natural resources, hence a gift from mother nature to humans. It’s one of the most valuable resources that we can not create. But only use and sometimes destroy.

Think about this. What if all the wildlife that you have had an opportunity to interact with, had got extinct before you were born? And you only had to know about them in a museum from the stored skeletons filled with rugs inside. Trying to make you relate to the real one. Do you have any sad feeling from only picturing that?

That’s the feeling that should give you a reason to ensure that the existing wildlife never get extinct. Wildlife are unique and helpful in a million ways. They are offer a wide range of benefits and doesn’t require much in return. They just need some TLC (Tender Loving Care). We refrain from the activities that offer negative impact to them. And they will be just fine.

Future generations will be able to follow our examples and enjoy the wildlife we currently have.

Think of the reasons that pushes you to plan a safari, visit a zoo/orphanage,the smile on your face when you watch a tiny chipmunk nibbling nuts, getting a kiss from the giraffe……..All those sweet moments that we try our best to capture through our cameras. They are some of the reasons we should conserve wildlife.

When can we conserve wildlife?

Read the full article here.

Do you believe in ”legal” hunting?

Do you believe in ”legal” hunting? And what is this legal hunting?

The only legal hunting that I know and agree with is. Is a predator (minus humans) hunting it’s prey. It’s their natural way of getting food or protecting their territory.

Humans killing animals have no basis of being legal. It’s just an excuse to hunt animals for no valid lessons. But rather greed and evil passion.

I have read some articles trying to justify the legality of the so called ”legal hunting”. Including the trophy hunting. And none of these reasons are of best interests to the animals. But solemnly done to feed the human ego. Why do we have fun killing other animals.

Nature has a way of balancing its elements. From the population of both animals and plants. It always finds a way to ensure almost everything is a balance.

I remember a friend trying to sell the card of controlling wildlife population. By hunting some. Hence achieving effective wildlife population. Then I asked in return, have you ever heard of wildlife over population anywhere in the world. The rules of the food chain takes care of that.

Humans have been increasing in population rapidly around the world. Do we kill some of them to take care of the bursting population scandal. No, we don’t. Diseases, natural causes, accidents and other things does that. Animals are just like us and we should accord them same respect. We belong in the same kingdom, Animalia.

Population control should not be an excuse to kill the innocent animals.

Survival for the fittest

That’s the rule of nature. The surviving species have the best genes and able to conquer any environmental changes. The animals that have the best genes, ones that have evolved and are able to adapt to the ever changing environment. Are able to pass those genes to generations. But when we kill them for the sake of trophy hunting. We wipe out some of the best species.

No trophy hunter will go after a weak sickly animals. They always target the strongest and rarest. And what they don’t know or choose to ignore. Is that they are robing us these species forever. For a stupid feeling that lasts for few minutes.

What really makes them feel good about killing an animal? What goes on in the brains as they risk their lives to just end a life of an animals for status? Is it worthy it? Paying to kill animals rather than support their existence. What will they tell their great grandchildren when they ask about the animals whose heads have been placed on their walls? But above all, why kill an animal just for fun?

Hunting of animals by humans should be considered as a first degree murder

Read the full article here.

Oloolua Nature Trail Place is the place to be after a long week at work

Oloolua Nature Place is the place to be after a long week at work.

Especially for those who are still in the city. Those who will not manage to visit family in upcountry due to various reasons. As well as those who love nature and hiking.

Welcome to Oloolua nature trail.
Welcome to Oloolua nature trail.

It’s a place for everyone who loves nature and awesome environment. Located at a very convenient place outside the city and very affordable. Not forgetting the climate inside there. It’s like a very different areas from the rest of Nairobi.

It allows you to enjoy picnic, light hiking, waterfall, camping, team building, among others. You just have to be creative and maximise on what Oloolua offers you.

This nature trail opens as early as 9:00 am, and go ahead to allow you enjoy yourselves till 6:00 pm. For those not camping. FYI, it never closes. It’s open 24/7.

Charges

Daytime visits

Citizens/ students Ksh 200 /= each, Children 100/= each
Residents Ksh 400 / =, Children 200/=
Foreigners Ksh 600 / =, Children 300/=

Evening camping per night

  • Adult Citizens Ksh 2000 /= , Children 1000/= `
  • Groups (10 people) Ksh 5000 /=
  • Residents Ksh 2, 5000 / children 1,500 /=
  • Foreigners Ksh 3,000/=, Children – Ksh 1,500/=
  • Foreigner group (10) Ksh 8,000 /=

The River

The river is the first blessing that welcomes you to this amazing nature trail. You can spend few minutes at the bridge, admiring the water flow or planning how you will undertake you hiking within the trail.

At the bridge
At the bridge

The Nature Trails

The trails.
The trails.

The nature trail have been strategically placed within Oloolua. Hence no need for a tour guide. You can simply follow the trail and manage to cover all the places within this nature trails.

The place is a bit humid hence slippery. And the woods used to mark the trail help in providing support as well.

There are alot of roots and fallen trees. So slipping should not be a worry. There are plenty of structures to support you. From the overgrown huge roots, shrubs, fallen twigs, among others.

The Water Fall

The Water fall
The Water fall

There is a water fall that is very easily accessible. Allowing you to almost get at its exact location. It provdes the best view and a good place to relax by the river side. As you watch birds get busy building their nest on the nearby trees.

Trying to get closer

Most of the biggest trees in this nature trail are found near this river.

Happy to see the water fall

Read the full article here.