My Favourite Elephants

My Favourite Elephants

The Save the Elephants team in Samburu can individually recognise about 1000 elephants, and have been monitoring them closely since 1997. For ease of reference each family is named after a category, like the Storms, Winds, Acacias, or Native Americans, so individuals bear names such as Tempest, Harmattan, Polyacantha or Sioux. What makes these elephants special is that they are part of one of the biggest remaining free-roaming wild elephant populations in Kenya that come in and out of the Samburu and Buffalo Springs national reserves at will, ranging vast distances across the wild frontier of the Ewaso ecosystem in the Northern Rangelands. The conservation efforts in north Kenya stand heads above other parts of Africa, because of the collaborative nature of the work that is done by the NGOs, community conservancies, game ranches, government agencies and parastatals based there.  Nothing is achieved in isolation, so for all our successes and triumphs at Save the Elephants and Elephant Watch Camp, I’d like to credit also our partners at Kenya Wildlife Service, Samburu County Government, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Northern Rangelands Trust, Ewaso Lions, Grevy Zebra Trust, Milgis Trust and the many Community Conservancies whom we have the pleasure to work with. In addition, from time to time we find orphaned or injured elephants (and other animals), and have to call upon the services of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust who unfailingly answer our cries for help by scrambling a rescue plane or immediately sending in their mobile veterinary unit. Thank you all! Right! Back onto elephants. Today, I’d like to celebrate some of the elephants I love best. Like Babylon, above, from the Biblical Towns, the oldest and most beautiful matriarch...
This Wild Life – A New 12 part BBC Series starting on the 31st August at 7pm on BBC2

This Wild Life – A New 12 part BBC Series starting on the 31st August at 7pm on BBC2

We’re delighted to announce that the new 12 part BBC series – This Wild Life – starring our amazing teams at Elephant Watch Camp and Save the Elephants, has hit TV screens across Europe and will soon be in the UK! It’s already been showing to great acclaim in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Norway and Turkey, and will soon be in Italy, Sweden, Romania, Israel, and China!  We hope it’ll inspire you all to come to Kenya soon to experience the open vistas, starscapes and exquisite wildlife of the northern frontier for yourselves. Excitingly, the UK broadcast is scheduled to start on the 31st August at 7pm, and will run throughout the month of September every Monday and Tuesday evening on BBC2.  So just as the kids go back to school, there’s somewhere marvelous to escape to on the telly! Filmed in the wild frontier of Samburu National Reserve, This Wild Life captures the humour, passion, beauty and heartache of what it’s like for a young couple with small children to live in the bush running a high-end safari camp. Amidst a fascinating array of nomadic tribes in an endless, open landscape, Saba Douglas-Hamilton and Frank Pope work around the clock, with a team of irresistible Samburu warriors, to enchant their guests with the beauty of the wild world, and meet the challenges of seasonal floods, monkeys running havoc in the kitchen, and some very territorial bull elephants, head on! We hope you’ll enjoy this light-hearted behind-the-scenes glimpse of life in Samburu, and we encourage you all to come and experience this “wild life” first hand at Elephant Watch Camp! Watch...
Bill and Chelsea Clinton’s Visit to Save the Elephants

Bill and Chelsea Clinton’s Visit to Save the Elephants

IT WAS JUST ANOTHER WONDERFUL WEEK IN KENYA! Dear Friends and Family, It has been quite a month, but with the coming of the rains everything changed. Within days the dry earth turned into a carpet of green grass, wild flowers adorned the bushes and shrubs, and just as fast, news of big events was being carefully organised. From tortoises and little mud terrapins suddenly emerging from their hiding places to the new water holes, to the great musth elephant bulls showing off their high testosterone levels, splashing all with mud and ready to fight and mate. Everywhere something seemed to be on a race to reproduce…and even the birds songs were clear as a note in a chapel. Activities at Save the Elephants Research Centre looked as if a wedding was about to take place – as wall after wall came alive with images and information and multiple birds nest hung from the ceiling. Elephant movements were monitored daily as big mud slinging activities took place among family after family sliding and wallowing in the delicious mud pools, even spraying some of our advance team guests with mud. I hoped the little terrapins got out fast. Would we be able to get ready for the day. The camp is now open, a cool wind blows, the river flows, and wake up call drifts down from the trees at dawn, a serenade of bird song dawn with a cup of hot organic coffee trees…sunlight pierces through the nests and a great sense of peace takes over…one barely dares to speak. For over two months I worked and planned secretly...
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