Lucy Muthoni is a member of Lewa's Micro-Enterprise Programme. Through the programme, she is now a farmer keeping dairy goats, which has enabled her to support her family and improve their livelihoods. Lucy is one of the 1,800 women in our programme.
Today is the International #RuralWomen day! Conservation has provided us with a platform to work with women like Lucy who are custodians of their natural world and environment.
Once, while out on a drive, Tom noticed a cheetah rushing towards his car. She had 3 cubs with her, which she surprisingly moved under his vehicle, in what looked like an attempt to 'hide' them. After looking around, Tom realised that the cheetah was hiding her cubs from a group of hyenas - cheetah cubs survival rate in the wild remains very low due to attack from other predators.
__________________________________________ “We stayed there for about an hour, not moving, and therefore helping her hide them. Only when the hyenas left did she feel confident to move her cubs, one by one. I even managed to take a picture. Over the course of the months, I would see this family and keep up with the cubs' progress. Two of the cubs survived, and can now be spotted across the Conservancy." ______________________________________
When you've been a safari guide for 14 years, this is just one of many unusual wildlife encounters. For Tom Njogu, currently attached to Lewa Safari Camp, being a guide was his destiny - he grew up on the slopes of Mount Kenya, often interacting with wildlife. And his surname, Njogu, means elephant in his mother tongue! “Elephants are obviously my favourite. I've had several encounters with them, but my fondest moment is finding a large herd sleeping and snoring so loudly that the sound caused slight tremors on the ground. It was such a peaceful moment. They are truly gentle giants." ____________________________
Tom is already teaching his young children the value of conservation and occasionally brings them along on field trips. His greatest pride is being a guide to Kenya's natural world. “It's fulfilling to be able to host people from Kenya and all over the world, show and educate them our rich natural and cultural heritage. I've hosted and met many people over the course of my career, and some have remained lifelong friends. I love being part of the team that makes Lewa what it is today." ____________________
One of the most iconic photos taken from Lewa by the incredible @Ami vitale. Repost from @amivitale
Here is a powerful example of the work being done to save these incredible creatures. In 2014, I witnessed a group of Samburu warriors encounter a rhino for the first time in their lives at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (@lewa_wildlife). None of the warriors had ever seen a rhino in their life, as rhinos, due to the threat they face from poaching gangs, only exist in heavily protected areas. Some of them had never even seen a photo of a rhino. The young warriors from Northern Rangelands Trust (@nrt_kenya) supported community conservancies have been visiting to learn about conservation practices such as sustainable land use, grazing programmes and endangered species conservation.
Much-needed attention has been focused on the plight of wildlife, but very little has been said about the indigenous communities on the frontlines of securing a future for wildlife, as they have for thousands of years.
Tune in today to watch Lewa on Anthony Bourdain: CNN Parts Unknown!
In the first week of March 2018, Lewa welcomed a special visitor.
Anthony Bourdain, the charismatic American celebrity chef, author and television show host was visiting Kenya, and Lewa was on his itinerary. He was accompanied by comedian and presenter Kamau Bell, host of CNN's United Shades of America, and their crew.
The trip was organised by Next Adventure Safaris. They stayed at Lewa Wilderness and spent days on the Conservancy, with a final visit to Il Ngwesi community. The team was filming for an upcoming series of the hit programme, CNN's Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
It saddened us all to learn of Anthony's death months ago, but the enigmatic chef's influence on travel and adventure has not waned. The Kenya episode was the only one completed before his death.
Watch the episode today on CNN at 9 pm Eastern/6 pm Pacific!