Tag Archives: safari news and views

Kenyan weather patterns change: Global Warming?

With their recent heavy rains that led to flooding in the Samburu National Park, Tourism Officials are blaming the worlds changing climate for these unusual events. This time last year Samburu was suffering one of the worst droughts in its modern history, the game dying and local tribesmen moving their herds in an attempt to keep them alive. This year the rains have destroyed roads and homes, arriving as a downpour that raised the river overnight so high that people had to climb trees to escape its rise.

It was not just a localised event either. Over 5 inches fell in the Masai Mara Conservation area over 100 miles to the south. No damage was done; indeed it was welcomed to refresh the grasslands which have now burst forth in new growth. The issue is that rain should just not fall in February. The main rains run from April to the mid/late June, the so-called small rains coming in November.

February should be dry, with grazed grasslands offering great views of the game and the animals gathering around water holes. But so long as there is rain and the animals thrive, does it really matter? I was in Kenya 3 years ago and almost got stuck in mud during March. I was there last year in June and didn’t see a drop of rain for a whole week. The weather is changing, less predictable and more violent. But so long as there is enough rain for the local herdsmen to feed their stock and the game animals to live, better rain at the wrong time than the droughts that kill thousands.

Where have all the Lions gone?

Most people know that the Rhino is on the edge of extinction. They have read about the decline in elephant populations and how the leopard has been hunted until its numbers are dangerously low. What people do not realise is that the Lion had also faced a drastic decline over the last 50 years. Since the 1960’s the African population has dropped from over 200,000 to less than 20,000.

Helping handA UK based charity – LionAid – is starting a campaign this March to raise awareness of their plight and to raise funds for the research that will help us better understand them and help in the efforts to maintain and grow their population. A series of gatherings have been organised around the UK in most major cities at which iconic statues of lions with be symbolically covered for the day, highlighting their vanishing from the wild. Full details can be found at their website, and should you be unable to attend there is also other information there of how you might support this cause.