October 2001


The a few remnants of the wildebeest migration have left the Tanzanian border and moved up towards Serena.  One crossing near the Mara bridge resulted in at least 300 wildebeest deaths.  


The rains started towards the end of the month and have virtually brought road works to a halt for the time being.


All the indications in late September and early October were that the court case against the County Council, and by extension the Conservancy, was not being pursued.  However, the validity of the Mara Conservancy was questioned in Parliament on 1st November, this appears to be the beginning of a new campaign against the Conservancy, supported by the same dissenting Councillors.


Dr Chris Thouless has developed an Operational Plan.  The Executive Committee met and deliberated on the Plan, a plan of action has been developed and specific activities designated to members of the committee.


The Nairobi office

Triad House have allocated a further line to the Conservancy.  We can now be contacted on the direct line (02) 749 636 – fax and phone or (02) 749 632.


We now have an HF radio in the office, but are awaiting the allocation of our own frequency, we have been assured that we will have one by mid-November.



68 wire snares were recovered during the month and three poachers arrested:  one poacher arrested and fifteen snares collected in the Lemai Wedge in a joint operation with TANAPA;  40 snares were recovered and 2 Kuria from Tanzania arrested on the 30th in an early morning sweep of Ol Are (the salt springs).  There were at least eight poachers in this group, they had been in the area for several days and had killed two buffalo and about 20 wildebeest.


The administration, councillors and Maasai elders have stopped the spearing of lions and there have been no indications of incursions into the park by morans.


We recovered 10 stolen Kipsigis cattle in the Lemai Wedge on the 2nd October, these cattle were found from the air and rangers, together with Stock-theft and TANAPA rangers called in to recover them, unfortunately the thieves escaped.


The Commandant of the GSU has confirmed that ranger training will start in December, he has suggested that any new recruits be registered at Police Reservists before training.  New recruits will be trained at Embakasi.



Samwel Kortum took his annual leave at the beginning of October, he is due back at work on the 10th November.  David Seur, the Senior Warden, will take his annual leave in November.


Peter Behr has started a two month tourism consultancy, he has been given responsibility for Oloololo gate and developing a proposal for staff quarters/gate at Mara Bridge.  


David Nkediani spent two days in the Mara.  We hope that Mr Nkediani will take the job of Community Co-ordinator – he has indicated an willingness to spend three weeks per month for two or three months prior to making a firm commitment.


We are hoping to receive six additional rangers in early November to make up a serious shortfall in our security staff.  This was compounded in October by the fact that eight rangers and one assistant warden were required for parade duty in Kilgoris between the 4th and 20th October.



The road between Mara Bridge and Serena has been rebuilt and is now a good all-weather road.  We have almost completed a short-cut between the bridge and Serena.  Our next priority is the main road from Serena to Oloololo gate.  However, this road requires heavy re-construction.  We are engaged in discussions with the District Engineer, Migori and Sebimo from Lolgorien on the provision of equipment for this section.  


We now have a telephone line in the Mara, our number is 0305 22919, we hope to purchase a Fax for this line.


All the plumbing and sanitation has been re-done at Ngiro-are.  All the toilets and septic tanks were blocked and they are now functioning.  The carpenters are now working on doors and ceilings at Oloololo gate and the painter is due to move to Ngiro-are in early November.


We have purchased tentage, rucksacks, sleeping bags and ponchos for 15 rangers and will establish at least one mobile camp in November.



Alison Jones has confirmed her willingness to meet her commitment of US$ 50,000.  I have written to Tom Fey of the Lewa Trust to request their assistance in processing this donation and hope that it will be credited in November.


Trans World have paid Ksh 270,560 and US$ 10,260 for ballooning between June and September, the Conservancy has paid US$ 6,156 to TMCC and has 175,335.80 to pay.  Trans World pay a flat rate of US$ 20 per adult and US$ 10 per child who fly on their balloons.


Revenue generated by Musiara Ltd for ballooning between June and August amounts to Ksh 2,371,508.  Ksh 858,533 has already been paid to TMCC for June and July and cheques totalling Ksh 1,512,975 have been made out to the County Council and are being held by Earthview, pending a final reconciliation on the account for June.  Musiara pay US$ 15 per adult and US$ 7.50 per child.  


It is estimated that TMCC will be due approximately Ksh 140,000 for the period 1-11th June.  The remainder will be split as follows:  


Earthview        111,575

TMCC            1,271,960

Mara Conservancy    847,973


It is recommended that the cheques be released to the Council and that the Earthview and Mara Conservancy share be deducted from dues to the Council, once Earthview produce their report for October.


It is anticipated that revenue will drop by 50% in October and up to 70% in November.  This will leave the Conservancy with gate revenues of approximately Ksh 1,735,000 in October and 1,040,000 in November.


A simple budget is prepared for the months October to December and attached to this report.