Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Importance of Environmental Conservation

This week started of on a sad note after waking up to the sad news that world known environmentalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai had passed away due to cancer.

Maathai became a key figure in Kenya since founding the movement in 1977, staunchly campaigning for environmental conservation and good governance. She won the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for her reforestation work in her native Kenya — the first African woman, the first Kenyan and the first environmentalist to receive this honour. Her organisation, The Green Belt Movement has so far planted some 40 million trees across Africa and increasing.

Following her death, makes you reminisce her environmental struggle and wonder why a person would go through all she went through, all for the sake of saving our environment? It must mean much more than we imagine for her to have fought against opposition, to a point she would get physical beatings, protecting our environment!

The importance of environmental conservation

by Judith Willson

Environmental conservation doesn’t just mean protecting cute animals on the other side of the world.  It is in fact essential to our own survival.  If your response to anything to do with the environment is either ‘there are more pressing issues’ or ‘who cares?’ then it might be time to consider how important it really is.

Importance to agriculture

Agriculture depends on the environment and we depend on agriculture.  This is obvious in countries where the economies depend on agriculture but applies to all.  A country’s wealth might come from something else but its population needs to eat.  Conserving the environment and preventing soil erosion, desertification, and flooding is essential.  Unsustainable farming techniques not only impact natural ecosystems but also ultimately make farming itself impossible.

Importance to fishing

While much of our food comes from agriculture, the oceans are also an essential source.  Communities worldwide depend upon seafood.  Marine conservation is vital to protect human food supplies as well as marine animals.  Looking after the seas doesn’t just mean saving big, glamorous animals from extinction, important as this is. At the moment there are serious conservation issues affecting the oceans, including over fishing and pollution. The complex, interlinked ecosystems need conserving in our own self-interest.  You might not be interested in saving the whale, but saving the human might strike a chord.

Importance to climate

Human activities impact the climate, and this affects all life.  Droughts, floods, and extremes of heat and cold, are caused by global warming, which is almost certainly linked to greenhouse gas emissions.  Some countries are already experiencing disastrous effects, while others it is just, for the moment, inconvenient.  There are other, more local, climate changes also caused by not treating the environment with respect.  For example rainfall is affected by deforestation.  Conservation of natural environments should be done not just for their own sake, but also for that of the world as a whole.

courtesy of

These are just but a few reasons as to why saving our environment is vital to not just human life but all kinds of life. We therefore should work as hard as Professor Wangari Maathai if not harder, in making sure that her work of saving our environment goes on and that her dream lives on.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Celebrating World Rhino Day!

Today the world celebrates, world rhino day! With it comes mixed reactions and amid speculations of what will become of the rhino in the future. As stated in a past blog; Facts about the Rhino that you did not know, we already have three extinct species from the rhino family namely, Paraceratherium, Telecoeras and Woolly rhinos.  There are currently five living species, Javan, Sumatran, Greater one-horned and commonly know the White and Black rhinos. 

Numerous efforts have been put fourth and are still being done to protect the rhino, with conservation bodies such as The Lewa Conservation, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Save the Rhino to name just but a few, work tirelessly to save the rhino from poachers. This however is not an easy task with Lewa alone reporting at least four black rhinos lost from 2008 out of poaching practises!

Believes and myths about the rhino horn's medicinal and other related  prowess its said to have, are one of the reasons that drive the demand for poaching especially in Asia. Rhino horn is not medicine! Should these poaching trends continue,come the year 2021 - 2031, Rhino's may be animals known from the past.

  1. Rhino's May look very tough, but their skin is very sensitive especially to sunburn and biting insects which is why they like to wallow in mud!  
  2. Rhino's horns are made of Keratin, just like finger nails  plus they grow throughout their lifetime.
  3. Rhino's life span  is placed between 35-40 years.
  4. The closest rhino relationship is between a female and her calf, lasting from 2 to 4 years. As the older calves mature, they leave their mothers and may join other females and their young, where they are tolerated for some time before living completely on their own.
  5. The gestation period of a rhino is 16 months.
To help in efforts to save the rhino please check out Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Lewa Conservation. Let us save the rhino!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Travellers Philanthropy; Giving back to our communities

Travellers Philanthropy is the giving by travellers to more causes they see along their travels that they feel could do with help. Throughout the world, travellers and travel companies are giving financial input, time, and help with talent to help improve the well being of local communities. This emerging movement is helping to support and empower these communities by providing jobs, enhancing their skills, uplifting their health care, education, and environmental awareness and concern.
Community run lodge that we support - IL Ngwesi Lodge
We (Uniglobe Lets Go Travel) felt it that it is a moral obligation for us to help the communities that strive in making sure tourism keeps running thus came up with a scheme to ensure our plan works.Included in the costing of many of our own operated safaris and holiday packages is a sum that is usually included in your final bill for your holiday, and which is carefully set aside in a specific Travellers Philanthropy account and will be used for the particular projects the we have identified as worthwhile and given our approval.

We add to the cost of your holiday the sum as shown below:
  • 1 to 2 days $ 10 per person for that duration
  • 3 days $ 30 per person for that duration 
  • 4 days and more $100 per person for that duration
In some cases some clients wish to contribute more to this amount and therefore we always suggest that you notify us at the time of booking for it to be adjusted.However, there are people who already make other arrangements prior to their travelling and would prefer not to participate in this contribution, and in such a case we request that the client please advise us and we shall remove it.

Each year we identify particular projects and try to support them with payments in full from the amounts contributed by you, our travellers, to this Philanthropy account. We contribute 100%, and absorb any costs in getting these funds to the project, as well as contributing our own efforts, time and energies to them as well. 

We thank and appreciate all those who work with us in making these identified projects a success and look forward to making Kenya a better place, especially for the less-fortunate communities.

Lets Go Travel Team

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Masai Mara Migration

The wildebeest migration is still in the Masai Mara in huge numbers. Last weekend the herds were concentrated between Observation Hill and the junction of the Mara and Talek rivers, moving westwards. There is good opportunity to see the predators, and the huge crocodile as well. 

It is a great time to take the opportunity of flying down for a couple of nights. There are lodges that have space, right in the heart of the action.Just ask us!

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Hilora - Rare Antelope

Ever heard of the Hilora Antelope? Well, this rare antelope threatened with extinction has found itself in the spotlight of awakening Kenya's tourism in the Garissa area. Described as a beautiful,round-faced antelope with popping eyes, this animal are found in Ijara’s Ishaqbini community conservancy. They herd together with the topi,another of the antelope family and a prey of the big cats.

To get to Ishaqbini, you would have to drive along 154km of rough road south of Garissa, or approach the area from Mombasa through Garsen- Hola en route Masalani in Ijara. The conservancy is in a wild scrub land where all animals such as the lions,cheetah,hyena,wild dogs, buffaloes and hippos can be found.

According to Mr.Omar Tawane, the Northern Rangeland regional co-ordinator, there are 245 rare hilora from the last census they did. He said that they planned on building a sanctuary within the conservancy to isolate them for breeding and this would protect the hilora from predators.

The conservancy is named after Ishaqbini, the only lake in the otherwise dry region, with a high number of Swans present especially by the Lake. The area has camping sites but no specific hotels that could accommodate tourists while on safari in the wild north. Plans for building a hotel are underway and an airstrip is currently under construction.

The conservancy covers Kotile,Korisa and Hara locations where local communities have agreed to live alongside the animals. Boni is the only forest in the county and is also a national game reserve.The forest is said to cover around 680,000 acres, spreading from Garissa County in Kenya to Somalia near Kismayu and covers northern Lamu to near Kyunga and the little known Kenyan town of Dar es Salaam.

In future, when peace finally returns to Somalia,Boni might become a shared resource between Garissa and its troubled neighbouring nation.

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Image courtesy of