Kipini Conservancy: Hakuna Njia. That is swahili for No Route or No access or not through way. But this is only for those who have malicious intent.Allow me to welcome you to Kipini.Pictures are worth a thousand words… thats if you know that many of course.The following story is one of pictures (and some words).This story is of what you will find in Kipini.If you were a carnivore or four legged quadruped or even a 2 legged flying mammal… or if you want the extreme end, a 6 – 100 legged creepy crawly, would you like to live here? (referring to the picture mate).It looks beautiful doesn’t it?Clear blue skies, water, green fields… I could go on until i run out words to use. If your a modest, yet in my opinion misguided walking creature like the crab, you will find a home here. In Kipini you will and can find common and not so common wildlife. You will find the large and majestic African Elephants, Hippos, Waterbuck, Kongoni, Impala. You name it. But those are the large ones. You can find smaller yet equally beautiful species here too. Although i know not their official names, look at the pictures. The frog no bigger than a coin, crawlers like the centipede and millipede… I will let the pictures say the rest. But its not all a bed of roses and heavenly bliss. Amongst certain species… actually all species of animals, there will be the occasional fight. Just ask him. And no the way he is wearing his horn is not the latest buffalo trend that didnt bode well with his comrades. What set out as a normal family fun day out turned out badly for one buffalo as he probably overstepped his grass eating privileges. This was of course not taken lightly by his kin folk. If you would like to experience and see all the drama, beauty and life for yourself, feel free to contact us. We would be glad to share this wonderful and beautiful world with you!!!
In February of this year, Save the Elephants (STE), Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kibodo Trust and Kipini Conservancyembarked on a joint effort to put GPS collars on the elephants along the north coast of Kenya, north of Lamu and along the Tana River. This project aimed at increasing on the already existing knowledge on the remnants of elephants in this biological hotspot. The numbers of coastal elephants is unknown, but we estimate they may be less than a thousand. They may also be part of overall elephant population migrating in the broader coastal and inland area.The vastness of the area in combination with the low estimated number of elephants in the areas, made location of target individuals difficult. In addition, the dense vegetation made spotting very hard. Therefore only two of the three project collars were deployed and none of the additional collars offered by Save the Elephants were used. No fresh signs of elephants were detected in the main area of Dodori and Boni forest and collaring efforts was therefore concentrated within the three other selected areas. Two of the three additional collars showed signs of potential problems with battery voltage and need to be properly tested before any potential future deployment.Two collars were successfully deployed on elephants, one in Kipini Conservancy and one by the Tana River Delta. The collars were deployed in areas selected prior to the operation although none were deployed in the core area due to no current signs of elephants in this area. It is likely that the elephants normally residing in these areas have migrated away due to the current drought and drying of the majority of water sources Data is now streaming in to the STE server and is accessible for project partners. This constantly updated information is especially valuable for KWS as the near real time data can be used on a daily basis for security and operational planning in the area.The day to day monitoring of elephant movements will increase security and help anti poaching efforts. Additionally the movement data will provide information about connectivity between habitat segments as well as help raise awareness about the unique coastal ecosystem.The collaring operation was a collaboration involving Save the Elephants and KWS with further input from the Kibodo Trust, and could not have been achieved without the availability of the helicopter provided by Halvor Astrup on site, including the donation of three hours flying time. Easy access to the data is provided through Google Earth from the server operated by STE, and funded by Safaricom Foundation.It was a difficult exercise as the number of elephants in the area was low. And due to the vegetation, aerial spotting also proved difficult. There were a total of 3 collars that were to be used in this exercise. Only 2 managed to be deployed. One of the collars was deployed in Kipini while the other was deployed in the Tana River Delta area. Data on the movements and locations of these elephants is available on the Save the Elephants server and is accessible for all project partners.This exercise has resulted in the production of near real time data on the movements and locations of elephants in the area.