The future of Laikipia, Kenya and the continent as a whole lies firmly in the hands of the new generation and the decisions they will make in due course. Loisaba Conservancy recognizes the importance of creating stewards of the natural environment to safeguard this spectacular country. Consequently, we have developed a programme to connect children from the surrounding communities, who already live alongside wildlife (i.e. sometimes having to wait for an elephant to cross the road before continuing on their journey to school) to come to Loisaba to be immersed in the arena of wildlife conservation.

Last week Loisaba Conservancy facilitated an educational school trip for 18 Ewaso Primary School students. Accompanied by three teachers, the students who had been selected from classes 1-8 (ages eight to fourteen years of age), were taken on an exciting trip around the conservancy. It couldn’t have started better!

Upon entering the Conservancy, one of the resident prides of lions treated the students to a carefully executed morning hunt. From there the students visited the new Conservation Center at Loisaba HQ, where they were exposed to different ongoing research projects at Loisaba. Amos Chege our Conservation Officer and resident elephant researcher for Space for Giants and Lexson Larpei from San Diego Zoo provided fascinating presentations on their work in studying elephants and giraffes respectively.

From the classroom they went to the security Operations Room and were briefed on the work that the rangers do, how patrols are conducted and what the threats are to the conservancy. Mike Purchase, the new pilot at Loisaba then explained the role of ‘Kathy’, Loisaba’s new Piper Super Cub generously donated by The Nature Conservancy and her use for security, conservation efforts and monitoring the wildlife within the Conservancy.

After lunch, the children were introduced to Warrior and Machine, our resident sniffer dogs and given a demonstration on how they track down suspects. A group of six students peeled off with Dog Handler Ryan and ran off into the bushes, whilst Ekaran, in charge of the K9 unit kept the rest of the students back and explained how one can give the scent of the suspect to the dogs from their footprint. Having given Ryan and his team sufficient time to hide, Ekaran gave Machine Ryan’s scent and the remaining students ran after Machine and Ekaran in hot pursuit on the trail.

The students had the most wonderful day on the conservancy. If we can create even one future conservationist from this initial group we will have succeeded in our mandate. Special thanks to Loisaba Community Conservation Foundation; Elewana; The Nature Conservancy, Space for Giants and San Diego Zoo for making this day possible.
















By: Izzy Parsons

On Thursday morning Amos Chege, our Conservation Officer, received an urgent report from the Starbeds Lodge manager, a malnourished looking elephant calf had been spotted. He immediately rushed to the scene, easily located the calf and carefully observed the situation – to avoid making any rash decisions.

Amos observed the elephant calf try to join a nearby elephant herd but watched it being repeatedly rejected by the matriarch. It was clear that this calf did not belong to this herd and had become separated from its mother elsewhere. It was not clear how this had happened but he looked in bad shape and a decision needed to be made quickly. After brief consultation, we called the dedicated staff at Reteti Elephant Sanctuary on the nearby Namunyak Conservancy. The first community run elephant orphanage in Africa specifically established to rescue and reintroduce abandoned elephant calves in the vast northern Kenya landscape.

Reteti chartered a plane from Tropic Air Kenya without delay and they arrived with the professional staff of the North Kenya Veterinary Service. The calf was expertly darted, loaded onto the plane, strapped in and whisked away to safety. While it is terribly sad that this calf became separated from its mother, elephants are an incredibly resilient species and we hear he is doing well at Reteti. We are confident he will make a full recovery and maybe some day he will find his way back to Loisaba.

By early next morning there was yet another report involving an elephant. This time, the ever vigilant conservancy rangers had spotted an elephant cow with what looked to be an arrow wound. By the time Amos got to the scene to confirm the report, light was fading and all efforts to locate it failed.

At the crack of dawn Amos and a team of rangers generously funded by The Nature Conservancy were once again on the trail of the elephant. It took three hours of patient tracking to locate it, amongst all the confusing footprints of other elephants. Eventually, in thick bush they caught up with her. She was indeed badly wounded and required urgent medical attention. The Kenya wildlife service Vet team led by Dr. Dominic Mijele in collaboration with DSWT were informed and arrived from Nanyuki within a couple of hours.

Unfortunately, the elephant cow was not cooperating and had strayed into very difficult terrain. It took over half an hour for Dr. Mijele to get into position to comfortably take a shot with his dart gun. True to his aim the dart found its target and the elephant cow went down. The wound was thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Dr. Mijele was confident that she would make a full recovery over the coming week as the antibiotics take effect.

We can only speculate on what events led to her injury at the hands of a bow and arrow as well as the circumstances that led to the calf being abandoned. Regardless we feel incredibly lucky to work in landscape with such dedicated partners, all working tirelessly to look after Kenya’s wildlife: Kenya Wildlife Service; Space for Giants; Reteti Elephant Sanctuary Community United for Elephants; North Kenya Veterinary Service; DSWT; The Nature Conservancy; Tropic Air Kenya; Save the Elephants and Northern Rangelands Trust.

By: Izzy Parsons

With 56,000 acres of land to protect, what better means to do so other than by air? Loisaba Conservancy’s latest venture introduces their new Aerial Unit with “Kathy”, our very own Piper Super Cub.

She may be small and rugged but she is ideally suited for the flying required at Loisaba. Her large windows provide excellent visibility for ground observations and are quintessential to working alongside Loisaba Conservancy’s extensive ground patrol units.

As with most protected areas, there will always be some unauthorised visitors. Kathy will provide additional support to the ground teams in ensuring Laikipia’s elephant populations and other game remain safe, the grazing pressure is managed and any other forms of illegal activities that may take place on Loisaba Conservancy are prevented.

It is a critical time for wildlife conservation in Northern Kenya. Over the years, grazing pressure has increased substantially, threatening conservation efforts. With aerial support, this threat can be better mitigated and managed. Kathy will be taking part in the Aerial count of Elephants and other large mammals in the Laikipia-Samburu-Marsabit-Meru Ecosystems taking place in November.

Loisaba Conservancy is proud and excited to introduce Kathy to the conservation and security teams. A huge thank you to The Nature Conservancy and their generous donors who have enabled this to happen!

By: Izzy Parsons