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Conservation

Osero Safaris. is committed to working with and empowering local communities in avenues that help to improve their standard of living while conserving and rehabilitating the environment. In this effort, we also make a point of using eco-friendly and sustainable camps and lodges. We are committed to protecting wildlife and the natural indigenous ecosystems, so that future generations can enjoy the beauty and ‘magic’ of Africa.

We are actively working with local communities in both Kenya and Tanzania. A few of the conservation practices we conduct and invest in are: rehabilitation of degraded sites, planting of indigenous trees, anti-poaching activities, patrols to prevent illegal felling of trees, education and empowerment of local communities among others.

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Many forested areas in Kenya face major conservation crisis as a result of unsustainable human uses. Poverty and low level of conservation awareness among local residents are some of the major factors contributing to the forest degradation. Therefore, in our efforts to conserve the flora and fauna we are addressing the vital element of providing means of empowering the residents to increase their income through sustainable methods.

 

PROJECTS FOR CONSERVATION
A) KIFOKOV Community Conservation Group - Kenya

Kinale Forest Conservation Volunteers (KIFOKOV) was formed in 2004, uniting 10 community groups from the entire Kinale area. We are local residents and active members in all activities of KIFOKOV.

Our objectives are:

  1. To raise community awareness on the value and importance of the local forests, animals, birds and other natural resources through environmental education and campaign awareness
  2. To promote and initiate environment friendly income generating activities that link community survival to biodiversity conservation
  3. To supplement government conservation efforts through policing and monitoring forest activities

Massive destruction has taken place at the Kinale block of the Kikuyu Escarpment Forests threatening its very existence. The importance of indigenous forests to the community living adjacent to them is immense. They provide sources of water, contain an abundance of medicinal plants, essential fuel wood, grazing grounds, wild fruits, and places for traditional practices among other uses. These forests, as part of the Aberdare ecosystem, make-up a vital water catchment area for the country probably second only to Mt Kenya. It is through the realization of the role played by the forest and the threats facing Kinale forests that KIFOKOV started rehabilitation work.

Kikuyu Escarpment Forest Reserves are found in Central Kenya about 38-km northwest of Nairobi. The forests are historically known to be of rich biodiversity with species of international significance both in flora and fauna. The forests are designated as Important Bird Areas and listed by Nature Kenya in the highest priority (‘critical’) for conservation. The forest is also designated as of global significance for birds’ conservation (BirdLife International, Nature Kenya 2000). It hosts spectacular bird life among them the globally threatened Abbott’s starling.

Other threatened or endemic wildlife also occurs. Three near-endemic butterflies are found namely Charaxes nandina, Neptis kikuyuensis and N. katama. The forest contains a rich biodiversity of plant species typical of sub-montane central Kenyan forests, but little is known about other biodiversity values of the forest. Over 50 species of the plants from the forest are important for medicinal purposes.

Though being an important conservation site, the forests face major conservation crisis as a result of unsustainable human uses. Poverty and low level of conservation awareness among the local residents are some of the major factors contributing to the forest degradation. Therefore, in our efforts to conserve the flora and fauna we are addressing the vital element of providing means of empowering the residents to increase their income through sustainable methods.

For example, currently in partnership with our Kinale Forester and government agencies, the local communities prune Cypress and Pine trees, thus providing a service to the government of ensuring optimum growth of plantation forests. In return, the people are given the resulting branches which they use as fuel wood and the surplus sold for income. Selling the wood from a days pruning has resulted in more cash in their pockets than an average days salary. It is important to recognize that a poor community is unlikely to be concerned with a habitat or a species however important it is.

We are currently involved in 10 initiatives, namely to:

  1. Educate and support participation of the local community in conservation issues
  2. Establish and maintain an indigenous tree nursery
  3. Establish and maintain an Agro-forestry nursery
  4. Rehabilitate degraded areas in Kinale region with indigenous tree seedlings
  5. Provide training to local farmers and other stakeholders on tree planting and nursery management
  6. Promote on-farm planting of agro-forestry tree species
  7. Conduct patrols in conjunction with forest rangers to apprehend and discourage illegal felling of trees
  8. Conduct patrols in conjunction with forest rangers to apprehend and eliminate illegal charcoal production in the forests
  9. Conduct bee-keeping activities within the forest area as an income generating activity for the community
  10. Use plantation and indigenous trees in a sustainable manner as an income generating activity to reduce poverty among the local community.

Please contact us for more details on what we do, we’d love to hear from you. If you’re interested in donating, any amount would be appreciated and 100 percent of it will go directly to conservation and community development. We will provide a report in how your monies were used.

If you’re staying with us at Kinale House we will be happy to organize a complimentary tour to our nurseries and sites that we have rehabilitated in conjunction with the local community. Join us in conserving Africa's natural heritage.

B) Kinale Tree Nursery – Kenya

Kinale Nursery was started by us in 1990 in order to provide free agro-forestry seedlings (Cypress, Pinus radiata and Pinus patula) to the Forest department for planting in the Kinale area. We were providing well over 100,000 seedlings per year until the presidential ban on forestry in 1999.

Currently Kinale nursery has shifted its focus to the establishment of indigenous species such Podo (Podocarpus species), Mutati (Polyscians kikuyuensis), Red Stinkwood (Prunus africana), African Pencil Cedar (Juniperus procera), Mukeu (Dombeya goetzenii), Rosewood (Hagenia abyssinica) and Brown Olive (Olea europaea var. africana). Once established the trees are planted in Kinale in order to reestablish indigenous forests and areas to their original habitat.

We are also actively involved in creating natural indigenous habitats for local animal species such as bushbuck, duiker, colobus monkeys, sykes monkeys, bush babies, African porcupines and tree hyraxes. We routinely scout the local area in order to protect the wildlife.

C) Flora & Fauna Conservation – Tanzania

We are actively involved in anti-poaching activities in our concessions in Western and Southern Tanzania. Poaching of animals with snares, rifles or home made muzzleloaders and the illegal felling of trees are serious threats to the wildlife and landscape of these areas. We assist the government in their efforts to conserve and protect the indigenous flora and fauna contained within these protected areas.

In order to achieve this we:

  1. Actively support anti-poaching operations in concert with the government of Tanzania
  2. Work with local communities to involve them in programs that lead to the conservation of Wildlife
  3. Provide direct economic support to communities from the sustainable utilization of wildlife
  4. Develop and maintain geographical and database systems for use in ecosystem management
  5. Provide useful feedback to the government of Tanzania regarding the legal and illegal utilization of wildlife


Poachers camp being destroyed

Our anti-poaching teams consist of a driver, two of our trained rangers and one government game officer. Each team has a Land Cruiser pick-up with radio communications. The results are fed back to our manager at the Arusha base on a daily basis.

We have currently built 2 schools in areas around our concessions, one at Mbuga Village outside the Selous and one at Sikonge in Western Tanzania.

Please contact us for more details on what we do and how you can help to protect East Africa’s flora and fauna.

D) Member of Nature Kenya

Nature Kenya is the business name (in Kenya) of the East Africa Natural History Society. The Society was established in 1909 and is the oldest conservation organization in Africa.

 

E.) Member of the East African Wildlife Society

For the past forty years, the East African Wildlife Society has been at the forefront of efforts to protect the region’s endangered species and habitats.  

 

F.) Member of Kenya Forests Working Group (KFWG)

Established in 1995, the KFWG works to improve the status of Kenya’s forests and increase the benefits from them through sound management and conservation practices.
 
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