The Ewaso Ngiro River: Shompole’s life line

africanlatitude wrote this at 14:18 :

At Loisiijo, the river is omnipresent, we watch it going up, and going down. We fear the power of its floods as much as we fear the small trickle it becomes.

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Here is a great little film about the Uaso Ngiro and the changes it has seen in the last decades due to the increase in deforestation of its main source, the Mau Escarpment Forest.

The bridge that the film refers to is 10 km away from Loisiijo Lodge. We are looking to raise funds for building two small foot bridges near Loisiijo. One for the lodge which will enable us to park vehicles on the opposite side of the river. This will greatly facilitate the access to Shompole Wildlife Conservation Area where most of the big game are to be found. Its boundary is only two kilometers away from the lodge.

The second bridge will be located a couple of kilometers away down stream where some of the dry season villages are situated.  Crossing the river in the past was not an issue but now with rain  patterns on the Mau Escarpment being very irregular, flooding occurs at unexpected times and can leave the local people stranded  on the wrong side of the river.

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Tubing down the Ewaso Ngiro river

africanlatitude wrote this at 13:22 :

Shompole Group Ranch at this time of the year is quite hot but the grass is still green thanks to a few rain showers.

The coolest place to be is in the shade of the giant fig trees at Loisiijo.

But for the more adventurous, the best place is on, or in the river. Tubing down the river when the water is high and the current still strong is a fantastic experience. So off we went with a few 4X4 inner tubes pumped up to the maximum pressure.

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Drifting past solid walls of tentacle-like roots, surprising herons, kingfishers and zebras as they came down to drink, and meeting Masai herdsmen watering their cattle were just a few of the unexpected encounters.

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Shompole Game Ranger - John Saigilu

africanlatitude wrote this at 08:50 :

John Saigilu is  a Ranger for Shompole Group Ranch. He has been based at Loisiijo  for the past 6 months, and accompanies the guests on game and bird walks.

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John joined the Shompole Group Ranch Ranger team in 2005. He followed a four month training course at the Kenya Wildlife Service. Manyani training school

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Before joining us at Loisiijo he was on anti poaching patrol and was promoted after catching charcoal burners in the Group Ranch.  Shompole leaders banned charcoal burning many years ago. I  wish more Communities could follow this model.

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John is very knowledgeable on animal behavior and he is currently working on the Loisiijo bird list. Being a local Masai community member, he can also explain the traditions & culture of the Masai, including the traditional uses of plants & trees.

Electricity in the top cottage

africanlatitude wrote this at 06:44 :

Mr Peter Kisczio came to Loisiijo in February this year. He is a well travelled gentleman who has been visiting Kenya every year for the last twenty years. I believe this was his first visit to the Magadi & Shompole area. He came to stay at Loisiijo for one night, and stayed three, as he enjoyed the place so much.

I was there at the time and explained the Shompole Community project & how Loisiijo was generating income and employment for the Shompole Community. Also that we were relying on donations to finish the lodge and to complete the installation of solar electricity in the rooms.

When Peter was leaving he made a very generous gesture and donated 500 USD to complete the solar installation in one room.  

So now thanks to Peter, we have another beautifully lit bungalow. On behalf of the Shompole Community. thank you Peter for your generosity.

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