Hiking in the Hills of Taita

 

Part 1 of 2

An ancient massif of endemic plants and animals

Published: Saturday magazine, Nation newspaper 13 January 2018

Above: Taita apalis – criticaly endangered – fewer than 200 survive today in fragmented forests of the Taita Hills in an area of five square kilometers (copyright Luca Borghesio)

The mist swirls and whirls, white and dense, hiding and revealing the valleys and peaks of the hills. We’re on a climb to reach the top of the ancient bare rock that tops the forest of Yale in the Taita Hills.

Indigenous plant of the mountains - Lobelia gibberoa on Yale hilltop that is part of Taita Hills. Copyright Rupi Mangat
Indigenous plant of the mountains – Lobelia gibberoa on Yale hilltop that is part of Taita Hills. Copyright Rupi Mangat

Continue reading “Hiking in the Hills of Taita”

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A ‘Selfie’ with Wildlife

Above: Cruel taste – a sloth dressed in pink bow with a tourist. Wath the horrendous clip below on how the sloths are captured and put in sacks to be sold in the tourist trade

Published in The East African Nation media December 16, 2017

There’s a right way and the wrong way of doing it…as the recent case of two tourists trampled to death trying to get too close to an elephant … all for a ‘selfie’.

Selfies with wild animals have proliferated over the last two years on social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter driving the suffering and exploitation for some of the world’s most iconic animals across the world, reads a new report titled Wildlife Selfies launched in Nairobi by the World Animal Protection whose loge reads – Protect animals globally.

wildlife selfie 1 (522x380)
There’s a right way and the wrong way of doing it

Continue reading “A ‘Selfie’ with Wildlife”

Life at Lodwar

Twixt the desert and the lake

Above Lake Turkana from Eliye Springs Resort – Copyright Rupi Mangat

Publshed Saturday magazine Nation newspaper 6 January 2018

Lake Turkana from Eliye Springs Copyright Rupi Mangat
Lake Turkana from Eliye Springs Copyright Rupi Mangat

I’m in haven floating on the warm waters of the Jade Sea coined by Teleki. It’s the world’s largest permanent lake in the desert and the world’s largest alkaline body officially known as Lake Turkana on the northern reaches of Kenya’s once the ferocious Northern Frontier District.  It’s now a World Heritage Site.

Continue reading “Life at Lodwar”

Landscapes of Lolldaiga

Part 2 of 2

Published Saturday magazine, Nation newspaper 30 December 2017

Above: Desert warthog
Copyright De Jong & Butynski 

Learning more about lesser-known wildlife

There’s more than the Desert Warthog that we’re learning about in Lolldaiga and why it’s important to know all that makes for Kenya’s biodiversity.

“To be able to protect biodiversity,” states Yvonne de Jong of Lolldaiga Hills Research Programme “you need to know which taxa are where.” Continue reading “Landscapes of Lolldaiga”

Landscapes of Lolldaiga

Above: Bright’s gazellle
Copyright: De Jong & Butynski 

Lolldaiga Hills Landscape Copyright Rupi Mangat
Lolldaiga Hills Landscape Copyright Rupi Mangat

Part 1 of 2

Pubished Saturday magazine, Nation newspaper 23 December 2017

An enticing kladeiscope of rugged hills, valleys, plateaus and plains

Mount Kenya from Lolldaiga Hills Copyright Rupi Mangat
Mount Kenya from Lolldaiga Hills Copyright Rupi Mangat

Standing on one of the many hills of Lolldaiga in east Laikipia, the view is unbelievable. In the 360-degree of my eye as l swivel around slowly on the windswept pinnacle, there’s the peaks of Mount Kenya to the south, followed by Mukogodo Forest and the iconic loaf-shaped Ololokwe in arid Samburu pointing north, and looking west over the ancient pre-Cambrian bare-faced hills of Lolldaiga, I catch glimpses of the Aberdares. Continue reading “Landscapes of Lolldaiga”