As the Chairman was busy in Narok Inge Burchard chaired and opened the meeting at 1130am. 14 members were present. Our guest speaker did not show up.
Inge reported the following:
A very large lioness had been seen by Inge that very morning before the meeting. The lioness had some very small cubs with her and was seen to carry one into a bush. Although apparently hunting zebra the lioness had a limp which appeared to originate in her left hind leg.
A controlled burning exercise had again been carried out in the park. Inge felt that approximately half the prime grazing area had been burned causing a large atmospheric smoke plume that could be seen as far as Westlands. The last such exercise had been done three years ago. Inge passed around a collection of photos of the burning. A few days after this controlled burning some alledged arsonists set fire to an area around Alan Donovan’s house. Two square kilometres of grassland went up in smoke. Alan and Inge alerted KWS and they responded late in the night but with the help of the military were able to put out the fire.
Inge welcomed Mr. Michael Mugo of East African Cables (EAC). EAC has agreed to sponsor, at least in part, the construction of the new Marimbeti Gate. The gate will be called Kongoni Gate. The Kongoni is part of the EAC logo. KWS is having an Environmental Impact Assessment done for this gate as well as upgrading the boundary road.
The 200m of road between the park fence and the Nairobi-Mombasa road is already sold to private developers. FoNNaP is planning to place a caveat on this road with a view to finding eco-friendly developers who will be asked to undertake park friendly development so that the park skyline does not deteriorate into a cityscape skyline. Other such mutually enhancing endeavours will also be sought.
African Heritage Day went very well with close to 300 attendees inspite of the traffic snarl up in the city as a result of election campaigning and the late evening downpour.
The old US Embassy building is being converted into a hotel whose management is very suportive of FoNNaP and the Nairobi National Park. The hotel management want to create a waterhole that will link up with Eland Hollow in the park. This will be a very welcome addition and safety feature providing water for animals during periods of drought. We have already been warned that severe droughts are on the way due to global warming. The hotel has also agreed to exhibit FoNNaP merchandise.
We were allocated a complimentary stand in the tourism exhibition. Inge made a banner and has promised some photographs to be placed on this website in due course.
Thanks are due to Mr. Qureshi of Spectrum Photo Labs who has agreed to hold a photo exhibition in 5-6 months time possibly at the Landmark Hotel. There will be 40-50 photographs on show all taken in the Nairobi National Park.
Lake Magadi Soda Company are very supportive of FoNNaP efforts in particular after noticing us doing our wild dog work in their area. They have agreed to become corporate members.
Neal Aggarwal reported:
He has completed mapping the park and all roads are now in a GPS routeable map complete with all the sign boards, points of interest (POIs), hazards and more. Now you can upload this map to your GPS and the next time you are in the park and a little lost you can ask your GPS to take you to say ‘Main Gate’ and it will build a route telling you which way to turn at each junction as you arrive at it.
You can download the map at www.tracks4africa.com. The map costs just under KSh. 400! For this ‘huge’ outlay of money you get a routeable map of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzani, Rwanda and Burundi so you can travel anywhere in the region with safety and environmental-use consciousness. Neal is part of a group of volunteers that are mapping Africa and asks that if you do download this map you join this group and send us your data. Details are on the Tracks4Africa (T4A) website. Please do visit the website and have a look.
If you download the latest version of Google Earth (GE) onto your computer you can also overlay the T4A map onto the images that GE gives you. That way you can see what mountains, lakes or other features the roads route around, find POI’s that you never though existed, plan your next trip and just have a rocking time with the GE interface.
Neal also asks that you take the time to post some comments on this website. If you become serious about this we would invite you to become a bigger contributor to the website writing small snippets like this one. Even if you don’t post larger articles your comments are much appreciated and help make this site more than it can be with just Neal updating it when he gets time out from his hectic schedule. It does not take much time: Writing a paragraph and clicking on submit should not take you more than 20 minutes once a month or so. Please consider doing this for FoNNaP and this wonderful world we live in. If all of us join in like this the webiste will become what it should be – a living, interesting, constantly changing part of our lives.
Inge closed the meeting at 1300.
We all thank her profusely for chairing the meeting in such an able manner and conducting such a lively and informative talk.
Game count figures and some more photographs are to follow. Please check back often or subscribe to the RSS feed.