Africa & the Middle East Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Africa & the Middle East activity »
  1. 1 Lion World
  2. 2 Advice, please: Addo Elephant Park to Cape Town AIrport on Garden Route
  3. 3 East Africa Safari 1st Time- Summer 2016
  4. 4 Trip Report Trip Report: Madagascar and Rwanda
  5. 5 Israel in April - itinerary help
  6. 6 Kgalagadi Transfrontier NP
  7. 7 Mpumalanga visit
  8. 8 safe areas to go on safari
  9. 9 Trip Report Rabat opinion and prices in Rabat + video
  10. 10 Trip to Kenya in August 2016
  11. 11 Okavango and Kalahari in December
  12. 12 Victoria Falls
  13. 13 WOMEN DRIVING IN SA
  14. 14 8 nights in Dubai...need advice regarding Dubai/Petra combo.
  15. 15 Trip Report 2015: South Africa for a fortnight
  16. 16 Trip Report Now is a GREAT time to visit Egypt! (Trip Report)
  17. 17 Trip Report TRIP REPORT – 5 fantastic weeks in South Africa, Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Mauritius
  18. 18 Who to Choose? Africa Serendipity, Rothschild Safari or ATR?
  19. 19 Trip Report Keep watching the news and DON'T believe my trip report
  20. 20 Migration in Tanzania/Kenya - September
  21. 21 Trip to Kenya - Nov 26-Dec 9
  22. 22 Kruger park
  23. 23 Casablanca arrival -alternative first night stay
  24. 24 Have itinerary -- need an agency
  25. 25 Malaria medications Africa
View next 25 » Back to the top

Trip Report Lumo Community Wildlife Sanctuary

Jump to last reply

After a year of promises to visit, two weeks ago I finally made the trek out to Tsavo Volunteers. I met the manager of the project, Patrick Kilonzo, last year in Nairobi after we connected through the CouchSurfing website. Then he had told me about the activities his volunteer organisation was involved in, particularly focusing on dealing with the human-wildlife conflict that exists in many parts of Africa.

Tsavo Volunteers is based in Lumo Community Sanctuary, which is part of the Tsavo eco-system. Lumo was set up by the local community, with residents contributing their land for conservation. Community members are still allowed to graze their cattle in the Sanctuary, but its primary purpose is for wildlife protection. The park entry fees collected from visitors are fed back into the community and distributed amongst the approximately 2500 shareholders. This goes some way to ensure community members are not tempted to engage in poaching activities.

While I was there, a CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) conference was being held in the adjacent Taita Hills Sanctuary. The delegates came to Lumo to learn about the activities being conducted to protect elephants. CITES are currently undergoing an investigation into releasing ivory onto the market. There is pressure from Southern African nations who hold large stockpiles of ivory, but Kenya Wildlife Service is against it. Even though elephants are enormously destructive (indeed throughout Lumo there were large swathes or land with not an upright tree in sight), opening the ivory market could see the end of these beautiful creatures.

The day I arrived, Patrick treated me to the best experiences of the area: a glass of red wine at Lions Bluff Lodge watching the sunset over Mt Kilimanjaro, followed by dinner at Sarova Salt Lick Lodge seated by the window watching herd of elephants come to drink water at the water hole located just outside. It was challenging to have a conversation over the bellows of the elephants though!

The following day, we went on patrol. Two volunteers were already at Lumo when I arrived: Elizabeth from the US and Nils from Germany. Together with Patrick and Agnes (wildlife specialist) we patrolled the Sanctuary, making sure none of the animals had snares and everything was as it should be. As well as elephants, we saw ostriches (courting and mating, what a show!), waterbuck, impala, gazelle, striped hyena, buffalo, and plenty of birds.

In the afternoon we visited the school where Patrick is working on a chilli-growing project. Elephants do not like chilli, making it a good crop for villagers to grow. They can sell it at market or exchange it for other vegetables from other villages. Other activities they undertake include making paper out of elephant dung to sell to tourists. Instead of fighting against the elephants, Tsavo Volunteers is dedicated to working with the community to find ways of using the elephants to generate income sustainably.

Advertisement