#SAVEOURRHINOS -Ol Pejeta Conservancy

by Grace Njeri

Hello there,

I hope you had a fantastic weekend, if you had a chance to watch my Instagram story, then you know I spent mine in Nanyuki at Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

I met Sarah, my host at a rather odd place – a Kiondo shop and from that moment on we got along. She is also the founder of Rock and stones, a company that raises funds for conservation by selling shorts made from Kanga. Check them out on Instagram or Facebook . They are colorful, sexy and comfortable.

Ol Pejeta is home to the last three northern white rhinos on the planet. Two females Fatu and Najin. And one male, Sudan. I knew that on my way there but I don’t think I quite understood what that meant until later.

We got to the gate, Mia and I…. so when I say we, you know who I’m referring to.

We got to the gate and we were given a map to use to get us to Morani restaurant. In that moment I realized I should have paid more attention in school or did my teacher emphasize too much on sedimentary rocks a map wasn’t important? Anyway there we were at 8.30am with a map on our hands and a meeting at 8.55am. After several stops, we found ourselves there!! We made it!! We used a map!!  I’m not sure if that was a cause for celebration or an emphasis that we are plain jokers winging life!

Morani Restaurant is named after a famous Rhino, Morani who was one of the friendliest rhinos at Ol Pejeta.

A few minutes later, Sarah drove in with a crew of American marines who were there for their internship. How cool is it to do your internship at a game reserve?

We had a quick introduction and went straight to the see Sudan. He is the last standing male northern white Rhino on the planet.  Like I said earlier I knew this on my way to Ol Pejeta because I had done my homework but it’s not until I met him that I realized what a serious issue it is.  Why are we (humans) the ones who consume and destroy everything?? We have given nature no chance to survive. We cut down trees, kill our animals and extinct them. The statistics are so heartbreaking between the early ‘80s to date.  The number of these rhinos like Sudan has reduced to THREE. Sudan is now 44 years old which in human life that is about 90 years old. He is very old and needs a lot of care and attention.

I stood next to him feeling happy and sad at the same time. Because the reality of poaching hadn’t occurred to me till that moment. I’m so glad I met you Sudan!!

Because of the poaching, and the threat against these Northern White Rhinos, these rhinos are kept in an enclosure with round the clock security. The conservancy has also trained dogs that watch over the rhinos. #animalssavinganimals

With all that to take in, we went for coffee at Morani restaurant. Morani restaurant is a piece of the city in the bush. They have fantastic coffee that tastes even better with the fresh air and the view of the unbroken horizon with lone acacias standing erect.

Next on the agenda was a game drive scheduled for 1.30pm. This is another memorable part of the trip.

Emmanuel drove us around.

He is such a wise and brave man! He knows the name of almost every tree in the reserve and its use. Occasionally he would ask us to spot the animal he had found so we kept our eyes open. He drove us around for several hours up to sunset. I don’t think my words can fully describe the entire experience but it really was magical.

A few times we came across cattle grazers walking in the bush, amidst the wild animals with only a rungu. Sounds like a mythical story right??

He took us to the rhino grave yard at Ol Pejeta and this is made it so much more real after seeing Sudan. Here they have buried all the rhinos who called Ol Pejeta home. It is so sad to see their cause of death, most of them, shot dead, and their horns cut by poachers for sale.

Next memorable place was the Chimpanzee place. I didn’t even know that they are endangered too. Humans are their greatest threat because they capture them and trade their meat. This is monstrous!!

After the drive we went back to our room at the stables to get ready for a barbecue. Beef skewers, Choma sausage, lyonnaise potatoes…. YAAAASSSS!! Can I do this forever??  This was the last night for the marines hence the barbecue. We had dinner and talked like we had known each other forever. Played beer pong till late in the night.

I really enjoy meeting people because people will always surprise you with their stories.

We went to bed and come Saturday morning we had a game drive at 6am.

Matthew, a geographer was joining us for the morning drive. Before I talk about our morning drive, let me talk about Matthew. I haven’t met someone so independent and calm like Matthew. He walks around with his novel calmly. We had all played poker the previous night and in our attempt to cheat the system to remain in the game, he just kept calm.

Back to the game drive… There we were standing in the land cruiser whilst watching two cheetahs hunting right in front of our car as the sun rose. Sounds like my second story straight from a story book huh?

We came back, had our breakfast, packed,  had lunch and we were not ready to come back to the choking anxiety of Nairobi.

This trip was such an eye opener for me. We must stop these monstrous activities! Killing our animals, trading our animals for meat. Ivory is only beautiful on our animals!! #saveourrhinos #stoppoaching

Thanks to the efforts of Ol Pejeta conservancy and other conservation reserves, the rate of poaching has massively reduced but the effects of the last 20 years are still visible. Sudan’s example is a sad one and that is the sad reality. Head over to Ol Pejeta Conservancy to read more about how you can get involved.

Thank you for making it to the end.















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Ndung'u February 10, 2017 - 18:07

Nice piece but sad you didn’t raise alarm that you were in my hood

Grace Njeri May 9, 2017 - 20:34

Ndung’u, I had no chance. There’s always a next time though!

Matthew May 9, 2017 - 20:16

Hey that Matthew is me! Does this mean I’m famous. I never saw those Cheetahs again, thanks for taking me on your drive it was a great day.

Grace Njeri May 9, 2017 - 20:36

Hi Matthew!! Hahaha 🙂 😀 We were happy to have you on the drive!


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