With incredible sadness we announce the translocation of the rhinos from the Mugie Rhino Sanctuary.
Reality hits hard and rhino poaching in Kenya and the rest of Africa has reached such worrying levels that the species has been pushed to the the edge of extinction. After a series of meetings between the Kenyan Wildlife Service and Mugie the decision was made to remove all rhinos from the Mugie Sanctuary for their own safety. The poachers were becoming more and more brazen as the price of rhino horn shot up – reports now reaching us have indicated that the the price has risen to an astonishing US$ 50,000 per kilogram. KWS had recently increased their armed Special Operations team from 9 to 38 men on Mugie but this was still not proving enough of a deterrent to the poachers.
Mugie had become synonymous with the conservation of the critically endangered black rhino and the continual daily battle to fight to save them. They had a huge dedicated security team that worked tirelessly over the years, but having already lost three rhinos in 2011 to poachers, saving these animals was more important than the revenues from tourism and the decision was made to translocate them to Ol Jogi Conservancy near Nanyuki in central Kenya and to Ruma (the new KWS conservancy on the shores of Lake Victoria) in western Kenya. The last rhino to leave Mugie was called Baraka – a bull rhino born in 1976 and translocated to Mugie from Nakuru National Park in 2005. It was a sad moment when his crate was put on the back of the truck and the last of Kenya’s most northerly population of black rhinos was driven away.
To get an understanding of the numbers involved – in South Africa alone, which is home to 80% of the worlds remaining rhinos, there were a staggering 440 rhinos killed last year by poachers when just five years ago 13 rhinos were killed in the same period.
Mugie will always continue their efforts with conservation – which is also home to the endangered Grevys zebra and Jacksons hartebeest amongst other threatened species. Their lion numbers are extremely healthy when numbers are dropping in many other areas due to illegal killings and habitat loss.
We just hope that the rhinos who were moved from Mugie will flourish in their new environment safer from the appalling and real peril of poaching and that internationally something is being done to stop this disgrace so that the rhinos can come back to Mugie. Till then you still have the most amazing wildlife viewing with all of the remaining Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant and buffalo – as well as lots of plain game.
Brigitte, Deepa and the EAT Team.
East Africa’s Highlight Safaris
Two of East Africa’s highlight safaris are the great wildebeest migration and gorilla tracking in Rwanda, Uganda or Congo. Several wildebeest migration safaris are organized in both Maasai (Masai) Mara and Serengeti National Parks. The duration of the safari depends on various factors but mostly on time and budget but also the flexibility of the guest. The all drive 11 days Masai Mara Serengeti Migration Safari commences from Nairobi and returns to the same via Maasai Mara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara, and Amboseli. The 8 days fly drive Wildebeest Migration Safari Masai Mara National Park (Mara Explorer 8 days) is a luxury option. Guests fly from Nairobi Wilson to Masai Mara and return to the same. The 4 days 3 Nights Migration safari combines Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru National Park and Lake Naivasha. The 6 days Best of Tanzania Safari focuses on wildebeest migration in Serengeti National Park. The best time to witness migration in Masai Mara National Park Kenya, is between July to September. Serengeti National Park is best visited between March and May.