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Serien! (Samburu for Hello)
I find it amazing that I just never tire of coming to Kenya. I have been so lucky; in the past 4 years I think I have spent around 9 months in the north of the country, working in Melako community conservancy with communities and wildlife and alternative livelihood development.
Melako is my home away from home. I have my own rhythm there, and great friends, and endless appreciation for the incredible people, landscapes, and wildlife; it is so untouched.
Just some quick background on Melako: it is home to 6000 members of the Samburu and Rendille people who are nomadic pastoralists and amongst the most enterprising, welcoming, and stunning people I've ever met. To top it all off, the environment is spectacular. The backdrop for Melako is the dramatic Mathews Ranges that drop into the most arid regions in Kenya. I am always surrounded there by beautiful Acacia trees that symbolize the African plains, and wildlife like giraffe, elephant, hyena and lion are never too far away.
Africa, and how it touches your soul, is actually really hard to describe, you must experience it for yourself. It’s the sunsets, the smell, the feel, the colour — and the goat for dinner! All of these things plus something you can’t quite put your finger. It simply remains with you.
It was all this “amazingness” that inspired a new venture. The Melako community, a friend from Il Ngwesi Conservancy, and myself put our heads together and concluded: ‘you know what, I bet other people around the world would find this part of Kenya just as inspiring, I bet other people would like to learn about how we work with wildlife’. So here we are 12 months later, proudly welcoming you to join us on a journey that will change your life forever.
Now we have our own company based in Kenya, RAW Africa Eco Tours, and we are proudly partnered to Jess and her crew at Raw Wildlife Encounters. The community has put together a fantastic program for our guests, showcasing some of their favourite locations and experiences, and want to present it to you. We have access to places and people and conservation ‘stuff’ that no one else will ever offer because of the strong relationships and connections RAW Africa have made in the most famous conservation areas in East Africa.
So come and meet the Antipoaching Dog Unit at Lewa, climb into the treetops in Ngarendare Forest, sleep under the stars with lions calling in the distance in Laisamis, share a meal and stories with the Scouts of Melako, and relax by the pool at Il Ngwesi Lodge while elephants and giraffe refresh nearby at the waterhole.
How could you not want to come on this journey!
Over the next couple of months I will be posting blogs introducing you to the community, the scouts, the wildlife, and the landscapes of East Africa. If you have any questions please get in touch.
Brooke Squires has worked in zoos, national parks and conservation areas around the world. These days, she divides her time between her beloved rhinos at Werribee Open Range Zoo, Victoria, where she is a rhino keeper, and the International Conservation Partnerships for Zoos Victoria.
Ph: +61 (0)423 393 836