Our walk into paradise and beyond continues!.. Partly checking on Milgis work, Partly pleasure .. bird watching, walking through fabulous country, and taking a wonderful busmans holiday… !…
This was variable sunbird city.. Every colour in the book… every bush had a ‘variable’ singing on it.. it was extraordinary..
The most serious part of our walk is all about the very north end of the Ndotos.. ( Ndoto lesirikan) or Mussei..
So lets go back to the beginning!!… 20 years ago we settled on Lkanto hill with the most unbelievable view down the Mighty Milgis lugga
, and to the south/east Lenkiyou ( Matthews) range…
to the north/east the whole of the Ndoto mountain range
It is one of the MOST incredible views, many people who have visited are stunned.. and we have the pleasure to live with it!!…
There was one problem…. The northern part of the Ndoto mountains ( Ndoto lesirikan) was on fire… every week, every month, every year.. we saw these most unbelievable fires burning… just burning virgin forest, virgin land… WHAT ON EARTH WAS IN THEIR MINDS??? we asked ourselves..?? The ‘Milgis’ came about in 2004, and has worked incredibly hard to stop these fires, and our manager, scouts and lkiramats talked and talked about what will happen next and it did.. The water dried up and EVERY ONE SUFFERED… 20 years later we have just walked over the mountain to see VERY VERY GOOD SIGNS!!!.. There has not been a fire on the mountain for many years.. The scout from Kileswa told me that since he has been employed there has NOT been a single fire!
Here below are the remnants of this crazy burning!.. BIG OLD amazing ceder skeletons still standing after 20 years..
One could talk about it untill you are blue in the face… but it took the people living off their ‘breadbasket’ mountain tooooo long to connect burning the forest with no water.. untill it started happening…
The great thing is this has been a good example to all others who want to burn…
You might wonder why the burning!!.. you are asking me??!! I’m yet to understand this BUT some would say burning/remove the thick bush, the grass will grow for the cows?? OR by burning, it opens up the bush and the forest, so lets just light it up!! (remembering the elephants were completely wiped out in the end of the last century.. there were no elephants north of the Milgis lugga left, to do this very job??) Some were accidents from honey gatherers, or others…What ever a huge amount of the mountain vegetation was destroyed and the rivers dried up!.. LUCKILY temporarily as nature is amazing if given the chance!! plus the help of the returning elephants..
BUT on a positive NOTE… On most of the mountain the regrowth, is FABULOUS…
The travelers, enjoying the morning air and view!!
so why the title of this blog!?? Well even more exciting is the return of the Elephants to this mountain, where only 30/40 years ago hundreds possibly thousands died because of their ivory right here….
He was so proud to show the major route for ALL the elephant traffic going north..
There is still very very little water on this mountain after the years of fires its not surprising , so the pathways to the little tiny springs are well used, by all the wildlife …
more lovely luscious and healthy recovering forest..
As we speak, we are making a short film on ‘burning’ the forests.. and the implications.. Freddy Deeble and Harry Williams, along with Digs have been busy, getting good footage, ( the good news is not much of fresh burns!).. plus they will using alot of props and animations to explain.. We will be going round all the communities to show what happens so that we stop this forever!
Aloes.. Love them, and we found plenty of the beauties..
and these fabulous trees in flower..
Lovely to see the mist doing its work…
Things are not totally perfect .. and here below is a couple of signs of ceder post extraction, which we must address
The forest is full of exquisite flowers.. These Cadia all along the paths EVERY where.. Just a special flower..
And I end with a smile on our faces and a ‘pat on our backs!’ … to the whole of the Milgis team!! Weldone guys and girls in the field, and to our wonderful supporters.. .. We are all proud of you..
Helen – you are doing SUCH a wonderful job. Hats off to you and your team. How wonderful to have the ellies back. Those are FABULOUS photos – the views are to die for, and what a treat to see the forests recovering. Are you doing safaris at the moment? If not, when do you atart?I would so love to do another one, before I have to book my zimmer frame!
Ahhhhhhh Jane… Come and see us SOON!!! So sweet of you to always keep up with us!!
Another wonderful journal, so heartening to hear about the fantastic work The Milgis Team has done over the past 20 years. To see the forest and water return and the old elephant trails be opened again is truly wonderful. I love the pictures and your personal insights and love and care for this land. Bravo to you all. How I long to do another safari.