We left the mountains with all the greenery… Even thinking to ourselves… “What are we doing heading into the Kaisut desert!!!.”. The area is experiencing a proper drought again and YES life is hard… BUT its funny, we ALL loved being out there so much.. Camels loved the sand, the wind, the midday sun, the freshness of the desert early mornings and evenings.. AS WE DID.. BUT in the desert, one has to be careful or it can catch up on you..
Water is the issue.. We came across people walking many many kms to water, some up to 40-50 kms in a day.. I mean its incredible.. ALL with a stride and positivity that you don’t see in in our modern world…
Anyway… I think, what is so amazing about deserts is the life in them… SO MUCH.. and sooooo healthy.. AND of course the wide huge open vistas…
We are still on our “holiday”..
I leave you with just a whole array of pictures of the beauty, remoteness, and wildness of this magnificent place on earth..
Also a bit on the work our scouts are doing, the wildlife..
each picture speaks for itself..
This is how our scouts work.. a lot of talking, delving into what’s going on and who’s up to what.. Remember every one, knows every one!!
I know almost all of you reading this have been on safari and have met some of our ‘Milgis’ scouts briefly and we describe how we operate on our website but for those that don’t know .. The Milgis Trust works in a completely different way than all others.. Our approach is gentle, we don’t fight, or threaten.. WE agree!! Agreeing takes a lot of talking and persuasion.. The work of the Milgis Trust is very simple.. We want to secure the future for the pastoral peoples and animals.. (Wildlife and livestock) and this will NOT happen if the environment is not on the top of the list of issues!! Our scouts and informers live with in their communities, when times are easy, after the rains they are at home .. each person takes responsibility for the conservation matters and tries his best to make sure every one understands the implications of not caring.. When its dry, the scouts are off with their livestock as do the neighbours, and the wildlife as well, some times travelling far and wide, so its great, they can spread the word..
We have regular meetings so that each and every scout/ilkiramat has their word and they can all work out the best way to get the message across, and how to best deal with some of the issues rearing up..
Each man or woman chooses an animal, bird, tree, or mountain for his code/radio name.. and now these names have stuck and they are all influential caring people with healthy focus on making sure the future is GOOD!!
I like to get to know all and every person that works out in the field for the ‘Milgis’ personally, and by walking with them we get to know each other..
Water is a very fragile issue out here.. one mistake and its too late.. AND one is restricted in what one can do as even camels can’t last forever! SO we had to change all our plans because the wells at Apparen were nearly dry.. We decided to head towards Ilaut where the camels could find water .. it was going to be a 50 km walk to get there and back from our camp but it seemed we had no choice.. BUT A community nearby, Lmikenya about 18 kms there and back, VERY kindly offered to give our camels the little water they had and to push the 100s of goats supposedly coming that day for tomorrow..
A very very kind gesture, and HUGELY appreciated forever..
The generosity of people out here in these deserts is extraordinary
Just for interest.. Ilaut is a famous place if you are a camel owner.. Its been a traditional place to water your camels for years and years… Hundreds and hundreds, some times thousands of thirsty camels would be watered in a day.. The beautiful warriors all singing as they bring the water up from deep wells.. A wonderful place of gathering of people and animals.. It can be the MOST amazing sight, to remain with you forever.. its an all day affaire and all the stories and news exchanges ‘hands’… In an normal year it would have been the place of choice to water our animals, and collect information, BUT because of the drought most of the camels have headed towards the Chalbi to the area we saw the rain in May 2021, and we took the kind offer to go to Lmikenya!
Another time our search for water takes us this most beautiful valley..
Actually that same afternoon a man sadly slipped into one of the deep wells, night mare of note, they are about 30 or so feet deep, trying to bring the last few drops for his friend’s goats.. He broke his arm and damaged his foot, but survived.. They got the traditional ‘broken bone’ doc in and in no time he will be back on the road !!
And so, with these good men on the job, things are improving on the piki ( motorbike ) poaching side. We are moving in the right direction… . One step at a time.. With the good support of the people now living out in the desert with their cows, because of the good grass there, we are winning BUT absolutely can not let our guard down.. luckily also the animals themselves fight back sometimes and one of the poachers was wounded by an oryx..
Drought is an interesting phenomena… in fact its almost good .. Especially if the people remain nomadic.. Some areas get fabulous rain like this year further north in May 21.. What we found is A LOT of pastoralists have travelled long long distances to find pasture, and the good news is they are finding it!.. And although this area looks drastically dry, we know the rains will eventually come and the land will bounce back
There were Bustards around every corner.. amazing!! the sounds of bustards calling ring out constantly!
Come on you lot!! YES I’m talking to YOU reading this!… come and walk with us, come and get cured from all your ailments in the desert.. Minimum time you need is 2 weeks!….