Mara River Basin

Expedition ’09


EXPEDITION ITINERARY (Sept. 15 – Oct. 14, 2009)

Project Leader: Alison M. Jones
Project Coordinator: James Robertson

(Expedition Members: Alison M. Jones, Alison M. Fast, Tari Wako, Joash Romeo)

September 15: NYC-ZURICH – Departure of Alison Jones to Kenya.

September 16: NAIROBI – Alison Jones arrives in Nairobi.
Meeting: Tari Wako, review expedition plans.
Overnight in Karen with James Robertson, Ker & Downey Safaris.

September 17: NAIROBI – Expedition prep and interviews.
Lunch: Kim Edmunds, Film editor and Safari guide, on tourism issues in Mara River Basin.
Departure of Alison Fast from Washington DC.
Overnight in Karen with James Robertson, Ker & Downey Safaris.

September 18: NAIROBI – Expedition preparation & interviews.
Lunch: Nigel Pavitt, Chmn., Mara Conservancy; James Robertson, Bd., Mara Conservancy.
Alison Fast arrives in Nairobi.
Overnight in Karen with James Robertson, Ker & Downey Safaris.

September 19: NAIROBI to MAU FOREST – via 4WD Land Cruiser with trailer.
Interview-video: James Robertson, Chmn., Ker & Downey Safaris; Founding Dir, Mara Conservancy, “No Mau, No Mara”.
Interview-video: Tari Wako, NWNL driver guide for Kenya from James Robertson Safaris Arrive Njoro (0-20’0N; 35-55’60E) in foothills of the Mau Forest above Lake Nakuru.
Meeting: Andrew Nightingale, Film-maker, farmer, conservationist; “No Forest, No Water”.
Overnight: Kembu Camp in Njoro.

September 20: MAU FOREST: – ground documentation.
Interview-video: Andrew Nightingale: Filmaker, Farmer, Conservationist.
Meeting: Andrew Nightingale and Jacob Mwanduka: Historic maps of forest.
Interview-video: Jacob Mwanduka, FOMAWA (Friends of the Mau Forest).
Njoro River – Document polluted run-off, river usage for laundry & washing & collection.
Eucalyptus Farm – Document sustainable timber farming.
Overnight: Kembu Camp in Njoro.

September 21: MAU FOREST – Aerial & ground documentation.
Charter Flight over Mau Forest, Cessna 206: pilot, Peter White: 2 hrs, aerial stills and video.
Charcoal Farm, with Andrew Nightingale and Jacob Mwanduka: A more sustainable alternative to fuelwood from indigenous forest.
Elburgon and Mau Forest with Jacob Mwanduka via 4WD: Document indigenous forest, local settlement, deforestation.
Interview-video: Martin Gathoga, small-scale farmer on 1/4 acre lease for maize in Mau Forest.
Interview Rose Kipsiget and Joseph Lokorio, Ogiek-Mariashoni Primary School headmistress and teacher, respectively – Indigenous culture.
Enyapuiyapui Swamp – Source of the Mara River.
Overnight: Kembu Camp in Njoro.

September 22: MAU FOREST to ELBURGON to KERICHO
Kenana Knitters Women’s Coop – water used for washing & dying wool and growing plants that make the dye.
Elburgon, Kiratu Sawmill – Interview Frederick Chege Wdogo and Somon C Ngugi, Dir and Mgr of sawmill, respectively.
Kericho – Tea plantations used as a buffer to protect Mau Forest.
Overnight at Ray’s Place in Kericho.

September 23: KERICHO to BOMET and MULOT to PLAINS north of Maasai Mara NR
Tea Plantations and Mau Forest – at sunrise: Tea-picking and crop spraying.
Finley Tea Plantation – Commercial tea farming and horticulture.
Upper Saosa River – Indigenous forest.
Bomet – Nyangora River (tributary of Mara River).
Mulot – Amala River (tributary of Mara River); Mara River Water Users Assoc.
Olerai – Meeting: Tarquin and Lippa Woods, commercial farmers.
Overnight at Olerai Farm Campsite.

September 24: PLAINS north of Maasai Mara NR
Interview-video: Tarquin Woods (commercial farmer, conservationist).
Interview-video: Johnstone Kimojino, Dir of Emarti Primary School.
Mara River – Rowed downriver on float built on oil drums.
Olerai Farm – Commercial farming, water extraction and irrigation.
Overnight at Olerai Farm Campsite.

September 25: PLAINS north of Maasai Mara NR
Naratoi, Emarti Primary School – Interview-video school children by Mara River.
Mulot – Interview-video Hugo Woods, Founder, Mara River Water Users Assoc; commercial farmer. Visit MRWUA nursery.
Shimoo Farm – Document commercial farming, water extraction and irrigation.
Overnight at Olerai Farm Campsite.

September 26: PLAINS north of Maasai Mara GR OLERAI to OLARE OROK to MARA CONSERVANCY
Shimoo Farm – Document confluence of Amala and Nyangores (Chepkulo) Rivers (1°02’ S, 35°150’ E) to form Mara River and commercial farming pumps and pivot irrigation.
Olare Orok Conservancy, Topi House – Interview-video Ron Beaton, Founder of Olare Orok and Koiyaki Wilderness Guiding School for local Maasai, Discussion of conservancy development.
Talek – Enter Mara Conservancy through gate in this drought-stricken town.
Overnight in Mara Conservancy’s public campsite near Serena.

September 27: MARA CONSERVANCY, MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
Meeting: Wilson Naitoi, Maasai Game Warden: effect of drought on wildlife.
Document wildebeest crossing Mara River at “Main Crossing”.
Meeting: Brian Heath, Chief Executive, Mara Conservancy: effect of Mau deforestation on flow of Mara River in Mara Conservancy.
Meeting: Amanda Barrett and Owen Newman, Disney film-makers doing documentary on Mara wildlife, on Mara River dry-season flows decreasing and flood events.
Overnight in Mara Conservancy’s public campsite near Serena.

September 28: MARA CONSERVANCY, MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
Document wildlife in Mara Conservancy and wildebeest migration accessing water.
Interview-video: Amanda Subalusky and Chris Dutton, scientists with GLOWS studying water flows and quality of Mara River.
Overnight in Mara Conservancy’s public campsite near Serena.

September 29: MARA CONSERVANCY, MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
Interview-video, at confluence of Mara and Sand Rivers: Amanda Subalusky and Chris Dutton, scientists testing river invertebrates to determine oxygen levels and reading salinity.
Document wildlife in Mara Conservancy and Narok side of Maasai Mara NR.
Rekero Camp – Interview Jackson Looseyia, Maasai co-owner of Rekero and wildlife guide: On camp and other lodges’ effluent disposal, education of Maasai who own the land, and impact of tourism on watershed.
Overnight in Mara Conservancy’s public campsite near Serena.

September 30: MARA CONSERVANCY, MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
Interview/video and day tour with Brian Heath, Chief Exec of Mara Conservancy, on new Maasai Mara NR Management Plan 2009–19, poaching and tourism. Drive to Salt Lick Marsh.
Overnight in Mara Conservancy’s public campsite near Serena.

October 1: MARA CONSERVANCY, MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
Near Lolgorian, Trans-Mara Escarpment – visit Maasai manyatta for honorary goat BBQ.
Meeting: Brian Heath, Amanda Barrett and Owen Newman: future of conservation in face of climate change and population growth.
Overnight in Mara Conservancy’s public campsite near Serena.

October 2: MARA CONSERVANCY, via Trans Mara and Isebania to MUSOMA, TANZANIA
Isebania – Cross border into Tanzania. Transfer from Tari Wako, Kenya driver/guide to Joash Romeo, Tanzania driver/guide 1 hr drive to Musoma.
Tarime, Angel House Orphanage – Interview-video Katherine Walker on water-related diseases and water availability (since orphanage has no running water).
Interview Joash Romeo.
Overnight at Mat Villa, Musoma.

October 3: MARA RIVER SWAMP & BAY / LAKE VICTORIA at MUSOMA
Kirumi – Mara River Airboat Safari in Musarura Swamp with Joash Romeo on Mara River.
Masarura Dam – used for drinking water, cattle water and irrigation of banana and vegetable plots.
Overnight at Sentavin Hotel, Musoma.

October 4: MARA RIVER SWAMP & BAY / LAKE VICTORIA at MUSOMA
Musoma – Lakeside Fish Market and BMU (Beach Management Unit): Interviews with fishermen.
Interview: Eranga Alois and Juma Malima on lakeside fishing.
Interview: Samson Gesase on lakeside horticultural farming coop for urban markets.
Overnight at Sentavin Hotel, Musoma.

October 5: MARA RIVER SWAMP & BAY / LAKE VICTORIA at MUSOMA – World Habitat Day!
Nyarusurya Fish Market and BMU – Interview Charles Kaare and Abdallah Maiga, Chmn. and Sec’y respectively, on fishing regulations.
Swedish Cooperative Centre – Interview Bjorn Horvath, Proj Mgr of SCC’s Lake Victoria Development Programme on agro-forestry.
World Wildlife Fund – Interview William Kasanga, Proj Exec, Mara River Programme on integrated water resource management and transboundary coordination.
Nile Basin Initiative – Interview Joseph Terer, Proj Mgr NELSAP/Mara River Basin Mgt Proj: On inter-governmental organization of watersheds of 9 Nile countries and subsidiary action programs (SAPs) – “We need actions, not words.”
Overnight at Tembo Beach Hotel, Musoma.

October 6: MUSOMA TZ via MARA CONSERVANCY to NAIROBI
Meeting: Brian Heath and Will Deed at Serena on PR and Funding needed for Conservancies.
Overnight in Karen with James Robertson, Ker & Downey Safaris.

October 7: NAIROBI: Interviews with Nairobi stewards & conservationists working for Mara River Basin
Meeting: Johnny Baxendale, Safari guide and conservationist, on role of Kenya Forest Service.
Interview-video: Dame Daphne Sheldrick of David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, on Kenya Wildlife Service.
Overnight in Karen with James Robertson, Ker & Downey Safaris.

October 8: NAIROBI
Kenya Wildlife Trust – Interview-video: Michael Wamithi, former Dir of KWS, now Dir KWT on impacts of drought and human activity on Kenya’s biodiversity.
Interview-video: Martin Forster, Chmn CMC Motors, Chmn Mara Conservancy Board, on role of corporations in conservation and education, future of Mara Conservancy.
Mau Forest Implementation Commission – Interview-video: Christian Lambrechts, Policy and Programme Officer UNEP and member of Raila Odinga’s Mau Forest Task Force and Implementation Commission, on the set up and challenges of Mau Forest restoration.
Overnight in Karen with James Robertson, Ker & Downey Safaris.

October 9: NAIROBI
Meeting: James Roberston, Chmn Ker and Downey Safaris, Bd of Mara Conservancy On consultation on expedition results.
Downloading of audio files and team review of expedition results.
Meeting: Jeffrey Gettleman, East Africa Bureau Chief of NYTimes on influence of Somali/Al Qaeda influence in Kenya.
Overnight in Karen with James Robertson, Ker & Downey Safaris.

October 10: NAIROBI
Team organization of expedition contacts met and not met, typing translations, etc.…
Alison Jones stays on; and Alison Fast departs.
Overnight in Karen with James Robertson, Ker & Downey Safaris.

October 11–13: KILIFI on KENYA COAST
Alison Jones on working retreat with Kim Edwards, film editor and Safari Guide.
Overnights at Tamarind Beach Hotel.

Oct. 14: NAIROBI
Meeting: Mike and Judy Rainy.
Meeting: Allan Earnshaw, owner Ker and Downey Safaris, and Chmn of Kenya Gov’t’s Private Sector Committee on political efforts to evict settlers and reforest the Mau.
Alison Jones departs Nairobi.