Kevin was the talented young naturalist who was our guide and driver when we visited the Lewa Conservancy Trust, north of Mount Kenya, many years ago. At sundown it was he who spotted the kudu in deep cover long before they emerged from the brush for us to see them. Wildlife photos tend to give you the wrong idea of what game spotting is really like. Often the sightings are frustratingly vague and fleeting. The second kudu shot is not really in focus but then it shows how it was – beautiful creatures melting silently into the bush.
In the final photo you can see Grevy’s Zebra, a special focus of the conservation effort at Lewa. Kevin said he called them Micky Mouse because of their rounded ears. Their stripes are much finer than the common Burchell’s zebra.
In the far distance are the misty spires of Mount Kenya, which local people also know as Kirinyaga. The mountain top is one of the dwelling places of Ngai, the Creator of All, and has been considered a sacred place for centuries – long before missionaries set foot in East Africa and tried to teach them about one God.
Lewa was once a colonial cattle farm, but now it is a private conservation enterprise working alongside local communities to improve the quality of life for humans and animals alike. In consequence, they have an impressive anti-poaching record. See the video below and take heart in the fact that conservation in Africa can also be a success story.