sosian-1

Offbeat Mara Camp update

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The rains have come –

In March we left a very dusty, dry camp. The Olaro Orok river had come to a complete stand still with only a few pools of water big enough for the hippos to wallow in. They had all moved into the smaller rivers and streams due to the pressure and overcrowding in the Mara river. The noises of hippos battling for their stretch of river every evening was remarkable.

One evening, whilst having a sundowner by the fire we had to take cover as two male hippos ran out through the bushes, and in to the river behind the shop tent.

We closed up camp just as the first storms started to twist and turn around the skies.

Two months later we have returned to a completely different landscape. The grass is high, the rivers flowing and the animals that lay under the trees seeking shade are now sunbathing in the tall grasses.

The family of Lions we share our camp with have introduced us to another 6 cubs. Making that 12! They are a joy to watch as they learn and grow into skilful predators through their playful ways. The two males (Frank and Jessie) are busy protecting their territory and new family members from roaming nomadic lions.

The Cheetah are always one of the most interesting to be with after the rains. To get the best vantage point, they seek the highest points to stand and sleep on. Last week some of our guests were lucky enough to have Malika and her cubs jump on to their safari cars to scout the planes. 

- Kyle and Lara, Offbeat Mara Camp

 


NEWSFLASH - Extended 10% Discount

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Due to popular demand we are please to announce that we shall be extending our 10% Anniversary Discount to all new overseas bookings that book and travel between 1st June 2015 & 16th March 2016.  This applies to:
  • Offbeat Mara Camp
  • Sosian Lodge
  • Offbeat Meru Camp
  • Deloraine House
Furthermore the same 10% discount also applies to Offbeat Riding Safaris for all new 2015 bookings that confirm with a deposit by 30th June 2015.

Please contact us for more information - bookings@offbeatsafaris.com

Best wishes from the Offbeat team
 

Protecting our conservancies 365 days of the year...

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Whilst our camps, lodges and safaris have been closed for the month of May, the head office in Nairobi, has been kept busy with reservations and marketing for the year ahead.

This month we welcome Nadege, who is our new Reservations Manager and comes with extensive tourism and hospitality experience across Africa.  Along with the rest of the reservations team, including Paul, Peter & Christeen you can expect quick and detailed responses....

Nadege (Reservations Manager) - 
nadege@offbeatsafaris.com
Paul (Reservations Consultant) - bookings@offbeatsafaris.com
Peter (Reservations Consultant) - bookings2@offbeatsafaris.com
Christeen (Riding Reservations) - riding@offbeatsafaris.com
Please read below to learn more about the conservation efforts of Offbeat Safaris and how every guest makes a valuable & direct contribution in the form of conservation fees....

Best wishes from the Offbeat Safaris team
MORE FROM THE OFFBEAT COLLECTION....



OFFBEAT MARA CAMP

&

OFFBEAT RIDING SAFARIS


 

As one of the founding members of the Mara North Conservancy (MNC) Offbeat Safaris are committed to helping preserve 74,000 acres of the Masai Mara eco-system.  

For the first time, Masai landlords are being rewarded fairly and equally for protecting their land and the wildlife on it.  As a result, this area has improved dramatically as a wildlife conservancy.

With strict rules of game driving etiquette and unobtrusive practices, the wildlife in the MNC is not hassled or crowded, providing an important sanctuary for them and un-rivalled game viewing for our guests.

 

 


 

SOSIAN LODGE

Laikipia
Sosian had a long history of mis-management and neglect, until 2001 when a group of 6 shareholders had the vision to come together and restore this precious wilderness area.  At this time all 24,000 acres had been entirely abandoned as it could not sustain even a goat, let alone cattle or wildlife.  No livestock were allowed onto the land for 2 years, in a bid to restore the ecosystem.  Security teams from the local villages were employed and trained to start protecting the wildlife and huge investment was made into renovating the original ranch house into a tourist lodge, as well cutting roads, digging boreholes and building dams. 

Today Sosian is un-recognisable.  It is a pristine example of what sweat, blood, tears and determination can produce!  By embracing our local neighbours we have a strong and dedicated work force, a committed anti-poaching team and over 100 Sosian trained, skilled workers supporting their families. 

Wildlife numbers on Sosian are still increasing and 2014 / 2015 has to be our record year of lion numbers, leopard sightings and consistently high numbers of all other wildlife species, not least our flourishing wild dog numbers which must be the biggest success story of all!
OFFBEAT MERU CAMP
Offbeat Meru Camp is the first and only tourist facility in Bisanadi Reserve, which was gazetted as a National Reserve in 1979. With the park fees generated by the camp we have helped preserve this area as a wildlife destination, against pressure on the land for farming.

In addition to contributing to the Bisanadi Reserve, every guest that stays at Offbeat Meru also contributes park fees to Meru National Park.  For those who have experienced this park there is no question that it is a beautifully managed area with superb wildlife viewing.  Having been brought to its knees in the 1960's due to heavy poaching, a comeback like this does not happen without great dedication and vital funds.  With a large population of black and white rhino in Meru National Park, these funds are now needed more than ever to help safeguard these highly endangered animals.

 

DON'T FORGET... 


10% off

all new bookings that travel between

1st June 2015 & 16th March 2016


(applies to Offbeat Mara, Sosian, Offbeat Meru & Deloraine House)

----------------------------


10% off

all new Offbeat Riding Safaris 

that confirm with

a deposit by 30th June 2015




...See our 2016 rates...


CLICK HERE

Some have had trouble opening the rates 
but the above link should now be trouble free!




Contact bookings@offbeatsafaris.com for more information





Copyright © *2014* Offbeat Safaris * All rights reserved.

 
 


Offbeat Mara Camp Special Offer available with Safari Consultants Ltd

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SC Lion Paw Header

 

Kenya - Big Game & Migration Herds

Duration: 8 nights

Safari Consultants Ltd

Africa House
2 Cornard Mills
Cornard Tye
Great Cornard
CO10 0GW

Telephone: + 44 (0)1787 888 590
Emergency: + 44 (0)7831 556 164

Email: info@safariconsultantuk.com
safari-consultants.com

 

 

*Special offer based on Kenya Airways Special Offer, one free night on safari and early booking discount saving £850.00 per person*

 

Day 1 
Kenya Airways - London Heathrow to Nairobi   1 night

Depart London Heathrow (Terminal Four) on the evening Kenya Airways flight to Nairobi, Kenya. Overnight in flight.

 

Day 2 
Offbeat Mara New Tent Front View Offbeat Mara vehicle Offbeat Mara New Tent View cheetah and cubs
Offbeat Mara Camp, Mara North Conservancy, Masai Mara   6 nights - Full Board

Early morning arrival into Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. After completing entry formalities you will be met and transferred to the smaller Wilson Airport, where you connect with a scheduled light aircraft flight to the famous rolling plains of the Masai Mara. On arrival at the bush airstrip servicing Offbeat Mara, you will be met and transferred, game viewing en route, to Offbeat Mara Camp. Arrive in time for lunch. The afternoon is at leisure to settle in and enjoy an afternoon game-drive. Return to camp at sunset for hot showers, drinks round the camp fire and dinner. Six nights are spent at Offbeat Mara in a double/twin tent.

Days are at leisure to enjoy game viewing activities hosted by Offbeat's experienced guides. 

Offbeat Mara Camp is a 12 bed semi-permanent seasonal bush camp situated on the west bank of the Olare Orok River, outside the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Guests are accommodated in six spacious tents, two of which are family tents. All tents are comfortably furnished with large cedar beds, writing desk and canvas wardrobe. The en-suite facilities include double wash basin (for which water is provided in large jugs), flush loo and bucket shower. Lighting is provided through solar power.  A large lounge tent has a bar, library, comfortable sofas and writing table. There is a separate dining tent. Activities include game drives by day and night in custom designed landrovers/land cruisers, nature walks, bush breakfasts and sundowners. You will also have the opportunity to visit the local villages.

Offbeat Mara Camp is located outside the official Masai Mara Game Reserve within the Mara North Conservancy. Game-viewing around the camp is superb and animals often wander through the camp at night. Lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and giraffe are often seen from the verandahs of the tents themselves, and zebra and buffalo help keep the lawns short!

Most game-viewing will take place on the plains around camp, but should you wish to visit the reserve itself (not necessary except for river crossings during the migration period when Offbeat include one reserve entry for every three nights spent in camp anyway), any Reserve fees will be due in camp at the applicable rate.

 
Please click here for more information about Masai Mara
Please click here to visit the Offbeat Mara Camp, Mara North Conservancy, Masai Mara website
Please click here for a map.

Day 8 
Kenya Airways - Nairobi to London Heathrow   1 night
Morning at leisure for further game viewing. After lunch you will be transferred to the local airstrip in order to connect with the scheduled light aircraft transfer to Nairobi. On arrival into Nairobi's Wilson Airport you will be met and transferred to a suitable restaurant for an early dinner (own account). Later you will be transferred to JKI Airport, in order to connect with the scheduled Kenya Airways flight to London Heathrow. Overnight in flight.
 

Day 9 
Kenya Airways - early arrival into London Heathrow  

Early morning arrival into London Heathrow (Terminal Four). 

 

The unique reference for this itinerary is 7269
 
Costing Details:

Please note that this itinerary makes use of light aircraft air transfers which have strict baggage restrictions. Maximum weight is 15 kgs per person in total, including hand luggage. All bags should be of the soft 'hold-all' variety.

 

Included

International flights on Kenya Airways (economy class); ground and air transfers as specified; double/twin accommodation on board basis mentioned; game-viewing activities, park/conservation fees, house drinks (soft drinks, local beers, house wines and non-imported spirits) and laundry service at Offbeat Mara;  UK and Kenya airport departure taxes.

Not Included

Kenya visa fees (currently US$50.00 per person); travel insurance; personal items and gratuities; optional tours and excursions (balloon safari etc.); drinks and laundry unless specified; dinner in Nairobi.

 

Travel from July to September 2015 (excluding peak season flights departing between 2nd July to 19th August) prices from: £3,195.00 per person, each of two travelling

 

Peak Season flight supplement (departing between 2nd July to 19th August 2015): £ 575.00 per person

 

Deposit required to confirm arrangements: £ 650.00 per person

 

SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY 

 

 Bookings must be made by 10th June 2015

 

All our holidays are fully bonded for your financial protection under the CAA ATOL scheme or through our membership of ABTOT. Remember, if you decide to book direct with companies in Africa, or through a non-bonded company here in the UK, your money is at risk. Please do not hesitate to ask us for further information.

 

Please click here to see our general information and current terms

We can help you organise all these activities.

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Adventure Sports

Kenya has always been the ultimate safari land: a place of magical creatures, ancient cultures, postcard-perfect beaches, and one of the world’s warmest welcomes. However, Kenya's diverse landscapes and year-round great weather also make it the ideal destination for thrill seekers and the last few years have seen a significant increase in facilities as well as schools offering professional equipment and world-class training.


Just another reason why I Love Kenya.
 

Kitesurfing

Kenya is becoming known as one of the world's leading destinations for Kitesurfing, offering incredible water conditions and two seasons that allow for up to 8+ months of wind a year. The two main seasons are June to September (Kuzi) where the wind speeds reach 30 knts and December to March (Kaskazi) where the wind blows from NNE and ranges from 18-25 knts. With idyllic scenery, powder white sands and flat water, the spots for kitesurfing along the Kenyan coast include Watamu, Diani and Che Shale. These locations are home to some of the world's leading Kitesurfing schools with highly qualified instructors ensuring your learning experience is second-to-none.
 
Mountain Biking

Mountain biking can be enjoyed throughout Kenya in amazing places such as the Masai Mara, Hell's Gate National Park in the Great Rift Valley, and Laikipia. Kenya’s famous '10 to 4' event is held annually where mountain bikers ride from 10,000 ft above sea level down Mount Kenya to Il Ngwezi at 4,000 ft. The course is run over two consecutive days with routes designed to challenge the most confident mountain bikers as well more friendly options for beginners and children.
Stand Up Paddleboarding

A relatively new sport to Kenya, SUP is a fantastic way to experience Kenya’s coastline and can be enjoyed as a relaxing activity or a more adrenaline filled adventure out on the waves. SUPing can be enjoyed wherever there is an expanse of water, from oceans to lakes and rivers, meaning you can take part in this sport all over Kenya. A very popular destination is Watamu where you can regularly go out Stand Up Paddleboarding with dolphins! Watamu and Diani both have SUP schools.

Skydiving

There are many exhilarating ways you can experience Kenya but how about taking a bird's eye view from 14,000ft where skydivers can free-fall for a full minute? Definitely a sport for thrill seekers, skydiving is gaining popularity, especially in Diani on Kenya's south coast where visitors gather for the annual Kenya Skydive Boogie. This event has been running for the past 14 years and is suitable for both experienced skydivers and those braving their first jump.
 

Wakeboarding and Waterskiing 

These two watersports have been very popular for a number of generations in Kenya. Along the Kenyan coast there are numerous flat water creeks that are perfect for skiing irrespective of wind conditions - Kilifi and Mida Creek being the most popular. Kilifi in particular boasts a wakeboarding and waterskiing school. Lake Navashia and Baringo that lie inland Kenya also offer great conditions and breathtaking backdrops for waterskiing and wakeboarding.
 

Windsurfing

There are some awesome spots on the Kenyan coast for windsurfing where the warm, still water is perfect for both beginners and advanced riders. The reefs that run along the coast provide the ideal playground for the more adventurous riders seeking swell for ramps and wave riding. Windsurfing is a sport accessible for people of all ages and it's a fun sport that is relatively easy to pick up. Watamu, Diani and Nyali all have great schools and perfect conditions making them ideal destinations for windsurfing.
 

Paragliding

Paragliding safaris are one of the most unique and exciting ways to experience the stunning Kenyan landscape. You can paraglide all over Kenya in spots such as Kerio Valley, The Rift Valley, North Kenya, from Nairobi to Mombasa and down the Kenyan coast. You can enjoy trips either solo or in tandem to sit back and enjoy the sensation of soaring like a bird. Pilots can tailor the flights for scenic gentle rides or an adrenaline joy ride. Whatever you are looking for it, this is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
 

Rock Climbing & Abseiling

Abseiling and rock climbing are gaining huge popularity in Kenya and can be experienced in a number of locations throughout the country, including Mount Suswa, the Ngare Ndare forest and Mount Kenya. One of the most challenging and advanced routes for rock climbing is the 5,199m peak of Diamond Couloir on Mount Kenya which is considered to be one of the finest ice climbs in the world and an absolute must for any enthusiast. There are many companies offering training in abseiling and rock climbing for all ages and to children even as young as five. Nairobi even boasts East Africa’s first indoor climbing gym, a sign of the increasing popularity of this sport.
 
 

Kayaking and Rafting

Over the last couple of years, Kenya has become one of the world's top destinations for kayaking expeditions. You can enjoy the calm waters of the entire coast in a kayak but there are also rivers in Kenya where you can experience the thrill of faster rapids. The coastal towns of Watamu, Diani and Nyali offer kayaking through a variety of companies where you can explore the ocean's rock pools at low tide or head out to the reef.

White water rafting can also be experienced in Sagana, where the river Tana provides grade 3 - 5 rapids - the perfect place for adrenaline junkies.

 

Horseback Adventures

For the novice or expert rider there is no better way of experiencing a Kenyan safari than on horseback. Not only is the silence and extra height a huge advantage, horseback safaris allow you to get unbelievably close to wildlife.
 


Why I Love Kenya - Copyright © 2015, All rights reserved.

The perks of the dry season really pay off...

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On the 14th March Bridget Cross and a faithful band of largely repeat guests came on our northern ride across Laikipia, under the shadow of Mt. Kenya.  Borana to Sosian is an awesome wildlife experience from horseback, and camping for six days total (2 nights each at Borana, Lolldaiga Hills and El Karama) before a long ride to the relative luxury of Sosian, for 3 nights, makes for a stunning riding safari.

 
Although the game is never as prolific as in the Mara, the scenery is breath taking, particularly at Borana and on the Lolldaigas, and rare species plus plenty of elephant and buffalo provide excitement galore.
  Click here to read Tristan's full account, plus photos, of this fabulous safari.

Best wishes from the Offbeat Riding team

MORE FROM THE OFFBEAT COLLECTION....

OFFBEAT MERU CAMP
MERU




The wildlife has been in such abundance this month, with notably great lion and elephant sightings in the park.

As the dry season continues, the Bisanadi River, in front of camp, has provided a haven for all sorts of antelope, giraffe, monkeys and birds and game viewing from the comfort of your tent has been a real highlight for many!

Regards,
Craig and the Offbeat Meru crew  
 


 

 

SOSIAN LODGE
Laikipia

 

Lion sightings just keep getting better at Sosian.  We came across a dead elephant earlier last month and a pride of 21 lions (including 6 cubs) who have hardly moved from it.  We have been fortunate enough to witness fantastic pride interaction between the male and a female mating, the male seeing off one of the younger males, which was a fearsome fight on both sides, and two sets of mischievous cubs providing much entertainment. 

With a second mating pair not far from the lodge we have been utterly spoilt and sitting on the veranda in the evenings, with a drink in hand we hear roaring every night.  There is surely no more emotive sound across Africa that this?

It is so exciting that these lions are truly flourishing and establishing stable prides for the future.


Best wishes from the Sosian team

 

 


OFFBEAT MARA CAMP
MARA NORTH CONSERVANCY

 

Due to the long dry season and no migrating wildebeest, many tend to believe that the game viewing will be less, but to be realistic, people have missed the point.  This is the time to see great concentrations of game and also more action, at water holes and areas that still have good grass, where the big cats target them.  For this reason guides are able to predict when and where this can happen.

This week in particular has been a great week for those lucky guests who were visiting The Mara North Conservancy. The Acacia Pride killed three big buffalo and two young ones. Our resident leopard at Nkorbob Lugga had 4 different kills in 2 trees and the guests were lucky to see him every game drive.  Narasha (the female cheetah) is always around and last but not least, the rare black rhino found his way in to the Mara North Conservancy. What an amazing sighting! 

 

DON'T FORGET... 




We have set up an instagram account 

please take a look and 
follow us! 



Copyright © *2014* Offbeat Safaris * All rights reserved.

 

 

Rare treat at Offbeat Mara Camp today

Posted by: piers

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Luck guests at Offbeat Mara Camp got to see a Black Rhino in the Mara North Conservancy. These magnificent beasts are rarely seen in the Mara and not near the camp. A sure sign of how well the conservancy is doing that they want to venture this far from their normal territory.


Offbeat 25 years old - Great new offers and exciting developments

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2015 is a huge year for Offbeat Safaris!  
Not only do we celebrate 25 years since Tristan set up the riding safaris but it is the 10th year anniversary for Offbeat Mara, Offbeat Meru and Sosian!

To celebrate this milestone we'd like to offer a 10% discount to all new 2015 bookings that confirm by 30th April 2015.  This applies to:


 
Offbeat Riding Safaris & Deloraine House
Offbeat Mara Camp
Offbeat Meru Camp
Sosian Lodge

 

MORE FROM THE OFFBEAT COLLECTION....
SOSIAN LODGE,
LAIKIPIA

To celebrate 10 years since the lodge first opened (and nearly 15 years since the Sosian owners embarked on an ambition to restore the ranch to its former glory), Sosian are launching a

 
photographic competition! 
We are calling on all past guests to submit their best photos taken at Sosian and the winner will be given
 
4 NIGHTS FOR 2 PEOPLE AT SOSIAN!

Please send in your photos (3 maximum) tolodge@sosian.com. Photos must be taken by guests at Sosian.

All photos will be posted onto Sosian's facebook page and be judged by Albie Venter, renowned photographic guide, at the end of 2015.
 
GOOD LUCK!
 
OFFBEAT MARA CAMP
Mara North Conservancy

 
Offbeat Mara Camp are excited to launch their new kids club...
TOTO TRACKERS!

With a dedicated tent and program manager, this club aims to foster children's awareness and appreciation of nature. We have skulls, animal tracks, games, and books plus the following activities:
  • scavenger hunt
  • tracking tutorials
  • bird watching
  • bug catching
  • marshmallows at the fire
  • bow and arrow making
  • beading jewellery
  • cooking with the chef
  • close brush with a toothbrush tree!
  • star-gazing
  • African story-telling
  • dressing like a Masai
Every child will receive a Toto Trackers t-shirt and book to fill out whilst staying at Offbeat Mara Camp!

OFFBEAT MERU CAMP

As Meru is slowly drying up, the animals are all heading towards the rivers and the little Bisanadi stream in front of camp plays a huge part in bringing the animals to us. Not only the elephant, buffalo, bushbuck and kudu but a phenomenal amount of birds. Striated heron, Eurasian golden oriole, gabar goshawk, martial eagle and so many more.   The bird life here is exceptional at this time of year.

A pride of lion have not only been heard most nights, but  have also been seen occupying the plains behind the camp.
We have had some wonderful groups through camp and as we start to settle into the year we hope to welcome many more to come and share their interesting stories with us around the evening camp fire!
 
All the very best, Craig and the Offbeat Meru team
 

OFFBEAT RIDING SAFARIS
10% discount

on ALL NEW 2015 bookings,

that confirm by 30th April!



With savings of up to $1000 this is the time to book!

Beat the school holiday rush and join us early July as the wildebeest migration arrives

Or take the plung and ride in August as the migration is in full swing


Dont miss out!

 
DON'T FORGET... 



6 night packages* - seriously good value safaris...

Offbeat Meru & Offbeat Mara from $3430 per person 

Offbeat Meru & Sosian from $3780 per person

Sosian & Offbeat Mara from $4130 per person

*These rates include all internal flights and transfers plus the 10% anniversary discount plus a free night where applicable.  Book before 30th April

Book now - contact bookings@offbeatsafaris.com 




We have also set up an instagram account 

please take a look and 
follow us! 




Copyright © *2015* Offbeat Safaris * All rights reserved.

 


Kenya at its finest - by Piers

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2014 has been a bright start for Kenya and the country is looking amazing. This time of year (generally Christmas through to Easter) is arguably the best time to visit the country. A number of factors make this such a great time, from the stunning blue skies, the low tourist numbers, better rates and escaping the Northern hemisphere cold, damp conditions.

This our 'summer' or dry season. You hardly see a cloud in the sky, evenings are balmy and often we sit outside, under the stars for dinner and with the dry conditions comes incredible game viewing. Cats, in particular, are much easier to find in the short grass and most animals seem to congregate around water sources. This is perfect for the location of our Offbeat properties. Offbeat Mara Camp is on the Olare Orok river, Offbeat Meru Camp is on the Bisanadi River and Sosian has miles of river frontage to explore. This means are guests dont have to travel far to see some superb sightings.

Another huge 'plus' at this time of year, which many accurately describe as the 'Secret Season' is the local wildebeest migration into Mara North Conservancy. The Loita herds arrive in MNC usually in January and hang around until the March/April rains. February is generally calving season so currently we have 1000's of wildebeest, their calves and huge numbers of Zebra in and around camp and the Offbeat valley is teeming with wildlife. 

Add to this the fact this is so-called 'low-season'. It is not any worse than 'high-season' at all and quite possibly better! Low season means lower prices (which often are up to half the cost of high season) as we have fewer guests travelling at this time of year. If you can get away now, this really is the time to visit - planes are less expensive and not full, the parks much quieter and with the low season rates you end up with the best of both worlds - a first class experience at nearly half the cost!

Kenya has had a rough couple of years in the press, but we are now bouncing back and numbers of tourists starting to rise again. This is so important for all our conservation efforts as we need the park fee income to protect the wonderful wildlife and the areas they roam in. We have several incredibly generous special offers currently running and i personally believe 2015 is the best time in a while to visit the country.

We have an early bird booking incentive, special honeymoon rates, child and teen rates, no single supplements (for the first single in each booking) and multiple night discounts - so something for everyone to enjoy!

Please do contact us or your favourite tour operator for more information and I do hope to see many of you enjoying the beauty of Kenya and its warm, warm heart and its wonderful smiling people in 2015.

Piers


China imposes one-year ban on ivory imports

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26 February 2015

African elephant

The African elephant population has been severely reduced because of hunting

China has imposed a one-year ban on the import of ivory, amid criticism that demand among Chinese consumers is fuelling poaching in Africa.

The announcement was made by the State Forestry Administration, with officials saying they hoped it would be a first step towards protecting wild elephants.

Conservationists have warned the animal could be wiped out in parts of Africa in the next few years.

China is the world's largest importer of smuggled tusks.

However, the government says it has stepped up efforts to target illegal trading, which has been fuelled by a desire for ivory from an increasingly affluent population.

It is hoped the temporary ban on imports, which came into effect on Thursday, will help reduce demand for African tusks.

According to state media, a government official said China would evaluate the effect on elephant protection before taking further, more effective steps.

Criminal gangs

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) banned the ivory trade in 1989, but China is allowed to trade domestically and has around 150 licensed shops.

Six years ago, the government was also given permission to import one consignment of more than 60 tonnes of ivory from Africa.

Conservationists say this has fuelled demand and has led to an underground trade, with criminal gangs slaughtering elephants for Asian markets.

Earlier this month, broadcaster David Attenborough was one of several signatories of an open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping.

 

The letter called on the country's leader to outlaw the buying and selling of ivory completely and to provide Chinese citizens with information on the issue.


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