Building the New Ewaso Lions Camp

Nov 18, 2014 | Categories: Camp Life, Donors, Staff, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

We are extremely excited to officially share a big announcement. For months and months, we have been hard at work to build a new home for the Ewaso Lions team. Today, we are sharing the first photos of what will be the new Ewaso Lions Conservation Camp!

Many of you have seen — or even visited — the Camp we have called home since 2008. Located in Westgate Conservancy, near Sasaab Lodge, just outside Samburu National Reserve, our old Camp was a make-shift and temporary base. In the beginning, we started with two small tents and a fly-sheet, and a “kitchen” made of burlap. We survived (sometimes barely it seems!) rainstorms that crushed our tents, scorching sun that ate our fly-sheets, and numerous pests that invaded our kitchen.

Over the years, our small project has grown into an organisation with a long-term vision of conserving Kenya’s lions and other large carnivores by promoting coexistence between people and wildlife. With more than 20 staff members and 9 core conservation and research programmes, it is time for a real home. The new Camp will accommodate our staff with better living conditions and allow us to get on with our work without spending so much time patching tents, carrying water, or driving 30 minutes to send email.

Photo of camp being built.

Construction is underway on the new Ewaso Lions Conservation Camp.

We worked with the local people and partners in the area to select a site for the new Camp. We were very careful and strategic in choosing a site that would meet our needs, but not intrude on land that might be needed by local people and their livestock, and would not cause environmental degradation. The site is close to critical wildlife habitat and our permanent presence will increase security for the wildlife. Our presence, including our network of warriors and scouts, will increase overall security within Westgate Conservancy.

Our new site is approximately 1 km from our old Camp. All necessary permits and inspections have been secured, and a team of builders is hard at work. The new Ewaso Lions Conservation Camp will maintain a low-impact facility. Maintaining the ecological integrity of the site is of utmost importance to us. We’ve hired local workers and used local materials as much as possible.

Photo of camp being built

We carefully chose the perfect site for our new Camp atop this hill, not far from our old camp. The site was not being used by local people, and still gives us good access to work throughout our study area.

Our new Camp should be completed by January 2015. We are counting down the days. Moving into our new home will be a monumental moment for Ewaso Lions.

The Camp is being entirely funded by a few special donors, which is great because we have not had to divert any funds away from our lion conservation or community programmes. We are deeply thankful to those donors and also to the Wildlife Conservation Network for their support of this project.

Photo of the kitchen being built.

The kitchen will be bigger, cleaner, and pest-proof. Our cook, Letupulwa, is ecstatic.

Photo of various buildings in Camp.

The new Camp will accommodate our staff with better living conditions.

Photo of a tent.

Our tents will have actual roofs to protect against the elements.

Photo of a well.

Access to water was one of the biggest challenges we faced. An engineer came on site to assess the situation and install a well to run water from the riverbed up to our Camp.

 

Map of our old camp and new camp.

This map shows the location of our new Camp compared to our old camp in Westgate Community Conservancy, Samburu, Kenya.

Photo of old busted tent.

Soon, the days of old, battered, torn tents will be over!

Photo of old bathroom made of grass.

Soon, the days of termite-infested bathrooms made of thatch will be over!

> See what Ewaso Lions Camp looked like in 2008

> See some of the creatures who have made their home in our old kitchen

> Meet the most important inhabitant of Camp

5 People have left comments on this post



» David Thomson said: { Nov 25, 2014 - 04:11:41 }

All your supporters will be delighted to read that you will now have a degree of comfort and reliability for working, cooking and sleeping with your new camp. I’m looking forward to visiting in the next year or so. Best wishes for your conservation work and your new camp.

» linn Ong said: { Nov 25, 2014 - 10:11:13 }

Congratulations Shivani. The new camp site will be wonderful!!
You certainly deserve it. I do not know how you have survived the current one.
So glad that you have good donors to help with that.
All the best.
Linn and Beale

» Lee Burnett said: { Nov 27, 2014 - 05:11:04 }

Fabulous news, Shivani. What luxury! So very well deserved. The photos are great and I look forward to more. All the best, Lee

» Stephen Chege said: { Dec 1, 2014 - 05:12:48 }

Shivani and Ewaso team

Its always good to have a new home. In spite of what you call tattered and worn out tents, you and the whole of Ewaso team have made a great impact on Lion conservation in Northern Kenya. Congratulations!

Looking forward to seeing the new camp soon