Part One. Part Two
RETURN OF THE BONGO
The shipment of the elegant mountain bongos from a breeding program in U.S. and Canadian zoos, are to be moved into a Game ranch near Mt Kenya. A large antelope with red fur interspersed with fine white stripes, the mountain bongo- a native to the Kenyan highlands, is considered a prize specimen for zoos around the world. The average male bongo weighs about 250 kg (550 lbs) and its horns can grow to a length of one meter (3 ft 3 in). There are 400 bongo living in American zoos, more than four times the wild population, which has been decimated by poaching and habitat loss. The newly arrived 18 are the first batch of 60 that will be taken to Kenya by 2006 in a project backed by the U.N. Development Program and several conservation organizations.
The repatriated zoo antelopes will not be able to survive in the wild, and will be kept captive at the game ranch. It will be their offspring that are eventually released into the adjacent Mount Kenya National Park in a few years, said Nancy Chege, an environmentalist monitoring the program.
This program is great news for the diversity of the Mt Kenya Forests, recently named a World Heritage Site. The bongo has come to symbolize this high and wild region, and now visitors to the Mountain may once again catch a glimpse of this rare and elusive creature.
Kenya has 126 species of Snakes- yet most visitors to the country leave without seeing one of these shy and elusive reptiles. The question is- What if you would actually like to see one? An all new Specialized Safari outfit is offering a Kenya Snakes Safari- a genuine adventure that combines wild walks, river rafting, visits to witch doctors' caves and tracking down Kenya's top 5 snake species.
The trip is called the Big 5 Snake Safari in reference to the popular term for the 5 most popular African Big Game species- Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Rhino and Elephant.
In this case- this Safari goes in search of the most impressive species of African snake- the Python, Boomslang, Puff Adder, Cobra and the Mamba.
This trip is run by some of Kenya's top reptile experts and professional snake catchers. The aim of the entire venture is to promote education and awareness of snakes, and to demonstrate through firsthand experience that these creatures play an important and fascinating role in African ecosystems, and rarely live up to their maligned and mythologized reputations as aggressive killers.
Anyone joining the safari will discover that snakes are extremely shy of humans, and will go to great lengths to avoid people. This makes finding the 'Big 5î species in a single safari a genuine challenge.
In fact, it's this challenge that makes this safari what it is: an adventure- it involves a lot of travel through a range of habitats and landscapes, tracking down snakes through forests, dry river beds, rocky cliffs and mangroves. The safari takes in plenty of other wildlife along the way as well, as well as village visits, wild camping, rafting and time off on one of the world's best beaches.
If you are looking for a wildlife safari that doesn't involve taking photos from the safety of a vehicle, and would like to get out and explore and interact with wild animals up close and personal, and have a genuine adventure, then this is the trip for you.
KENYA TOURIST BOARD email@example.com
You can see "Magical Kenya" today or tomorrow at your local theater, in the exciting movie Tomb Raiders II. Then you'll have some idea of why this country has been captivating generations of North American and world travelers. Africa Travel Magazine is going on the road to beat the drums for Kenya's 30th Jubilee Congress in North America and beyond. For the Africa Travel Association (ATA ), our Kenya Story began at the birth of our friendly, fully integrated, international, nonprofit, nonpolitical, high-energy travel association in 1975. Our launch needed a focal point, a popular, well known venue that would gain the spotlight and attract North American travel agents. Why did New York's Murray Vidockler and his founding group select Nairobi, Kenya out of 53 African capitals? The reasons were plain to see and Kenya's major city became the unanimous choice as venue for ATA's first International Marketing Congress. One of the first delegates to sign was Elyse White, a New York City travel agent. Elyse, who remains youthful in her mid nineties, has enjoyed every ATA congress ever since. When she writes me, her e-mail nickname is "Mama Safari.
Photos courtesy of Kenya Tourism