I Will Not Safari with Somak

After going on multiple trips and safaris in Africa you gain a unique appreciation for the incredible wildlife and people of the African plains. The preservation of the habitat of the wildlife is paramount to their survival and our children or grandchildren being able to see a rhino or lion in the wild. 

Please take note of the information below that was posted recently on Facebook by a friend who is an African guide (Denise Bonnell) and who is truly committed to the preservation of African culture and wildlife (www.safarigirl.com). It’s time to vote with your pocketbook and sign the petition below!

Somak Safaris

Olkeju Ronkai Ltd. (Somak) has nearly completed the construction of a brand new fenced lodge – Ashnil Emuny Mara Camp – in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya. The lodge is situated inside important rhino habitat crucial for the survival of the indigenous black rhino population of the Mara. The Rhino Programme Warden, the Minister for Local Government, the local County Council and Kenya’s National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) all originally opposed the construction of the camp due to the threat it would have on the rhino population.

Despite all this, the construction of the camp continued and is now almost completed. Even if the authorities are not able to stop the ongoing destruction of the Masai Mara, I at least will refuse to spend my money on safaris with Somak, who are advertising safaris at Ashnil Emuny Mara Camp, in protest and ask them to not use this controversial site. I enjoy safaris because I love wildlife, not because I want to destroy it. mrsannerose@gmail.com

Background Information: Chronology of Key Events relating to Development of a Lodge at Olkeju Ronkai, Maasai Mara National Reserve http://sites.google.com/site/saynotosomak/home/chronology-of-key-events  Mara’s Rhinos

 http://sites.google.com/site/saynotosomak/home/mara-s-rhinos  Indiscriminate Development of Tourist Facilities in Relation to Biodiversity Conservation within the Greater Mara Ecosystem.Samson P Lenjir, Rhino Programme Warden; 6th May 2006

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=139723&id=44214843152&l=c2bb6b8726 Evidence of Olkeju Ronkai’s court case with Narok County Council: The Environmental Management and Coordination Act (EMCA) provides that parties aggrieved by NEMA’s decisions can seek redress at the National Environment Tribunal or in the High court. Given that the EIA process is a consultative, multidisciplinary undertaking, at times some parties may not agree with the Authority’s decision to grant or withhold a license. Among the cases highlighted recently in the media, Cobra’s Corner Limited and Olkeju Ronkai Tourist lodge are in court for various reasons. These cases cannot, therefore, be discussed in detail. http://www.nema.go.ke/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=272&Itemid=171 24 2039/09  Olkeju Ronkai Ltd (Achoki & Co) Vs County Council of Narok http://www.kenyalaw.org/CauseList/show_cause_searched.php?view=4647  Somak advertising safaris at the site Ashnil Mara Camp, constructed by Olkeju Ronkai: http://www.somakholidays.co.uk/hotels_info.php?KSAMC1  Newspaper articles pertaining to the issue: Balala is wrong on Mara Project: Nairobi Star, 2nd October 2008 He was quoted as having supported the proposed project, the Olkeju Rongai Lodge, on the grounds that the country needs more tourism revenue. He accused those who were opposing this project -led by his Cabinet colleague William Ole Ntimama – of seeking to protect their own interests. The Maasai Mara National Reserve was never created for tourism. It was created as a conservation area for unique ecosystem that is of worldwide value. Tourism a secondary and complimentary activity to earn revenue, but should never ever be allowed to threaten the protected ecosystem. http://multimedia.marsgroupkenya.org/?StoryID=232860  Ntimama, Balala clash over Mara camp: Daily Nation, 11 Sep 2008 http://www.nation.co.ke/News/-/1056/469428/-/tkd4lc/-/index.html  Survival of the Mara must always take priority: Daily Nation, 16 Sep 2008 http://allafrica.com/stories/200809170411.html

You can sign a petition to stop Somak by going to http://www.thepetitionsite.com/tell-a-friend/6547731