Thanks to concerted efforts by many, including the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), the black rhino is no longer on the brink of extinction.
Today, the World Conservation Union (IUCN) estimates that 3,600 black rhinos roam in Africa, 500 more than two years ago. While these numbers may not seem significant, it is important to note that beginning in the 1970s the black rhino population suffered a huge decline from about 65,000 to 2,400 by the mid-1990s.
In Botswana, when you think of tourism, the first thing that comes to mind is the Okavango Delta, known worldwide for its beauty, abundant wildlife, mokoro (dugout canoes), and exclusive tourist camps. For many of the visitors to the Okavango, these exclusive and luxurious camps invoke treasured memories.
AWF Samburu Heartland team members met with rangers, wardens, and scouts from several reserves and community ranches for a two day refresher course in Ranger Based Monitoring (RBM) on May 24th and 25th. The course was held at the Samburu Lodge, located on the bank of the Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu National Reserve. Ms. Fiesta Warinwa, Heartland Coordinator, organized the event, which helped to clarify and refine skills the rangers learned in the RBM training held in April of 2003.
Since its founding in 1961, the African Wildlife Foundation has believed that Africans are the ideal stewards of Africa's natural resources. This core belief led AWF to assist in establishing the first school to train African wildlife managers in Tanzania in 1961. During its early decades, AWF helped to establish and support wildlife clubs in several African countries to help raise the awareness and interest of a new generation in the importance of conservation.
The U.S. Department of State has revised its Travel Warning for Kenya, lifting the ban on non-essential travel to this East African nation. The new Travel Warning advises Americans to "consider carefully the risks of travel to Kenya at this time."
Mr. John Glen, Chairman of the Kenya Tourism Federation Travel Advisory Committee, said confirmations of bookings from leading U.S. travel agents were immediately increasing in light of the revised Travel Warning. "This is a significant step in the right direction," he said.