Black Desert Training

Riding for Conservation and Elephants in Kenya

 

This trip was about raising money for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and raising awareness about the poaching situation in Kenya. The following Black Desert Training riders took part in this incredible journey on 2 wheels through Kenya, clocking up 2500KM off road: Dylan Davies, Peter Stapleton, Nick King, Charley Irene Jones, Liz Robinson, Nick Lines, Alex Walters, Craig Bounds & Tamsin Jones.

The idea for this trip started over a year ago when Black Desert Training contacted us at Dusty Helmets asking us to put together a trip that would show case the beauty of Kenya, the culture and the wildlife all on FE 390 Husaberg bikes. By putting this trip together, Black Desert Training and the participants on the trip managed to raise 10,020 pounds sterling. We, at Dusty Helmets are proud to have been part of this experience of a life time and hope that through raising awareness on the poaching situation, we can all come together to make a difference and make this world a better place for all creatures - great and small.

After a relaxing day and a good nights rest at the Karen Blixen Coffee Gardens, the group travelled by road to Nanyuki. A stop at the equator, followed by lunch and all were ready to ride! We headed north towards Il Polei, a fairly easy ride - allowing everyone to get used to their bikes! We were lucky to see a herd of Grevy's zebra (only found in Northern Kenya), impala and warthog. Not a bad start to the first ride!! We spent the next 2 nights at Ol Tome Bush Camp, situated by the Ewaso River. Rides out took the group thrugh diverse terrain - dry river beds, small valleys and endless miles of beautiful landscape.

From Ol Tome we headed further north towards Mugie Conservancy, riding past Impala Reserch Centre and Sosian. We passed a herd of elephants and giraffes, stopping for a picnic lunch and to stretch our legs. We arrived at Mugie HQ at about 3pm where we parked up the bikes and drove to Mugie Ekorian Camp. We did a game drive with Josh and it was unbelievable the amount of game we saw in a few hours. Herds of elephants, giraffes, zebra, impala, oryix, warthogs, lions and lion cubs - all in all an amazing end to an incredible ride through laikipia.

From Mugie we rode towards Churo, Tangulbei down to Loruk and on to Kapedo. We spent 3 nights in a fly camp on the banks of the Suguta River, below the Silali Hills. This was an incredible experience and the group enjoyed every minute of the stay and the rides. Harsh country side with temperatures reaching 50.c! Rides were technical and with the heat demanding for every rider. Some of the group rode past Kamogi and into the sand dunes in the Suguta Valley. Craig reckons that the terrain here would be the perfect area to train for events! From lava to sand, to boulders to loose rocks - and the amazing views to go with it all!!! After an amazing 3 nights at Silali we headed to Lake Baringo for a well deserved 1 1/2 days rest at Island Camp! Boat rides, crocodiles, fish eagles, swimming pool and massages were the order of the day!

The bikes are all serviced and ready for the second half of the trip - today we leave Lake Baringo and ride to Soysambu Conservancy. This ride takes us through Bogoria, Emsos, sisal plantations, Nakuru to Lake Elmentaita. Here we will do a de snaring project, a game census and for those who wish ride the enduro course!!!

De-snaring project at Soysambu Conservancy

An eventful day was had by all at Soysambu while out doing a de snaring project for the Conservancy. All riders managed to collect huge amounts of wire – some snares – other bits of wire broken off from old farm fence posts. We managed to cover a large area of the Conservancy and all were very proud to have been able to have helped.

De-snaring is the removal of traps set by poachers to capture wild animals for bush meat. These traps, often simple wire snares shaped in the form of a noose, are strategically set by poachers in areas where wildlife thrives. Poachers construct snares out of any wire they can lay their hands on, including telephone and fencing wires. Strategic snare locations include; the bushes and trees close to the banks of rivers and dams as well as along boundary fences and animal tracks. Animal species targeted by the poachers mainly include dik dik, zebra, hartebeest, wildebeest, eland and giraffe. Snares inflict terrible injuries and cause agonizing drawn out deaths as animals try to free themselves from their torment. As snares do not distinguish between species, they result in the deaths and injuries of many non-target animals including lions, leopards, hyenas, elephants and livestock.

While staying at Punda Milias Camp, we also gave the riders the chance to ride the enduro route (was held the previous weekend) – they had a blast!

After Soysambu we headed to the Maasai Mara, via Mau Narok, Seiyabei & Narok. We rode to Sekenani Camp where we spent 3 nights. One full day in the park game driving – not on the bikes but in a 4 x 4 was an incredible experience (including getting well & truly stuck in a lugga!!!) – we saw leopard, cheetah, lion, elephants and herds of zebra, buffalo, plenty giraffe, topi, hartebeest & many many warthogs!!!

We rode into the Loita Plains and did some farily technical routes that were enjoyed by all!!! The husabergs proving to be reliable and great fun to ride. From the Mara we rode to Lake Naivasha, checking into the Lake Naivasha Country Club for the final night stay in Kenya.

16 days of riding – many beautiful places in Kenya were visited – most importantly – Black Desert Training and Dusty Helmets were riding for elephants. On the 1st December we visited the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and were able to hand over a total of 10,020 Pounds Sterling as a donation towards the care of orphaned elephants. The entire trip has been about raising awareness of the terrible plight of poaching in Africa and the fact that the elephants in Africa are running out of time – they need our help – and we need more people to become aware of the situation – we would like our children and our grand children to be able to see these magnificent creatures in the wild – do you?

Everyone can help – every little helps – for all creatures on our planet – Dusty Helmets would like to thank Black Desert Training and all the riders who took part in the trip – it’s been a fantastic 16 days and an absolute pleasure sharing the beauty of riding off road in Kenya with you all!! We look forward to seeing you all back in Kenya soon!

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