RUKO Two Tribes One Belief

Conservation for Peace

Lake BaringoA unique allegiance has been formed on the shores of Lake Baringo within Kenya’s Great Rift Valley.  The indigenous tribes of the Pokot and Njemps (Il Chamus) have laid down their years of tribal difficulties in the hope of bringing peace and prosperity to their land, wildlife and people.

Ruko Community Wildlife Trust is a Ramsar site, having been recognized internationally as a vitally important freshwater wetland that embraces a diverse 19,000 acre conservancy on the eastern shore of Lake Baringo, encompassing the Njemps area of Rugus and the Pokot area of Komolion.  Hidden within the east of this conservancy is the Ruko HQ and to the west is Longichoro, Ruko’s secluded wildlife sanctuary.

The passionate team behind Ruko includes a united Community Conservancy Board who employs a network of 10 local community scouts, 2 radio-operators, a full-time ground manager and an accountant all made-up of exactly half Pokot and half Njemps.  Ruko is comprised of land which has been turned into a conservancy area under the ownership and jurisdiction of the Pokot and the Njemps communities.

NjempsKingfisherPokot

Latest from the Ruko Blog

  • Baringo Giraffe update

    Baringo Giraffe update

    Author Nic

    Good news, after 4 years of planning 8 Baringo giraffe (also known as Rothchild's Giraffe) returned home after nearly 70 years since they were last seen in Baringo.

    The translocation was an exciting one, as the giraffe had to travel for six hours by lorry. Then the lorry had to reverse into the lake and the giraffe were transferred to a boat (landing craft) to make an hour and a half crossing to Ruko Community Wildlife Conservancy.

    This is the first time that giraffes have been transported across water in Kenya.

     

  • Baringo Giraffe Translocation

    Baringo Giraffe Translocation

    Author Nic

    Samatian Island Lodge, a part of The Safari and Conservation Company, The Kenya Wildlife Service and The Northern Rangelands Trust today announce a first for conservation in Kenya as eight Baringo Giraffe, a sub-species that have not existed in their native area of Lake Baringo for over 70 years, were  finally brought home.

    Through the combined efforts of the NRT, Samatian Island Lodge and local Pokot and Njemps communities, these endangered Rothschild giraffe, originally named Baringo giraffe, were trans-located to Ruko Game Conservancy by barge, making this the first ever attempt to carry giraffe across water in Kenya.

     

I dipped my hand in the tea coloured spray of Lake Baringo, while absent-mindedly scanning the distant hills.  I wasn’t really concerned about crocodile – the speed boat was cruising at a steady 15 knots and although capable of surprising bursts of speed in water – up to 35km/per/hour– I knew even the swiftest crocodile wouldn’t be able to keep up. However, when the boat idled momentarily as we neared Longichoro Island on the eastern shores of Lake Baringo, I hastily withdrew my hand.  A huge croc basked statue-still, molded to a warm boulder the same mottled shade of colour as itself.  While another slipped into the reed beds close by; the ossified scutes of its dinosaur like tail marking a sinuous trail through the water
However, other than crocodile and hippo, I hadn’t seen any wildlife to speak of.  I look forward to returning to Lake Baringo in the not too distant future hopefully to see a ‘tower’ of Rothschild giraffe as well as other antelope roaming safely, protected by the scouts recently recruited by the RCWT.
On our way over to visit Longichoro Island, a wire-tailed swallow dipped its wing in the lapis water rippling the surface like a fishnet stocking.  (This is the core conservation area made up of Njemps and Pokot land).  I had never seen the lake so blue.  Damsel flies with transparent wings outlined in green and black danced over the water, a sign that the lake is healthy. Due to exceptionally heavy rains in the Lake Baringo catchment area, the lake has risen more than a meter in the last twelve months; it hasn’t been this high since 1963.  Not only does the lake look healthier, heavy rainfall has diluted the build up of sedimentation, and the vegetation around the lake is rejuvenating. Does this also mean that the wildlife will benefit and numbers increase?  STORM STANLEY 08