Baringo Giraffe Translocation

on Wednesday, 25 July 2012.

Giraffe translocated to Ruko Conservancy

Baringo Giraffe Translocation

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.

The project, supported and executed by The Northern Rangelands Trust and Samatian Island Lodge (a luxury camp situated on a private island in Lake Baringo), took four years to plan as, according to NRT director Ian Craig, giraffe are some of the most difficult animals to move.

Prior to the translocation, the giraffe were captured and spent weeks in a holding pen at Soysambu Conservancy in the Great Rift Valley in order that they would be calm enough to make the journey across the water. They left a frosty Soysambu at midnight and arrived on the lakes shore as the sun was rising over the Lakipia escarpment. The eight giraffe were loaded onto a boat, a restored landing craft, in two groups and were ferried across the lake, a journey of an hour and a half, to their new home. They have been released into a holding pen for one week to allow them to adjust to their new environment.

Photos courtesy of José Kalpers (Northern Rangelands Trust)


“Wetlands are among the world’s most productive environments. They are cradles of biological diversity, providing the water and primary productivity upon which countless species of plants and animals depend for survival. They support high concentrations of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrate species.“ Ramsar Convention