When all the partners on all the elephant projects are in one place, that's where you'll find us. Rob & I are back from Kenya, where we met with experts from IUCN, TRAFFIC International, Universite of Reading, and Save the Elephants. We also got a lot of experience driving in Nairobi during the rainy season.
While there, we were able to make progress on the Elephant Trade Information System, Elephant Database, Elephants in Peril, and the Save the Elephants iOS and Android apps. We feel very fortunate to have been able to sit down and work with so many of our partners in a short period of time. We're able to be successful in our international development endeavors in part because we embrace working on site every opportunity we get.
For this trip, we were able to spend time working in Nairobi on all of the projects, with a weekend work trip out to Lake Naivasha to work intensively with Iain Douglas-Hamilton and Gemma Francis on their two projects for Save the Elephants. This was especially good for their mobile app project: we were able to work directly with their devices, and also check out one of the elephant tracking collars that the app communicates with.
When we go to Nairobi, we stay at Karen Holiday Homes. The staff there are friendly and take great care of us! Plus, it's very close to the IUCN & Save the Elephants offices, Nairobi National Park, and the Giraffe Center. If you have the opportunity to travel out to Lake Naivasha, take it! The drive is not to be missed, with a gorgeous descent into the Great Rift Valley. We stayed at Olerai House, owned by Iain and his wife Oria. You'll be surrounded by zebras, Thompson’s gazelle, giraffe, monkeys, buffalo, impala, a diverse population of birds, and more. One morning I woke to see a baby zebra taking its first steps just outside our window.
We're thankful to have the opportunity to partner on conservation and biodiversity projects, and to be able to travel to wonderful countries like Kenya as part of our work.