Nagy - Kenya 2010

August 30, 2014  |  By  | 

Nothobranchius archives Volume 1 Issue 4 In search of Nothobranchius bojiensis in the wilderness of north-eastern Kenya On the road from Nairobi to Isiolo We landed at the international air- port of Nairobi. It is hard to imagine that the city is only about hundred years old. Once it was a water logged, swampy area populated only by wild animals. At the end of the 19th century a camp was built for temporary work- ers when building the railway across the continent. The camp was situated beside a stream, which the Masai called Uaso Nairobi, meaning cold water. The moderate climate of the location also at- tracted many Europeans and the place developed into the most important sta- tion on the railway line and so the city soon became the capital. After landing, one of the most im- portant tasks was to organize a few rations for the journey just in case we would have some difculties during the next days. We stored signicant amount of drinking water, consider- ing the potentially unfriendly condi- tions at the planned destination of the rst couple of days, when it comes to hydrogen combined with oxygen. Our road took us near to Mount Kenya, a national landmark and second amongst the highest mountain peaks of Africa. It is an extinct volcano, which formed a couple of million years ago and one of the few places near the equator in Af- rica with permanent glaciers. The north-eastern part of the country It is the rapid and extreme changes of the enchanting landscape that surprises and inspires the traveller on such a trip through Kenya. One of these changes is completed during the journey from the cool, rainy highlands on the slopes of Mt. Kenya down to the land at Isiolo, where we enter into a sweltering arid, desert-like world. The small but cosmo- politan town, that is the capital of the Isiolo district, grew around the local military camps with much of the popu- lation being descended from former So- mali soldiers who had fought in World War I. The most well known historical per- son of the Isiolo area is probably Joy Adamson, best recognized for her con- servation effort with Elsa the Lioness. In 1956, her husband George Adamson, a wildlife conservationist and then sen- ior game warden of the huge northern territory in Kenya, in the course of his job, shot and killed a man-eater lion- ess. Joy adopted one of the orphaned cubs, named her Elsa, and raised her in the Adamson house at Isiolo. When Elsa reached her full size, Joy Adam- son decided that she should be set free, which action was conducted with great success. Later both the Adamson’s were unfortunately murdered. Joy was found murdered in Shaba National Reserve in 1980, while George was murdered by Somalian bandits near his camp in Kora National Park nine years later, while rushing to the aid of a tourist who was being attacked by the poachers. George is credited with sav - ing the tourist’s life, but his act of brav- ery cost him his own. The North Eastern Province cov- ers most of north-eastern Kenya. The region is, and has historically been, primarily inhabited by ethnic Somalis. Throughout much of the 20th century, the region used to be a part of British East Africa until Kenya became inde- pendent in 1963 when the province be - came one of the seven administrative provinces of the country. The North Eastern Province was closed ever since to general access because of severe po- litical instabilities. Already Parkinson (1938) described the northern province as a hot and parched place, to which ac- cess is barred unless by special permis-

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