Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Path Shall Be Chosen!

At the end of Expo 104 the Friends of Shimoni Forest Tourist Trail hit a hurdle. A bushfire, the cause unknown, destroyed a large section of the trail leaving it unsuitable for tourists to travel along it. However members of FSF used the set back as an opportunity to develop a new and improved section of the trail that could offer more scope for wildlife viewing, and ranging habitats from woodland, mangrove  to dense forest.

Volunteers and FSF members Hassan and Hamisi along a section of the trail

Since the start of this expo FSF and GVI volunteers have been working together to plot the new trail section. The tourist trail ranges in difficulty from easy to medium terrain due to the soil substrate. Shimoni Forest is made of a shallow top soil with coral rag made from limestone, which presents a challenging walk at times where the coral rag content is higher in certain areas. The trail is similar to GVI’s research transects, which means FSF aim to cause as little disturbance as possible to the forest.
Curious Colobus spotted while walking along the trail 
So work is underway to complete the tourist trail to give visitors and even locals the chance to see the amazing and unique species that exist in Shimoni Forest. The members from FSF have worked extremely hard on the tourist trail over the past couple of years and are extremely proud of what has been accomplished. It’s also amazing to see the tangible results from the hard work that has gone into it. We had 5 visitors walk along the trail last weekend, who all thoroughly enjoyed the experience! Getting the chance to see Colobus and Sykes Monkeys, birds, small mammals and also learn about the Cultural Heritage Sites in the Forest called Kayas, is all part of the fun. The funds earned from the tourist trail support Friends of Shimoni Forest and are invested into conservation initiatives, alternative livelihoods and community development projects.