Artists for Conservation

Flag Expedition

Leopard!

Artists for Conservation

Dec 6th - Today we began yet another grand adventure! Guy had arranged for us to stay in a small cabin way up in the mountains of the Aberdares National Park called "Rhino Retreat". It is a small outpost built by the Kenyan army in the 1990s. The cabin was created for the use of a gallant group called "Rhino Ark" that formed to make a last ditch effort to save the remaining Black Rhinos in this giant national park. Murray's Dad was a founder of the group and Guy's Dads soon joined in the effort.

Linda's Birthday

Artists for Conservation

Dec 5th - Today is December 5th, my wife, Linda's, birthday! It was bad enough missing Thanksgiving with my family, but missing my wife's birthday was too much. I wish this trip did not fall on her day. I had to come up with a way to send a birthday greeting that would clearly show I was thinking of her and how much I cared. So before I left, I arranged for her to receive a gorilla-gram birthday greeting at her workplace.

Nakuru

Artists for Conservation

Dec 4th - Today was our planned visit to Nakuru National Park. Akeley was one of the first to document with photography, the spectacle of thousands of flamingos at Lake Nakuru , so I , once again, was anxious to follow in his foot steps. After purchasing more food and supplies in nearby Nakuru town, the fastest growing city in all of Kenya, we entered the park. The park is noted for it's efforts in desperately trying to protect the last remaining rhinoceroses in East Africa. One Black Rhino's horns are worth $350 thousand US dollars on the black market.

Soysambu

Artists for Conservation

Dec 2nd - After an early breakfast and some shopping for food and supplies for the week, we drove out of town and started our descent into East Africa's Great Rift Valley, vast valley plain and volcanic region created by the slow spreading of plates in the earth's crust over millions of years . This was the same route that Akeley would have taken in 1926, during his last trip to, what was then, British East Africa. He writes in his journal how disturbed he was with the dissapearance of game during his visit way back then.

Flame Trees of Thika

Dec 1st - - Flying from Kigali to Kenya impressed upon us the environmental change we had traveled through. Rwanda was higher in elevation and green with heavier rainfall. Kenya lower in elevation, drier and gold and ochre with savanna grass. We were met at the airport by Guy Combes, fellow Artists for Conservation member and native to Kenya. His cousin, also born in Kenya, Murray Combes was to be his teammate and, with Guy, our guides while in Kenya.

Gorillas

Artists for Conservation

11/25 -  Hello all... Well, I need to give you an update on the baby Mountain Gorilla in Uganda.  He's (it's a little male) still has the snare around its neck. Mike Cranfield came back from Uganda late last night and gave us the full story. If you recall, Mike had darted the baby's mother and when she went down, the baby's father became alarmed, charged and grabbed his son to carry him to safety. He then led his troupe as far away as he could. Mike and the park trackers were able to revive the mother and catch her up to the retreating silverback.

Day 3 - Golden Monkeys

Artists for Conservation Flag Expedition 11

Up bright and early today to see the Golden Monkeys. A little frustrating as we had sketchy access to internet connection (was unable to post anything before losing the connection). We had a trickle of cold water for shower and toilets that take 4 hours to refill for the next flush. Interesting. I had a great sleep though. No matter... we were headed for a hike in the foothills of the volcano Sabinyo. The skies cleared by late morning and we even caught a disant glimpse of Mt. Mikeno, that we will be climbing on Saturday.

Day 2 - Touch-down in Kigali

Artists for Conservation Flag Expedition 11

November 23: Our first 24 hours in Rwanda was also a first lesson in flexibility. We arrived at Kigali airport just shy of midnight, Kigali time. A short walk across the tarmack we couldn't help but notice that the temperature and humidity were a perfect comfort level, jet exhaust aside.

Ready to Roll in Rwanda

Artists for Conservation Flag Expedition 11

11/21 - Today, after months of planning and preparation, including a new AFC website and blog (set up just in time for the trip), we're down to the final hours before flying to Africa. I will be joining Stephen Quinn on his Artists for Conservation Flag Expedition to Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo to study the endangered Mountain Gorilla and retrace the steps of the famous explorer/artist, Carl Akeley. Joining us as well for much of the expedition is videographer/director, Will Richardson. Will and I arrived in NJ yesterday and are building on each others' excitement!

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