Finally!!!!!!!! the long awaited walk happened. The ASSETS fundraising walk took place last Saturday the 8th of December. The main aim of the walk was not only to raise funds for local needy children's high school bursaries but also to promote conservation of Arabuko Sokoke forest and Mida creek through creating of awareness on the importance of the two Eco systems to the local community and tourists. It started at exactly 6.05 am with a team of 16 and a brief introductory session by Stanley Baya, who is the ASSETS adviser and the environmental education officer in A Rocha Kenya.Then a prayer for safety by Andrew Kinzer.
The walk started from A Rocha Kenya head quarters to Turtle bay where the walkers took the junction from the main road to Dabaso road.Being 6am the sun had not gone up yet so the temperatures were still low and pleasant though slightly humid.T he first half of the walk was to be done by the sixteen walkers before joining later with a group that was waiting for them 15km ahead.
For participants who were visiting from abroad for the first time,it was just amazing since they got the real feel of Africa and experience nature one on one as opposed to when they have to use tourist buses to do the tours.
After three hours of walking, chatting , jumping over muddy water and snails, they finally made it to Arabuko Sokoke forest's Mida gate where a group of twenty one more people was waiting.
This was followed by a brief wait for clearance with the forest station as it was important that we have security with them because of elephant and buffalo. The participants did not hesitate to in taking advantage of the delay to show off their different talents that varied from balancing a bottle on the head to imitating the monkeys though the walk was definitely NO MONKEY BUSINESS.
After a while the now large team was ready to do the rest of the walk.Andrew and Benjo opted to run the rest of the way instead.
After another brief talk by Stanley, the team crossed over into the forest and embarked on the remaining 15km. They went past the three different forest vegetation.
It was amazing how the different vegetation was noticeable with brachystegia being characterized by tall trees and more open as opposed to the other vegetation. Soil color change was also conspicuous with the changes in vegetation as different parts had red soil while others had white.
It was a pleasant walk with colorful butterflies flying off fresh elephant dung and a bit fearful as the walkers encountered fresh buffalo tracks.
Three hours later, all the walkers made it to Nyari viewpoint which was the intended destination.After a shared lunch, the team was ready to head back.Having accomplished their mission.