Karibu! (or welcome as we would say), we have just arrived in Kenya, an incredible 4326 miles as the crow flies, which equates to just over 8.5 million steps! An ambitious feat to complete today but we’ve made it. Why not take the scenic route and travel along the River Nile starting at its mouth in the Mediterranean Sea and ending at its source, Lake Victoria in Kisumu, Kenya. It is thought to be the birthplace of humankind, with the earliest bones found in the Tukana Basin dating back to 2000 B.C. It’s Great Rift Valley was formed over 20,000,000 years ago when the earths crust began! Its highest mountain, Mt. Kenya is a whopping 5,199m in height which is equivalent to 6822 steps, succeeded only by Mt Kilimanjaro! Can you climb Mt. Kenya today?
Scenic route complete, Swahili lesson finished, let’s visit another of our fantastic placement students. Whilst in Kenya, Emily Marsh, a level 5 student from Staffs studying Animal Biology and Conservation, completed a 2-week volunteer placement at Soysambu Conservancy doing conservation work. The conservancy located in the Central Rift Valley has the highest wildlife densities of Kenya including 28% of the worlds population of Lesser Flamingo and, it is also the only breeding place for the Great White Pelican in East Africa. Whist there Emily worked under giraffe expert Julian Fennssy monitoring and tracking the estimated 90 giraffes at the conservancy. She was also able to collect a census of other birds and mammals within the 48,000 acres, which is important information to gather for conservation as well as having an opportunity to teach the local primary school aged children.
Emily has been able to take what she has learnt from her time in Soysambu back into her studies here. She has had the incredible experience of carrying out all of the observation and tracking techniques that she has learnt during lectures in putting them into practice in a real-life setting. She also said this placement has been very beneficial and has allowed her to make valuable connections that could help her to progress once she has graduated from Staffs.
We have visited half of our locations planned for our journey today, we still need you to keep active, keep those step counters going and carry us to our next destination. The giraffes Emily visited have a sprint speed of around 35 miles per hour, care for a race to South Africa? Go!
Blog written by Staffordshire University placement students: Adam Olivier Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science; Kaliya Rostron Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science; Steven Lloyd-Jones Level 5 BSc (Hons) Biology