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amybatt

Update from Sosian

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I received this email this morning from Offbeat Safaris, thought it would be of interest here. Such a bummer for a well-regarded camp. I hope there's a quick(er) recovery! Not sure if this is the best forum location for this, but mods can move it as they see fit.

 

As you are well aware, parts of West Laikipia have been unsettled since the beginning of the year and Sosian re-located all their bookings during this time to err on the side of caution.

Today, the seven owners/shareholders of Sosian have taken the decision to down scale the lodge to their private house until such a time that they are confident that our guests will the receive the top class safari experience that Sosian has become so well known for.

Whilst we shall miss our guests hugely over this time, we will also be able to focus 100% on re-habilitating the land and working with the government to path a positive long-term future.

Sean Outram, the general manager, has done an extraordinary job during these difficult times and he will continue to work tirelessly on rejuvenating Sosian back to the point of welcoming guests again.

The lodge managers, Simon Kenyon & Rosie Constant have some exciting plans in the interim, as Simon becomes head riding guide for Offbeat Safaris and Rosie begins some free lance safari work sharing her secrets in the kitchen and office as well as her faultless hosting!

We’d like to thank so many of you for your incredible support of Sosian. We couldn’t do it without you, and we’ll be looking forward to letting you know when we shall be welcoming guests once again.

Offbeat Safaris continues as normal with an exciting riding season ahead of them with Simon and the team, plus Piers’ Offbeat Mara Camp with a stunning new mess tent and a busy migration season ahead!
Best wishes from all of us at Sosian & Offbeat Safaris
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I got the same email...sounds like to me that living as a group at the Sosian lodge is safer than living in individual homes...safety in numbers! Amazing the difference a year makes...we were at Sosian last June.

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From what I know the instability continues and the situation is out of control. Invasions in private or communal conservancies, farms and other properties in the region are threatening all conservation projects in the area. Poaching is on the rise, some elephants have been killed, as well as a large number of animals as well.

10% approve conservation, 10% disapprove conservation, and the remaining 80% only want the economic, social, and political benefits of conservation. This new situation in Kenya (armed and organized pastoralists) is stirring the region's status quo. New forces are emerging and, depending on the elections, Laikipia may not return to what it was. 80% of this population has no benefit in this land use policy. It is worth noting that many of these invading groups come from other regions. The drought has cheered the discontented and aggravated the discrepancies experienced by Kenyans. What began as a matter of survival for cattle now seems to have branched out into many "opportunities for the powerful in the region" that today are excluded from the benefits of this land-use model as well as political exploration for the August elections. In this region of Laikipia a considerable increase of new areas for the conservation of wildlife, and consequently less areas for the livestock is in progress. This instability is not unique to Laikipia.

 

A link on the situation and events in Sosian:

http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/03/06/british-father-of-two-shot-dead-at-sosian-ranch-in-laikipia_c1518914

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@@Matias Cox - that article you posted is nowhere near current news. My understanding is that crime and violence are on the wane compared to the peak of the invasions - not continuing to blaze or increase as you imply.

 

Some root causes of the recent ugliness in Laikipia you failed to mention: under-the-table investments into huge herds of livestock as tax avoidance schemes by big bosses, multi-generational educational neglect of children in favor of child labor (herding livestock), a stupidly late government response to the violence in the early days of the Laikipia ugliness, rabble rousers like Matthew Lempurkel convincing young hoodlums they can rob and kill with impunity, etc.

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As this topic relates specifically to news from Sosian, feel free to add comments regarding the general problems in the area to this topic.

 

Thanks, Matt.

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