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  • Writer's pictureFor Rangers

New build: A three-bedroom ranger camp on the banks of the Ngobit River



The new accomodation block for rangers at Ngobit and a black rhino at Ol Pejeta.


Nestled amidst 90,000 acres of parkland, this stylish, newly built three-bedroom ranger camp comes complete with rainwater-harvesting infrastructure, two 5,000-litre water-storage tanks, and a veranda. And it’s in proximity to the largest black rhino population in East Africa, the last two known Northern white rhinos on Earth and at least 330 bird species.

 

No, it’s not for sale.

 

This latest patrol base at Ol Pejeta, one of Laikipia’s iconic rhino sanctuaries, has been made possible thanks to the fund-raising efforts of runners taking part in the ForRangers Ultra. In fact, ForRangers was able to make a grant of $15,000 to cover much of the build, as well as provide six months’ worth of rations for 25 of the Conservancy’s rangers. Supplying rangers with rations including cereals, pulses, and fruit, helps the teams can carry out crucial duties during long deployments, as they work to keep the Conservancy’s wild residents safe.

 

Accommodation is also a crucial part of supporting rangers, yet many bases remain in disrepair. Outposts are not only important to provide rangers a place of comfort to stay, but also ensure that teams have better access to remote areas or places where, without regular patrols, security would be a concern. This outpost’s location, on the Ngobit River, is an important area for rangers to be, but the previous building was in a sorry state.

 

Wooden panels had fallen off the walls as plants grew in the gaps that remained, whilst nails on remaining boards hung loose. A green kitchen of corrugated steel stood off to the side, whilst the toilet of the same green stood alone in the bush out of sight. Another part of the accommodation lay slung in a pile 20m away. It had been used as a bouncy castle by the resident troop of baboons, soon becoming what one would expect following the escapades of baboons: completely unidentifiable. The team of passionate rangers stationed here admirably continued regardless.



The previous accomodation block for rangers at Ngobit. Credit: Save the Rhino International.


It was expected that constructing this base would enhance monitoring capacity in the west of the Conservancy by improving the comfort of the rangers stationed there. After some delays, the base was completed by the end of 2023. The team of three rhino monitors moved in during January 2024.

 

Ever since, monitoring efforts of the resident rhinos in the Ngobit area have continued to go well – albeit in much greater comfort. Working in a challenging habitat where thick brush dominates, these rangers begin their day at 6am, when they commence their patrols. Stopping only for lunch, they walk each day to collect data on rhino sightings and other wildlife , all of which are input into the EarthRanger™ app on their devices. The data is collated and analysed, informing security and management interventions. When it comes to rhinos, if one is not spotted within a four-day window, no stones are left unturned until that rhino is found.

 

Thanks to this intense protection, Ol Pejeta has not lost a single rhino to poaching since 2017 and we very much hope that this success will continue. A huge thanks to all ForRangers donors and fundraisers for supporting Ol Pejeta’s rangers.

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