On Thursday 5 December a group of 40 from the Mount Kenya Trust visited the forest. The group was welcomed at the Gede entrance, by three members from the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest Guides Association (ASFGA), in their recently donated uniform; Kenya Forest Service (KFS) acting ecosystems coordinator, KFS Gede forester, Kenya Wildlife Service’s (KWS) Sargent Tinga, KWS education officer and the Friends of Arabuko-Sokoke Forest’s (FoASF) scouts, liaison officer and field and administrative manager.
After a short briefing the group walked through the forest to the Arabuko swamp, learning about its unique plants and wildlife. At the swamp Sammy Safari – FoASF committee member gave a talk on the forest adjacent communities and projects that have been implemented to halt their need of capitalising on illegal products from the forest. Sammy gave the group some freshly harvested cassava crop from the Songa Mbele self-help group.
Members were driven back to the KWS education centre for presentations. FoASF liaison officer gave a presentation on the work FoASF is undertaking in the forest. The short educational film, created with funding from African Fund for Endangered Wildlife, was shown at the end and received a wonderful reaction from the audience. This was followed by a short talk from Local Ocean Trusts (LOC) project manager Justin Beswick. The Mount Kenya Trust ended the visit by showing their film and giving a presentation on their incredible and broad work. Thank you to KWS and KFS for facilitating the trip and providing rangers and briefings and to LOC and Mount Kenya Trust for involving the forest and FoASF in their expedition.