First Kenya volunteer team is back from the field

Posted on September 10th, 2008 in General by Administrator

This is an email to Craig von Hagen  last night.  Craig is leading MAPA in Kenya where a whole crowd of volunteers have divided 60 protected areas up between themselves.  Paolo and Filippo were the first out in the field and this is their report.

Incidentally, the quality of data they brought back was terrific and Wouter,  of Tracks4Africa who process MAPA data, suggests that their output could be used as a standard for everyone else – thanks guys!

Hi Craig,

 Here we are back to the cold Nairobi….it was much better on the coast.

The cooperation with KWS was perfect and at the end of the day we managed to drive for more than 12 hours inside the Arabuko Sokoke Forest, to map the entrance of the Malindi Marine park and to track all the way from Nairobi to Malindi and return with the data logger (1,500 km in total). The same was on during all the time of mapping. No time to complete also the Watamu marine park. It means that this has to be covered by somebody else. Pole sana

 We have taken many photos as well and we also have a list of lessons learnt that would like to share with you for the next mapping exercise.

At the end of the day we spent much more time than foreseen in the Arabuko Sokoke Forest as there are so many roads that are not mapped anywhere and this makes difficult to estimate the needed time to cover all the tracks.

 Anyway we managed to do quite a number of new roads in the forest that were not covered by T4A and by the maps they have. It was also fun because we had to chop down many trees that were obstructing the road due to the combined effect of heavy rainy season and many elephants pulling them down: so a lot of panga work and a lot of …blisters on our hands.

I have here in the office the datalogger, gps, external antenna but not yet the photos, transcript form the field book, and list of lessons learnt.

If you wish to pass and collect the waypoints in the office you are more than welcome.

Otherwise may be tomorrow you could get everything.

 Ah, a note on the antenna: it was not sticking on the roof of the landy: it is aluminium!

On top of that given the very close forest and the presence of too many branches hooked by the car we decide to stick the antenna on the internal side of the windscreen with some tape.

 Anyway it was really exciting!

 Ciao,
Paolo

 PS: I’ve copied also Aaron and Lucienne who were with us during these days.

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