Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Biking to Protect Mt. Kenya Ecosystem

15 February 2018

Categories: Homepage News, Kenya News

By Nelly Konya – Office Manager, Born Free Kenya – nelly[at}

Nestled in one of the plains of a private ranch located in Laikipia on the northern side of Mt Kenya, hundreds of people are gathered to participate and witness the start of one of the most gruelling races for the 10to4 Mountain Bike Challenge. The air is crisp and fresh, the temperatures are slowly rising from the chills of the night and the excitement is palpable.

At the start line, some 50 mountain bikers anxiously wait to be flagged off. They are a mix of professionals and those who feel they need to up their riding experiences from urban centres to rough terrain.  Theirs is a 90 km race on day one and another 70 km descent on day two. They will ride from 10,000 feet and drop to 4,000 feet through alpine moorlands, indigenous forests, rivers and savannah plains teeming with wildlife. The chopping sound of a hovering helicopter can be heard clearly at some distance.  

The event has six bike races, with horse rising and trailing running as the latest additions. This year, 400 competitors from 18 countries have gathered at the private ranch hosting the event.

Our indefatigable team is supporting in a major way. We have provided our Land Rover vehicles with drivers as well as other staff to assist the organisers in the critical roles of registration and timing.  The vehicles ferry the media crew filming the event, act as sweepers for those who drop off from the competition or conduct arising tasks as they arise.  The tasks are tiring and demanding, but we all know it is for a good cause. Born Free has supported this initiative since its inception in 2002.

The funds generated from this event assist Mount Kenya Trust in their mission to protect and conserve the Mt Kenya ecosystem. The ecosystem consists of the national park and national forest reserve which are one of Kenya’s most critical natural resource and also the largest water catchment area. It also supplies water to more than 15 million people in Kenya. The adjacent area hosts Ngare Ndare, an indigenous lush forest that acts as a key elephant migration corridor to Mt Kenya Forest and a private wildlife conservancy.

These two forests host rich wildlife and tens of endemic animals and plants. However, like any other natural resources, the ecosystem particularly the forest has been undergoing gradual environmental degradation due to climate change as well as unregulated human activities.  This is why we must maintain its integrity for the survival of both man and animal.

As Born Free, we remain committed to protecting and conserving this critical ecosystem and its rich biodiversity for posterity.

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

Share | |