|EGGS or Eye Go Game Spotting was conceived by Iain Leckie, the Director of Lions Bluff Lodge, to raise awareness and funds for local community projects and LUMO
Situated between Taita Hills Salt Lick and KWS Tsavo Jipe, LUMO Sanctuary is 50 km from Voi. LUMO was created by local ranchers who put their poor yielding cattle land together to create a Sanctuary for wildlife.
The Third EGGS took place last weekend in the beautiful LUMO Community Wildlife Sanctuary.
With a record 23 cars and 140 entrants, the EGGS teams set out at first light on Friday to capture on film as many animals, birds and plants as they could.
They were also required to collect items such as an acacia leaf and an ostrich feather.
Against a check list their photos won points. The more difficult the sighting was considered to be, the more the points earned. Eg An aardvark earned you 100 points and an impala 5.
After much fun and 30 hours of game viewing, the enthusiastic teams reported in for judging and prize giving.
The home team, the Lumo Rangers won the event with 3515 points from a possible 6400 to take the coveted EGGS trophy and an awry of prizes. Teams came from all around Kenya with several overseas entrants. The oldest competitor was 80 and the youngest 14 months!
Last year Ksh 600,000/= built a classroom at the local school, provided eye care for the community through the Kwale District Eye Centre satellite clinic at Mwatate and was used by the LUMO Community Wildlife Sanctuary projects.
This year Ksh900,000/- was raised which will help support LUMO Sanctuary infrastructure and community projects, eye care, help build a cultural centre and a toilet block and supply desks to Latika school.
At a colourful closing ceremony the KWS Deputy Director in charge of wildlife and community service Mr Ben Kavu explained how vital it is that the Sanctuary raises awareness of this superb wildlife experience.
‘ It’s a double whammy’ enthuses Iain; ‘ people can enjoy this beautiful asset and the shareholders who have donated their land to conservation can reap the benefits’
But Iain has concerns. He cautions ‘The Sanctuary can only continue to earn this way if cattle are strictly controlled so that the wildlife experience is not spoilt. Too many cows in the Sanctuary has a negative impact both on the environment and visitor numbers.’