ACK staff are based in the Salama and Meibae field sites. Senior staff, volunteers and students will live primarily at one or both of the field sites depending on the projects with which they are associated. Students working with KWS laboratory facilities are welcome to stay at our Nairobi facility or to find a rental closer to the Karen/Langata area. The two field sites are over 450km apart from each other, so when working with both facilities it can be expected to spend at least one day driving.
ACK began working in the Salama area in 2005. For the first few years we camped and stayed at homes of some of the community members. We would like to thank our most senior staff person, Lumumba Mutiso and the Stanley family for offering their homes to give us a place to stay in our early years of working in the area. In 2009, we built our first research camp on a rented acre belonging to Agnes Muli. The ACK tented research camp near Salama town, approximately 90 km South East of Nairobi in Makueni County. The camp sits at the base of the Ulu Conservation area within the old Aimi ma Kalugu ranch.
The camp comfortably sleeps six students, volunteers and/or staff. There is ample space for more tents as needed. We reside at the camp while conducting research and we meet with our field officers monthly. The camp is a basic tented camp with a brick office and kitchen. Our office has power for working on the computer or charging equipment. Toilets are long drop outhouses and showers are from a raised bucket. A tree house near the office offers a nice break, a great view of the area and a beautiful sundowner.
Research in the area is primarily focused on the Salama study site, but we do extend into the Athi-Kapiti study area in partnership with the neighboring ranches that support cheetahs. When work in the Athi-Kapiti area is extensive we often camp at either the Lisa Ranch or Game Ranching. The camping is rustic during work in these areas
Visitors can stop by the camp to meet with the staff or to see the area. We offer walks with the scouts or drives in the area and discussions about the role of private and public land in carnivore conservation. We seldom see the cheetahs in this area because they are shy and afraid of people. Visitors can contact us to schedule their visit. Volunteers and students can apply via the volunteer section of our web site.
Similar to the Salama site, we began our work in Samburu by setting up temporary camps in the areas where we worked. We began working in the Samburu Reserve in 2009 while staying at either the Save the Elephants research camp or Elephant Bedroom tented camp for discounted rates. When we began working in the West Gate Conservancy adjacent to the Reserve, we stayed either at the Ewaso Lions research camp or at the Conservancy camping site. In 2011, when we began our focus in the Meibae Conservancy we set up temporary camping near the headquarters and adjacent ranger camp.
The Meibae Conservancy is one of the youngest community conservation areas in the Northern Rangelands Trust, being initiated in 2009. The Conservancy is located about 40km west of Wamba town off the Maralal Road. We selected this area because it had the highest number of regular cheetah sightings recorded by NRT rangers. The ranger camp was constructed in 2010 and ACK placed our tents along a rock kopje in the heart of the Conservancy. In 2014, we signed a 5 year agreement with the Conservancy to develop a more permanent tented camp and office facility. Camp construction began in January 2015.
Tents are 10’ x 10’ dome tents under shade cloths. The office and kitchen are made of a fabricated insulated metal container. Water tanks collect roof water and during the dry season will be filled with water pumped from a river bore-hole. Toilets are drop toilets and showers are gravity fed from the water tanks. The office, toilets and showers were completed by the end of April, 2015. We are working on add ing roofs and additional water collection tanks over the tents to holdup to wind and provide cooler shade. Electricity at this site is solar generated and adequate for charging equipment and lighting at the building.
Currently, the Meibae Conservancy has a site for tented camping, but it does not have a tourist lodge. ACK staff can visit tourists in the Reserve or neighboring Conservancy lodges to give presentations. We share information about cheetahs with tourists when we visit the Reserve and submit regular reports to Reserve administration and anyone requesting the reports. Please contact us to schedule a presentation.
ACK shares a rented home in the Kangemi area with the Wana Duma Children’s Project Director, the Mara-Meru Cheetah Project Director and the Director of Well Fed Kenya. Students and volunteers stay at the Nairobi facility when they arrive and prior to departure. In between field exercises the Nairobi house is a welcome pampering with running water, electricity and Wi-Fi. The facility is near enough to town that we can do our shopping, enjoy a little social life and attend meetings at KWS and other partner offices.
ACK staff can visit tourist groups at most Nairobi accommodations to give talks on cheetah conservation in Kenya. Please contact us if you are visiting Kenya and would like to meet with the ACK Director or Senior Scientist.
Support our work
ACK needs your help to support our scouts and the community so we can accomplish our goal of conservation of the cheetahs in Kenya. You can also purchase COOL Crafts online now.
With your help we can continue our research and conversation activities.
- Student/Teacher Activity Book - $10 each
- Plant 10 Trees - $20
- Support a School Visit - $30
- Field gear for Scouts - $50
- Sponsor Detection Dog - $100/month
- Sponsor Field Officer/month - $200/month
- Field Monitoring Equipment - $500