Writer: Emily Wekulo
They say Maralal is one of the sleepiest towns in Kenya. It is hot and dry most of the time in the year. It is old and sometimes very tired. It is, however, endowed with the most scenic topographies. The singing birds and soothing chirp of the crickets are beyond imagination. The people of Maralal are deeply rooted in their spectacular culture. Traditional recipes and Cuisines go beyond imagination. If Maralal is a Sleeping Town, then it is a sleeping beauty.
Maralal is the home of Kirisia Forest – a dense thicket of trees and shrubs, jealously guarded by the Samburu Women. The people of Maralal joke by calling it The Forest of Women.
The Kirisia Forest is vast and mountainous, covering a whopping 780 square Kilometers. Its mountainous ecosystem makes the water catchment area that supplies water for over 150,000 people who live in lowlands. The lowlands are mostly arid and water is a challenge. When water becomes scares, it is the women who suffer the agony of walking long distances to look for water.
The Samburu people are semi-nomadic and are close to the Maasai both linguistically and traditionally. To save themselves from the agony of walking long distances to look for water, the Samburu women have chosen to fight for the Conservation of the Kirisia Forest.
Many people have come together, to join the Kirisia Community Forest Association in doing everything about saving this Forest. The various units protect deforestation and try to guard the livelihoods of the communities that depend on this forest. As a responsible Travel Agent, Come Travel Kenya has taken the initiative to support the Samburu Women in their quest.
Come Travel Kenya has come up with affordable travel itineraries to Samburu that will allow you to be a part of this great mission. A comprehensive tour plan that starts with a several-hour drive, in the North of Nairobi.
The Samburu Women Rangers, bold and beautiful in their forestry uniforms, confess that before they did not know the importance of the forest. But now, with knowledge, they fight tooth and nail to ensure it is evergreen.
Kirisia Forest is beautifully green. It is home to many animals and birds. It is a serene environment and a day spent here, enjoying the trails is quite therapeutic. People go to Kirisia to listen to the birds sing in the morning. They come here to taste the sparkling spring waters. Kirisia is a haven of green peace. Come Travel Kenya is here to allow you to enjoy all these.
The Ranger Women have stories about the forest as well. Interacting with them, and listening to their tales of horror and inspiration will open your eyes to worlds that you are yet to experience. The Samburu Community is a patriarchal one. The place of women is mainly at home, with children. The women rangers have had to go through rejection and ridicule to succeed in a field that is usually male-dominated.
They have projects that are supported by the county government of Samburu and many well-wishers who happen to be visitors who come to enjoy the beautiful, calming serenity of Kirisia Forest. Your visit will go a long way in boosting these women and their projects.
The Rangers of Kirisia Scout the forest daily to ensure that no logging or poaching occurs. They also interact with the community to educate them on the importance of conserving the forest. By visiting the Kirisia Forest, besides interacting with these bold beauties, you will have an opportunity to educate the community on the importance of keeping Kirisia Green and thick.
Come Travel Kenya is allowing you to come and witness both culture and environment change for the better.
What do you say? Should we plan a few days’ trip to Kirisia for you to enjoy the environment and, interact with these amazing women who are brave enough to go against the norms for the sake of their forest?