Kilimandege Raptor Centre – Kilimandege Sanctuary
The Naivasha plot that now forms Kilimandege Sanctuary was acquired by Joan and Alan Root in 1962. It formed their base and retreat during their National Geographic work and the ground-breaking Survival documentary series. In the words of Sir David Attenborough, “Alan Root made natural history film-making grow up.” Some footage from the series was taken on the sanctuary and can be seen in their 1975 film ‘Safari by Balloon’. Lake Naivasha was to be the focus of a future film but sadly that future never materialised. Alan and Joan went their separate ways in the mid 1980s, Alan to continue filming while Joan remained on the sanctuary to pursue her conservation work.
The sanctuary covers 88 acres, and over time this became increasingly important to wildlife as a safe haven, as ever greater pressures were put on the surrounding land by business and poachers. Joan decided that the safe haven she was providing should not be dependent upon her alone. She created Kilimandege Sanctuary and placed it under the protection of a Foundation so the work she started could continue beyond her life
Kilimandege Sanctuary is continuing the vision of providing a safe place for wildlife seeking sanctuary, and also space for injured birds to be rehabilitated by The Kenya Bird of Prey Trust.
The Kenya Bird of Prey trust uses Kilimandege Sanctuary as their main base of operations as it is well placed in the middle of the rift valley, and a short distance away from Nairobi, yet comfortably far from the chaos of a big city.
Here, birds are brought for their initial treatment and convalescence, and early lessons of training. Kilimandege houses the majority of our permanent captive collection; birds that are unable to survive in the wild. Here they breed in captivity, educate visitors, or foster and raise young birds that come in from the wild. It is here that our future volunteers will also spend the majority of their time – on local monitoring projects in Hell’s Gate or on the lake, training birds for release, and interacting with visitors on a daily basis.