Ant-acacias…

Here are some of the ants that live on the ant-acacia trees in the Kerio Valley. First here’s a portrait of an acacia tree…    The main ants that tend the trees are known as ‘cocktail ants’ (Crematogaster spp.) because the raise their abdomens into the air when alarmed. Here are a few of them have a … Read more

The Kerio Valley…

Have been working over the past week in the Kerio Valley. Located in Northwestern Kenya this is one of my favourite places in the world and a stunning extension of the Great Rift Valley. Steep escarpments plunge down from the ancient Cherangani Hills to the hot, dry acacia woodlands and scrub of the valley floor, … Read more

Rainforest insects…

Have just been travelling in Western Kenya on fieldwork. Spent a few days in the wonderful Kakamega forest, where the heady mixture of rain and sunshine has seen an explosion of insect life. Here are some of the pictures of the amazing and beautiful forest creatures.The strangest creatures I came across were these very cool … Read more

Gorilla bugs

The mountain gorillas live on the slopes of some of the steepest volcanoes in Africa. The volcanic range is part of the immense Albertine Rift Valley. This is part of the Rift Valley system that cuts down across the continent of Africa. Due to the volcanic activity and sinking and rising of parts of the … Read more

Africa distilled

I am currently in Rwanda with Paula Kahumbu from WildlifeDirect and Dr Craig Hatkoff, who together with his daughter co-authored a book about Owen and Mzee and more recently, on a baby gorilla. This has been an amazing trip and I don’t even know where to start. One of the main reasons for coming here … Read more

A colourful freeloader

I’ve been spending a lot of time looking at the ant-acacias that I study for my PhD. The other day I cam across the most intriguing insect living among the ants on one of the acacias. There are several different ant species involved in a mutualism with the plant. The acacia provides housing and food … Read more

Orchid mystery

Hello I am currently in Western Kenya looking at one of the sites that I do some research in and exploring forests. Yesterday I went on walk in the Kaptagat Forest. This is a highland forest with a mixture of indigenous forest and commercial plantations. It had rained the previous night and the ground was … Read more

Unexpected Diversity

This Saturday I visited the Kibera Slum in Nairobi with Paula of WildlifeDirect and her remarkable sister Su Kahumbu, one of Kenya’s most passionate organic farmers who is working very hard to raise awareness about organic farming and other issues related to good farming practices. Isaak, a partial hearing child attached himself to me immediately … Read more