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Importance of Mount Eburu

Eburu Forest Reserve comprises 8,715.3 hectares of prime indigenous forest area contained within the steep hills, deep valleys and rolling foothills of Mount Eburu. It is one of the 22 gazetted forest blocks that comprise the Mau Forests Complex water tower.

The natural features of Eburu forest, including its diverse forest types, steep valleys, springs and waterfalls make it a precious ecosystem, rich in biodiversity. The forest features a broad variety of indigenous tree species, such as Prunus africana (African cherry) and Juniperus procera (African pencil cedar), among others.

The forest is recognised as a hotspot for birdlife within the greater Mau Forest Complex with 188 species of birds found within the forest and adjacent areas. It is home to over 40 species of mammals, including the critically endangered mountain bongo antelope, representing 10% of its population known to exist in the wild.


The Mau Eburu ecosystem is essentially an island, surrounded on all sides by human settlement. Illegal logging and charcoal burning are long-standing and ongoing challenges that, together with wildfires, have critically depleted the forest cover.

Indeed, for many years Eburu was synonymous with the illegal charcoal trade in Kenya. Furthermore, over the years, Eburu’ s wildlife has been decimated by bush meat hunting. Human-wildlife conflict has also been a key challenge facing the forest-adjacent communities, with wildlife invading community farms and causing losses to farmers through crop damage, livestock predation, human injury and in some cases loss of life.


In light of the threats and the importance of protecting Eburu’ s rich ecosystem, Rhino Ark committed its support and spearheaded a dynamic conservation initiative, in partnership with the Kenyan Government, to safeguard the future of the forest. A core component of the conservation initiative was the construction of a comprehensive game-proof electrified fence, to address the human-wildlife conflict challenge.

Following fulfilment of all necessary processes and approval of the project by the National Environment Authority, the construction of the fence was completed on 24 November 2014.

The fence is now acting as an effective management tool for Eburu Forest with regards to mitigating human- wildlife conflict as well as addressing other challenges facing the forest, including charcoal burning, wildfires, overgrazing and illegal logging.


The fence construction was carried out by a highly experienced team from the Kenya Wildlife Service, with labour sourced from the forest-adjacent communities. Rhino Ark’s commitment to fence Mau Eburu attracted considerable interest from the Kenyan corporate sector,  with key funding  support from the Mpesa Foundation and Finlays Horticulture. . Finlays (now Flamingo Horticulture) also hosts the facility that produces the recycled plastic fence posts used to build the fence.

This corporate support, together with funding and technical support from the Government, and the critical funding support of the Rhino Charge fraternity, has made it possible for the project to be successfully completed in record time.

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