Kenya to launch Tembo Naming Festival, KES 500,000 to have an elephant named after you
The Ministry of Tourism is set to launch the Tembo Naming Festival at the Amboseli National Park in Kajiado County today, March 3, which will allow Kenyans to adopt an elephant for a price ranging between KES 100,000 and KES 500,000.
The initiative is aimed at creating an environment where human-wildlife conflict can be minimized and promoting human-elephant co-existence.
Speaking on Citizen TV on March 1, Tourism Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza said that the festival aims to secure a future for elephants and their habitats in peaceful co-existence with humans while providing benefits for posterity. She added that the Maasai elders would be in charge of the naming process due to their extensive knowledge of how animals interact with humans.
“They have lived in the community for a long time and are familiar with animal behavior. They will be able to describe their background and behavior, including whether they are destructive or polite,” said Malonza.
After the adoption, Kenyans will be able to access information about the elephant, as these animals travel long distances from Somalia to Tanzania, and the government will continue to track them.
The theme of this year’s World Wildlife Day is “Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation.” The event will also include a tree-planting exercise at Amboseli National Park. Malonza said that the government aims to plant 10 million trees across the country to increase forest cover.
Kenya is among the few countries with a stable elephant population, with approximately 34,000 elephants in the wild. However, the country has had several incidents of human-elephant conflict in recent years, leading to the loss of lives and property.
The Tembo Naming Festival aims to promote awareness of the importance of protecting elephants and their habitats while offering Kenyans the opportunity to participate in conservation efforts.
“We want people to understand that these animals are not just animals; they are part of us. We want to create awareness of the importance of conservation and show that we can co-exist with wildlife,” said Malonza.