elephant naming in Kenya 2
The goal of the festival is to secure a future for elephants and their habitats in peaceful co-existence with humans while providing benefits and for posterity. [ PHOTO / Kathy Karn Photography ]

Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Festival (MKTNF) is an innovative sustainability mechanism to champion elephant conservation in Kenya. It offers individuals and organisations an opportunity to support conservation effort

The goal of the festival is to secure a future for elephants and their habitats in peaceful co-existence with humans while providing benefits and for posterity. The loss of ecosystem connectivity and rising human-elephant conflicts needs urgent attention by the public.

The elephant species plays a key role is shaping our livelihoods, including the well-being of communities living around the parks, reserves and conservancies. In recent years, elephant poaching has reduced significantly but human-elephant conflicts have increased in many regions within the country. This is as a result of the increasing loss of habitat and competition in land use.

QUESTION: Why the elephants/tembo?

ANSWER: The African Savannah elephant is the world’s largest land mammal. It is an “emotional & intelligent” species with feelings, compassion and self-awareness. Elephants present tremendous challenges for their successful conservation (large size, feeding behaviour and mobility).

It is also an “umbrella” species, whose protection provides collateral security for overall biodiversity & tourism industry. A “conflict” and “engineer” species, capable of modifying habitats to the benefit or detriment of different plant and animal species on a local or wider scale.

The African Savannah elephants are currently listed as E********d on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Over the years, there has been a gradual change in elephant d***h from poaching to human elephant conflict (HEC), natural and unknown causes. Construction of Electric fences and other mitigation measures will aid in reducing HEC. Annually there is a conservation deficit of Ksh1 billion and this gets worse in situation when we have pandemics

Q: Why Amboseli National Park?

A: Amboseli has been selected as the initial launch ecosystem due to its healthy population of elephants and hosts the extensively researched African elephants. The park is quite small to host the growing number of elephant births. It is therefore important to salvage some of the less disturbed areas around the park to win more space for elephants.

This will be done by supporting the land lease program and community wildlife conservancies’ establishment. The first Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Festival will be launched in Amboseli National Park and later organise more series of the naming ceremonies in other conservation areas.

Q: Who is eligible for the adoption and naming program?

A: The adoption program is open to the general public considering that elephant conservation is a collective responsibility. From individual to corporates, institutions and general public. Both local and international.

Q: How many elephants can one adopt or name?

A: There is no limit in adoption and naming of the identified elephants as long as one is able to meet the cost indicated under each category

Q: How much does it cost to adopt and name an elephant?

A: From as low as Ksh1,000 for individuals and Ksh50,000 for corporates one can qualify to be an adopting parent. However, for one to name they must donate a minimum Ksh500,000

Q: Are there adoption/naming categories?

A: Yes, there are three categories up for adoption in 2021, these include the twins, legendary tuskers and new born up for adoption in 2021.

Q: Where can I adopt or name from?

A: You can adopt from KWS website, KTB website, Ministry of Tourism and wildlife website and Amboseli national park.

Q: Will I be allowed to go home with my adopted elephant?

A: The adopted elephants remain at the national park since is a “symbolic” adoption however periodic update will be sent to the adopting/naming parent from time to time.


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Q: What is the adoption process?

A: The adopting/naming parent will identify them from KWS, KTB, Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife or Amboseli National Park, fill adoption form, and make payments then attend the Magical Kenya Tembo naming festival schedule for 9th October, 2021.

Q: Are there benefits for adopting or naming an elephant?

A: Yes, each category has its own benefits such as an adoption certificate, opportunity to attend the festival, free visits to parks, branded merchandize, recognition on KWS social media and website among others.

Q: How else can I support?

A: By giving unrestricted donation, purchasing the events branded merchandize or support the event budget either in cash or in-kind or book a table at the fundraising cocktail.

Q: Is the event open to people who live outside Kenya?

A: The event is open to the general public both locally and internationally.

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