Jim Nyamu has a story, and he's walking 370 km along the Indian Ocean coastal strip of Kenya to tell it. Many describe his commitment to elephants as 'humbling.' Having already walked a total of 3,118 km across Kenya and the United States last year, he plans to cover a further 5,000 km in 2014. And he's already completed the 104 km from Makutano Meru to Meru National Park south of Nairobi.
As the founder of the non-government organization Elephant Neighbors Centre (ENC) in Kenya, Nyamu has one mission -- "to experience a landscape where elephants and communities are roaming widely and peacefully and in harmony with local economy and ecological environment."
Kenya loses one elephant daily to poaching. With over 70 percent of Kenya's elephants found outside protected areas, and the rest in National Parks and Reserves, ENC's mission is indeed a lofty one. But for Nyamu, these depressing facts just mean that the walk must be longer, and make his journey even more important.
Starting south of Mombasa on Monday, May 11, Nyamu will finish his walk 15 days later at Lamu, in the far north of the Coast Province. Along the way he'll be talking -- a lot -- and creating awareness about the importance of elephants as well as the threat they are facing in light of the poaching epidemic. His message is simple, "Ivory Belongs to Elephants," and he's spreading the word far and wide.