World Biodiversity Day 2020


On 22 May 2020
World Biodiversity Day 2020

The Biodiversity Update

From my diary
These are strange days in the planet Earth. News come through broadcast, of pandemic and death, masked humans like in surreal fiction move around, but unusual things happen in the natural world.
Here the buffalo, the elephants, -and the lions! keep coming into my garden, and after unprecedented rains, lakes are full, all kinds of flowers bloom, and the Adada birds salute yet another clear dawn.



I look around.

The light is pale blue speckled with gold through filtering leaves, the red earth at noon smells of resin, the heady mixture of cicadas and starlings voices in the afternoon rises in still waves through the savannah.

I am lucky: I know sunrise birds taking over dawn, and midday birds drunken with sun and heat twittering amongst the branches, and sunset birds calling from every bush a last raucous farewell, and night birds sending melodious tunes to the raising moon.

I have learnt to listen to those voices, to face the ghosts, to overcome, to find the links. To sit alone, but not lonely, looking down at my graves, from my office window early in the morning, late in the evenings, to empty my mind and allow my imagination to soar unencumbered.
Feeling the vibrant sounds of countless beings at all time filling noons and nights with their calls of life, I absorb all the sounds and I am one of them.

The swish of my pen on the paper of my diary page, adds its small voice to the universe’s concert.

I breathe the same air as the leopard sliding through the ferns undergrowth, and of the elephants, drowsily fanning their ears below the thorn trees.


I sense the solid earth moving with million creatures.
I see life in a drop of rain, in the acacia flowers buzzing with drunken bees, in the flames of the logs in my fireplace licking the air, and giving back in warmth and light years of accumulated sunshine. In every fruit and berry ready to germinate, in every seed. In pale blue starlings eggs, surprised in the nest between branches, or the opaque oblong dull orange eggs of the Egyptian goose in the island at Kiboko dam.


I have made friends with the birds.

The starlings, the barblers, the turaco wait for me in the morning, and when I go to sit under the olive tree to write, next to the blue flowered Petria in my garden at Kuti, they fly down from the shadows of bushes and trees from where they have sat spying me. They come to perch on the back of my garden chair, watching me with attentive, white rimmed eyes, preening and ruffling their soft breast and shining coats in a relaxed display. And when I hold in the palm of my hand some crumbs of biscuit, they fly to land on it unafraid, and the scratching of their little feet with pointed black nails grasping my fingers, is the intimate trust of the wild that I feel I have at last deserved.


After the first storm of April, I watch enraptured iridescent clouds of termites raise from their underground tunnels in countless frenzied swarms, shimmering against the sunlight, for a short, unique moment of flight: exhilaration, breeding, and transmuting, and heaps of iridescent discarded wings remain, stuck into puddles, lifted quietly by the morning breeze.



Everything keeps moving, to be absorbed by the earth and converted into other living things, ad infinitum.
All existing life forms are terminals of the same organism , the Earth, our common mother, emanating from her and returning to her source, to be reborn in any shape a thousand times, forever.

As Emanuele taught me when he was still a child, in the balanced harmony of the natural world, everything-even poisonous vipers- has its purpose and its beauty. Death is but a change of dimension, not far, not alien, and in the great equilibrium of Creation everything has its part and all is connected.
I have learnt to recognise and accept the signs of this connection across dimensions, across lives, without fear and without questioning.

There was the cool breeze on my face unexpected in the night with close windows to remind me of Paolo, the gardenia on my open diary, the cobra dashing in the middle of the track the day of Emanuele’s memorial.

We become everything because this is what we have always been.
For the time we call life, the capsule of our physical body prevents our essence from total absorption back into the cosmos. Then we shed the chrysalis, the seed cracks, the eggshell ruptures, wings sprout. We are everything again.
It is beautiful.

Now the night listens, silence is full of voices. My dogs sit on the lawn looking out at the darkness. The fire burns below the two yellow fever acacias casting glimmers on the twin stones, next to each other.

A close low rumble.
The elephants are again inside my garden.
All passes. All will be well.
I know that I, too, one day, will become Africa.


We thank our supporters. It is our planet.


Kuki Gallmann
at Kuti
Ol ari Nyiro
Laikipia Nature Conservancy
on the Great Rift Valley of Kenya

Key Biodiversity area
KBA : KE 064




In celebration of life and of little Ayana second birthday!
2 years old on 22 May 2020!

Please help us with the ongoing rebuilding and the maintaining of vital conservation infrastructure on Laikipia Nature Conservancy, while supporting our philanthropic work of education and scholarships, community support, assistance to neighbours, public health, food drought relief, water, road building and maintenance.

And of course continuing to equip the outstanding team of rangers with uniforms, transport, binoculars, infrared cameras and everything they need to continue to protect and monitor the unique Biodiversity of Ol Ari Nyiro, and also support our ongoing re-forestation project to combat global warming by planting more and more indigenous trees.

With your help we can secure Kuki’s vision and legacy in perpetuity.

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