Board Members

Tony Church - Chairman

Tony Church has stepped into his brother Colin’s shoes to continue his vital conservation work in Eburru Forest. Brought up on the southern slopes of Mount Kenya, he served for three years in the Southern Rhodesia Police Force in the 1960s before returning to Kenya to manage a tea estate in Nandi Hills. By 1971, he had founded Safaris Unlimited, which grew to be the acclaimed riding and photographic safari company it is today. Tony has been involved in conservation in Kenya throughout his life, including as an active councillor with Friends of Conservation. From 2003 to 2010, he served on the Hells Gate and Mount Longonot National Parks Management Committee and more recently on the Board of Rift Lakes Conservancies Association. He currently lives on the slopes of Mount Eburru overlooking Lake Naivasha.

Josphat Macharia

Josphat Macharia was born in Ndabibi village adjacent to Eburu forest. Along with his family, he is very active in using and promoting sustainable agriculture methods including organic fertilisers, soil and water conservation, runoff water harvesting, biogas, fish farming and aquaponics. From his 5.2 acre farm near the forest, Josphat offers training courses in all aspects of sustainable farming and shares g his experiences with other small farmers as well as with international visitors to the area. Josphat was awarded the ‘Planetary Health Award’ from the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation for his permaculture training to local farmers and youth training programme at his farm in Ndabibi – a testament to his tireless commitment to the environment and his role as a figurehead for sustainable farming methods in the local community.

Lydiah Nyota

Lydiah Nyota is a resident farmer in the Eburru area. She is currently chair of the location water project, is a representative on the County land board, is a Board member at two secondary schools and is a committee member on the Community Forest Association as well as for Eburru Rafiki. Lydia represents women's interests in the Gilgil sub-county and chairs a community policing initiative at the locational level. Her dedication to protecting her local environment and being a voice for her community is impressive.

Chris Outram

Chris was born and brought up in Western Kenya and currently splits his time between Gilgil and the slopes of Mount Eburru just below the forest, overlooking Lake Naivasha. His working life has been agriculturally based, both as a farmer and latterly as the co-owner of Ndume, an agricultural machinery manufacturer. Chris enjoys spending his free time in the African bush and is passionate about protecting the environment. His myriad of local business connections is an invaluable asset in helping Eburru Rafiki to gain support for protecting our local water tower.

Alistair Nicklin

Alistair Nicklin, African born and raised on the coast of Kenya, has spent most of his adult life migrating around East Africa working as a ranch manager in Laikipia, engaged in wildlife management, guiding safaris and farming. Alistair became very involved in Eburru after learning that the forest hosts a dwindling population of the rare Mountain Bongo and consequently helped set up camera traps and monitoring of this magnificent species. As a result, he has gained in-depth knowledge of the forest and surrounding communities. Alistair also sits on the Loldia/Naivasha Connectivity Committee, which is actively creating valuable and lasting wildlife corridors from Eburru Forest to the Lake and beyond. Alistair lives in Naivasha where he owns a renewable energy company and continues to guide safaris.

Hugh Gibbon

Hugh Gibbon was brought up in Western Kenya. He currently lives part time between Naivasha and Tigoni. He holds a PhD in Geography & Planning, a Masters in Rural Social Development & Agricultural Extension and two certificates in Management and Agricultural Economics. As a member of the Tropical Agriculture Association and Natural Resources Management Group in the UK, Hugh has advised for over 30 years across more than 20 tropical countries in: rural development, biodiversity conservation and management, community and sustainable forest management and natural resources management, and has led a number of evaluations in the biodiversity and natural resource sectors.

Shel Arensen

Shel Arensen, born in Tanzania and raised in Kenya, has worked with the Ogiek/Dorobo community for 30 years starting new churches. The Ogiek (sometimes Okiek) are a hunter-gatherer group originating from parts of Tanzania and Kenya. Having first visited Eburru in 1991, Shel has enjoyed regular hikes in the forest with his Dorobo friends, sometimes collecting honey, other times investigating plants and roots for medicine or searching for the elusive bongo. As editor of Old Africa, a history magazine focused on East Africa, he has a rich knowledge of this area and tales of its past. Shel lives on the Malewa River near Naivasha with his wife Kym.

Chris Daubney

Chris is Managing Director at Loldia Eburru, a tourism, education and conservation management project in forest directly adjacent to Eburru Forest State Reserve. Loldia Eburru forms a central part of the wildlife corridor between Lake Naivasha and Eburru Forest. Chris is committed to the management and safeguarding of the entire forest ecosystem and its unique biodiversity. Formerly, Chris studied Environmental Science at University, worked on biodiversity projects in remote regions of Tanzania, guided wildlife and adventure tourism groups across Africa and worked as a Head Ranger at a prominent lodge in South Africa. Prior to his role at Loldia Eburru, he taught Geography and sat on the Senior Leadership Team of a Prep School in Nairobi.

Colin Church - Founder, now deceased

Colin Church committed many years of his life to conservation in East Africa. As Chairman of Rhino Ark Management Committee for 12 years, he oversaw the fundraising and completion of the 400 km electric fence that now surrounds the 2,000 km² Aberdare Conservation Area. It is a vital water catchment area for Kenya, encompassing indigenous forest, national park and a farming region for millions of people. Funding for the fencing and community outreach programme of Eburru (largely from Safaricom and totalling US$1.5 million) was finalised during his time with Rhino Ark. He was active on various conservation boards and served as Chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Service board of honorary trustees in 2003/04. Colin sadly passed away in March 2021. His achievements in conservation live on and Eburru Rafiki are committed to keeping his passion for protecting and regenerating Eburru Forest alive.