To either side, the river has built up a rich alluvial plain, which is perhaps
most characteristic of the area – The Ewaso Nyiro plain, daily visited by
dust-devils caused by wind thermals generated by the intense heat and the nearby
almost vertical western wall of the Rift. In times of rain, the Ewaso Nyiro plain
becomes a paradise for migratory ungulets, especially wildebeest and zebra.
Giraffe are common, browsing the omnipresent Acacia Tortilis trees –
these quintessential African trees, so vital to the survival of man and beast
alike. In the riverine thickets buffalo can be found, while elephant migrate down
the Nguruman escarpment from the highland forests of the Loita Hills to search
for salt in the lowlands.
Predators abound, especially leopard, but lion make their presence felt at
night where their roaring pinpoints the presence and location of the different
prides. All the mammals that may be found in this rich mosaic of habitats –
desert, river, swamp and mountains (for the whole areas is dominated by the massif
called Shompole Mountain) – can still be found, from rare and elusive nocturnal
animals which feed on termites such as aardvarks and aardwoles, to desert antelopes
such as oryx and gerenuk.
What is remarkable about Shompole area is that it is inhabited by people who,
despite their fairly intensive use of the land, still allow, through their practices
and attitudes, a very rich eco-system to exist side by side with their way of
The Loodokilani, like their kinsmen throughout Maasailand, tolerate wild game
and even the large carnivora which are inimical to their livestock, so that their
homeland still resembles the pristine Africa of old. All that remains of their
nomadic homesteads, when the rains come, is a circle of green green grass to show
that once, man lived here.