Have you heard of the Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Festival? Perhaps not. That is because the maiden one will happen this coming October 9 at the Amboseli National Park. The festival is almost similar to the Rwandese ‘Kwita Izina‘, except you replace the Mountain Gorilla with an elephant. Also, unlike in Rwanda, the Eles in the Tembo Naming Festival will end up with people’s and brand’s names. How cool is that!

So if you have ever toyed with the idea of getting an elephant named after you, this could be it – for a few bucks, of course! The gist of the event is to raise KES 100 million to boost conservation efforts of the critically endangered jumbos. The efforts so far seem headed in the right direction. According to a new wildlife census report released this month, Kenya’s elephant population has grown by 12% since 2014. The report was the result of an ambitious two-month national census involving land and aquatic wildlife. It also goes down as the first-ever exercise of its kind in the country.

Already the usual early suspects have jumped at the prospect of an elephant being named after them. East Africa Safari Rally, Chandaria Foundation, Oltukai Lodges and the African Wildlife Foundation. They are all headed for Amboseli after presenting their cheques personally to the Tourism Cabinet Secretary at the KWS Headquarters.

You, too, can join the Tembo naming bandwagon through these three options:

  1. For USD 5,000, you can choose any one of twenty-one new-born calves born between 2020 and 2021).
  2. You could opt to give your name to a legendary tusker. These huge and rare guys roam around Amboseli in bachelor herds or sometimes just prefer their own solitude. Only two are up for grabs for USD 5,000 each.
  3. How many people in the world do you know who are named after twins? With the shield, you get just that – and it is a rarity! The last recorded twin birth happened in 1980. For two sets of four calves, with each calf going for USD 5,000, you will have your moment to shine.

Once the dollars land in the KWS account, you become eligible to attend the naming ceremony to give your elephant your name! You also get an elephant naming certificate plus a fact sheet on the named elephant. An assortment of merchandise then follows suit, including a year’s worth of free visits to the Amboseli National Park. They even have a board of fame all ready for your name as an adoptive parent! You can check the KWS website for a detailed list of benefits.

Feel like giving a Tembo your name? Get in touch with KWS on 0708191522, 0775912933, 0731825981 or their Toll-free line, 0800597000. You can also email jminoo@kws.go.ke.