Usha Harish talks about her journey to becoming a wildlife photographer in this candid interview. Watch it out!

Coming up on March 21st, this Thursday in Nairobi, Kenya- wildlife photography talk by
Usha Harish

Annual wildebeest migration

September 19, 2016 5:49 am  /  Kenya  /  , , ,

No where in the world is there a movement of animals as immense as the wildebeest migration, over two million animals migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the greener pastures of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya during July through to October. The Wildebeest Migration, is one of the “Seven New Wonders of the World” and also known as The World Cup of Wildlife. It is one of the most spectacular events to be experienced. Here is a short compilation of the migration I experinced in various occasions. Watch, enjoy and share.

I got an opportunity to participate in the biggest ever ivory burn in Kenya, which was held on 30th April, 2016 at Nairobi national Park. The conservation effort wads towards a message to be relayed across the world. It was a day of adventure, thrill, excitement, remorse and pain. I entered the Park gates at 10 am and after the necessary security checks and screening, I was transported to the ivory burning site organized by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). There I saw large tents pitched in for the event, a press corner, and then 12 pyres equal to 105 tonnes of elephant tusks and 1.5 tons of rhino horns piled up with the rangers offloading more tusks at the burning site. It was raining and muddy, thanks to the gum boots which was a saviour.

The burning site was cordoned and getting ready for the burn. The place was buzzing with activity with rangers, photographers, reporters, conservationists, organizers, artists, all battling the rains and still connected with one cause. At about 3 pm, the President of Kenya arrived with other prominent dignataries and His Excellency gave a very powerful speech stating the reasons for burning ivory and the serious intent of Kenya to end illegal ivory trade. The President lighted up the pyre along with Ms Judi Wakhungu, Minister for Environmental and Natural resources , Dr Richard Leakey , wildlife conservationist and KWS Director General, Mr Kitili Mbathi  torching the biggest ever stock pile of ivory tusks.

In the words of President Uhuru Kenyatta – “We come from a truly blessed country. Blessing however come with duty. The last decade has seen a catastrophic destruction of the African Elephant, which threatens our communities. Kenya is rich in natural heritage, we intend to protect it. A time has come when we must take a clear stand, ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants.”

It was a funeral, a memorial to thousands of lives lost and a celebration of Kenya’s resolve to end this bloody trade. Had it been sold as some have suggested, it would only stoked the flames of greed and demand for more and more Ivory. All of us watched these once alive and ornated tusks smoking to flames.

The Ivory burn got the special publicity it deserved, a clear message to the world that no more trade in ivory.

All of us watched these once alive and ornated tusks smoking to flames.

Some facts:

20,000 litres of diesel and kerosene

10500 elephants and 343 rhinos

12 stockpiles of ivory and rhino horn

105 tonnes of ivory

35 tonnes of rhino horn

$172m combined value of tusks and horns burnt

100,000 the number, at least, of elephants killed in Africa in four years

If  arranged the elephants killed for this stock of ivory tail to tail they would stretch for 30 miles.

  • The aftermath

    The aftermath


    The wet and rainy morning


Unloading the ivory tusk


Thrilled to witness a historical event


Battling the rains against all odds


Getting ready for the big event with dignitaries coming in


Wonderful Soila with her daughter Sian and the KWS staff


Photo op with the great conservationist Dr Paula Kahumbu


The ultimate burn


Let this never repeat


The rangers working round the clock


Smokes and flames of the once alive elephants


It was the largest ever ivory burn


President of Kenya- Mr Uhuru Kenyatta with a great conservationist Dr Richard Leakey


Got connected with some amazing bloggers


1.5 tons of Rhino horn burning

Imbirikani Event

October 26, 2015 7:19 am  /  Conservation, Events, Kenya  /  ,

An event for the Masai women empowerment project was officially launched in Imbirikani near Amboseli , Kenya by Wildlife Direct, UNDP and the Office of the First Lady of Kenya

Happy to share the news that in the event a photograph taken by me during my recent trip to Amboseli for the conservation project was gifted to the First Lady of Kenya. It was an image of  Garamba (mother) with her male calf Gakuo who is named after the father of the First Lady of Kenya. Banners were made of the “Three Holes” family and the Masai women in beautiful beads also.


IMG_5310 IMG_5309IMG_6959

Hello friends,

For the last one month, I was away to Amboseli National park in Kenya as a photographer for an elephant conservation project commissioned by an organisation called WildLife Direct led by Dr Paula Kahumbu. It was a 18 days stay in Oltukai Lodge, Amboseli with my dear friend and an expert elephant researcher Ms. Soila Sayialel. I learnt a lot about elephants and their behaviour which was my first experience. Amboseli is a beautiful park and there were many a things I noticed about it

The beautiful sunrises and sunsets.

The dust storm and twisters.

The elephants roaming freely everywhere.

The beautiful dark green grass in the swamp, then the light green grass and totally dry grass around the water body.

The Mt. Kilimanjaro with its mwanzi and Kibo peak. Kibo peak was snow covered one day, next day clear but without any snow and today totally covered up.

The elephants with the Mt Kili in the backdrop.

The variety of water birds around the swamp.

The wonderful landscape of Ol tukai lodge.

Elephants scratching, dusting, sitting, sleeping on the ground, smelling, running, mud bath.

There were many other wildlife and different views of the mountain which was a moment to cherish.

The friendly Oltukai staff made me feel at home.

IMG_5767IMG_6648 IMG_5713

IMG_6643-001 IMG_6837