Italian born author and conservationist Kuki Gallmann was shot and injured yesterday by Pokot bandits near her lodge in Laikipia county.
73-year-old Ms Gallmann, famed for her best seller novel, “I Dreamed of Africa”, is reported to have been driving in her car when the bandits laid an ambush.
She was shot in the stomach and is recuperating at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi where she was flown for treatment. Her driver managed to escape unhurt.
In March, Ms Gallmann and her daughter escaped unhurt when bandits fired at them after burning down her luxury lodge just weeks after Tristan Voorspuy, 61, a former British army officer and Sosian ranch co-owner was shot dead by herdsmen in the area.
The Gallmann family own the 400-square-km Laikipia Nature Conservancy and employ 250 Kenyans on the luxury lodges, ranch, and other businesses on the land.
They also run the Gallmann Africa Conservancy and Gallmann Memorial Foundation, conservation groups focusing on bringing people and wildlife together sustainably.
Ranch owners at Laikipia County have been under attack by herders, who have invaded their farms, allegedly in search of pasture for their cattle due to the looming drought. The ranchers, however, maintain that this time round, the invasions are politically instigated.
“Private ranchers have in the past welcomed pastoralists, allowing them to graze their cattle inside the ranches during drought periods. However, last year, the matter took a political angle,” one rancher said.
The private ranch invasions are by pastoralists, mainly from Samburu, Isiolo, Baringo and west Pokot counties.
The government launched a security operation in the area last month but sanity is yet to be restored.