Help Daniel Fly

A project by: Alice Owen


WE RAISED £3,591

from 62 donors

This project received pledges on Thu 20 Apr 2017
Daniel has an almost impossible dream - to become a bush pilot and protect elephants in Kenya

A short summary of your project

I met Daniel 13 years ago when he was a boy. Now he’s 26.  I'm very excited to announce that I'll be going back to Kenya in April to film Daniel's journey from "poacher's son" to conservationist and possibly even his first solo flight as an airborne wildlife guardian. My working title for the film is "Impossible Dream".

Daniel wants to become the first bush pilot from his community to fly over Tsavo protecting wild animals.

When his father was killed by a buffalo 13 years ago, Daniel made the amazing decision to grow up protecting wild animals instead of killing them. He wants to encourage other people from his community to do the same.

Daniel needs £6,700 to go to South Africa to get a pilot's licence. He has already attended Eldoret Aviation Training Institute and studied Aeronautical Engineering for three years .  During his holidays and breaks, he would return home to Maungu and assist at the Wildlife Works hangar, servicing and repairing the anti-poaching aircraft. When time allowed, he would build his co-pilot hours. He also attended a Rotax Line Maintenance Training Course in 2014.  All he needs now is 30 hours of pilot training and he'll have made the amazing transition from personal wildlife tragedy to conservation ambassador.

The gyrocopter is an amazing new tool in the frontline of conservation, combing speed and fuel efficiency with short take-off and landing on rough strips, excellent all-round visibility and the ability to come to a virtual hover, becoming the eyes-in-the-sky directing ground crews in 4WD vehicles.

For an African boy from the dusty plains of Tsavo, I think this is an inspiring story.  Here's your chance to help him on the final leg of this incredible journey. You can help direct how the story ends. Please donate and help Daniel fiy.

Who are you?

I'm an environmentalist. Not in the sense that I'm an academic expert, but in that I'm concerned about our planet and especially the future of wildlife and the habitats that support them. I'm mid-way through a Masters in Wildlife Film-Making at UWE in Bristol. I live in Somerset and have volunteered for the Somerset Wildlife Trust on butterfly surveys and small mammal migration corridors in the Mendip Hills, and previously worked at the Soil Association in organic food certification.

Your story

Originally from Kenya, I moved to the UK in 2010 after a 12 year career in wildlife conservation. Working for Wildlife Works and the Born Free Foundation, I came to see the importance not only of focussing on the species for their own sake, but also on conserving the habitats necessary for their survival. This led me to the overlooked area of human-wildlife conflict and the stories of the people who live with wildlife every day and must become the conservationists of the future.

I've worked with communities involved in poaching, charcoal-burning, livestock grazing and the bushmeat trade to find ways to engage them in conservation, which is a challenging issue considering the high levels of poverty and reliance on consumptive utilisation as a source of food and income.

The Masters course at UWE has helped me capture the essence of storytelling. I'm learning how big issues such as human-willdlife conflict can be communicated to the general public through personal narratives such as Daniel's.

Where will the money go?

Every penny of the money raised will help Daniel fulfil his dream of flying. With a gyrocopter pilot's licence, Daniel will not only be able to make a real impact on aerial surveillance and wildlife protection around Tsavo, but will also be an inspiration to his community (not to mention being able to earn a better living for the extended family that depend upon him).

What will you spend the funding on if you hit your minimum?

Daniel's budget has 3 elements:

  • Training: £4,500
  • Flights/transport to South Africa: £1,000
  • Living costs during training: £60 x 20 days = £1200

It is important that you all know that I am running this campaign for Daniel for 6 weeks until April 15th 2017.  All funds raised by that date will be transferred in a lumpsum to a secure holding account held by Daniel's sponsor in Kenya, Wildlife Works . This will apply even if we fall short of the target. In that event, Wildlife Works will set up a separate fund-raising page to secure the balance of the funds that Daniel will need.


I have some rewards to thank everyone who donates, whatever the amount you might give. Check them out.

Find us here

You can share Daniels video from this link

or you can follow me on Twitter @MARGOWILDLIFE

Help us succeed!

You don't need to give money to help Daniel succeed! Please share this project with anyone you think will support him via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn,  email, telephone, in a chat over the fence or on your blog. In fact, share it with everyone you know as we think this is a great opportunity, and the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to make this work out brilliantly.

3 months, 1 week ago

One of the things that Daniel told me about his life was how he learned to love wildlife. Please watch this short video and share it with anyone who loves Kenya and its beautiful wildlife.

I’ve made it as a way of saying thank you to all of you who have donated and spread the word about Daniel’s dream.

This website expires at the end of the day tomorrow, but I will continue to update you via email and on Facebook so please look out for our news. Thank you for believing in the cause, clicking and donating. All for now. Alice.

3 months, 1 week ago

Daniel Zuma Can't stop thanking all of you who by any chance and means you do help by either donating or sharing to friends! Promise you your donations won't be lost instead will be used in the protection of the elephants and other wildlife species which we lose them day by day through poaching:: thank you all! Looking forward for your last minute donations! Cheers all

Daniel posted that on my Facebook page this morning so thought I'd share it here as well. Alice.

3 months, 1 week ago

I would like to thank everyone who has already donated to support my efforts to help Daniel Fly. I have just come back from Kenya after an amazing time filming with Daniel and the rest of the team at Rukinga Wildlife Sanctuary.

We spent many hours walking through the villages with Daniel showing us what life is like there. We also walked the streets of Maungu where it was 33 degrees C and we were able to capture what it is like to live in the dusty truck town.

From a rock above you can see the expansive area of wilderness below and how it  surrounds the scattered roofs.

Then we drove round the wildlife sanctuary - mainly in the afternoon hours once the heat had reduced. Many of the animals come out to graze and drink at this time.

But you have to be quick to capture them on camera. In the acacia-commiphora thickets, it is hard to find any clearings and the animals don't hang about waiting to be photographed - except maybe the giraffes - which sometimes seemed to parade in front of the cameras like models on a catwalk.

We also visited a very special place - a small rocky mound in the middle of the sanctuary that affords one "the view of the world".  From here one can watch the sun setting over the Marungu hills. It is also a place where Daniel and I went to remember our dear friend Rob - who as some of you may know, was helping Daniel to achieve this impossible dream.

From October 2016, Rob also helped me plan and develop the making of this film.  It is unfortunate he won't be here to see it completed, but I am happy to announce that I will be making the film in his memory.

Rob flew away on the 3rd March 2017 having helped prepare Daniel to fly. Please help Daniel complete the final stage of this journey - to get a pilots license. I have received many pledges, but not enough to set the ball rolling so I am making this final appeal. There are only four days left to make a donation via this link so please donate today.

I will continue to post updates on my Facebook page once this page expires. I believe that Daniel will fly. I hope you do too.

Thank you.

Alice Owen

generated 878 clicks and caused 28 donations totalling £950.00

Cristina Colissimo

donated and caused 1 donation of £201.00


generated 168 clicks, donated, and caused 1 donation of £50.00

Nicky Hann

generated 40 clicks and donated £20.00

Alys Penfold

generated 18 clicks

Simon St Leger-Harris

generated 8 clicks and donated


generated 8 clicks and donated


generated 6 clicks and donated

Sara Cockx

generated 5 clicks and donated £30.00


donated £150.00

Mwa E

donated £100.00


donated £50.00


donated £50.00

Brandon Barbour

donated £50.00

Kate Presswell

donated £50.00

Mary Matthews

donated £50.00

Sally Campbell

donated £50.00


donated £50.00


donated £50.00


donated £40.00


donated £30.00

Rebecca Elise

donated £30.00

Céline Potts

donated £25.00

Anna Hammond

donated £20.00

Madeleine Hardman

donated £20.00


donated £20.00

Mariet Defrancq

donated £10.00


donated £10.00


donated £10.00

Steven Cuypers








Jen Williams



followed this project

9 anonymous donations totalling £300.00

Only project creators and their sponsors can post comments.

In nagedachtenis van Rob, om te steunen waar hij met passie achter stond.. X Margo Dries en Marilou

Wish Daniel to fly and live Rob's dream...

Good luck Daniel! We hope you achieve your dream. For Rob & Lore. Much love, Martin & Kate.

In loving memory of Mr Rob.

Hi all, Daniel posted this on my Facebook page today so I thought I would share it here as not everyone donating is on Facebook. He is truly grateful for all your support. "Can't stop thanking all of you who by any chance and means you do help by either donating or sharing to friends! Promise you your donations won't be lost instead will be used in the protection of the elephants and other wildlife species which we lose them day by day through poaching:: thank you all! Looking forward for your last minute donations! Cheers all. Daniel Zuma"

Fantastic. very inspiring. look forward to seeing the film! Well done Daniel and Alice (from Simon St Leger-Harris and Miffy Treherne)

In memory of Rob Dodson...may his legacy live on.

Good Luck Mummy!!!!!! Looking forward to going to Kenya to film with you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See You Soon Daniel!!!!!! R.I.P Mr.Rob.

Good luck mummy!

Good Luck Daniel- go make Rob proud! From Camilla & Holly

Daniel, Good Luck with following your dream to fly. And for helping with conservation of Wildlife in Africa. And thank you Alice for telling the story, hope you have an amazing filming trip. Best wishes, The Harris Family

Good luck, Daniel!

In loving memory of Rob

Inspiring story. Need people who live with wildlife to take the lead. Good luck Daniel!