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School Farm, Benenden, Kent  TN17 4EU

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+44 1580 241132

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What's in The Name?

Why there's a cottage called The Camel House in rural Kent, England

Let me introduce the owner of The Camel House

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JOHN HARE OBE, FRGS, EXPLORER, CONSERVATIONIST & AUTHOR

In 1993, John took advantage of a chance offer from a Russian scientific team to research the status of the wild camel in Mongolia – the 8th most endangered large mammal in the world. The wild camel is a critically endangered species numbering no more than 1000, and only survives in the Gobi desert in China and Mongolia. Presenting his research findings in 1994 at an international conference in Ulaan Baator, the following year John Hare received permission to enter the former nuclear test site of China. where the wild camel survives. No foreigner had been allowed to enter this vast salt water desert for 45 years. It is here that the wild camel, having survived 43 atmospheric nuclear tests, is also able to tolerate salt water with a higher salt content than sea water.

In 1995 and 1996 John Hare became the first foreigner to cross the Gashun Gobi Desert in China from north to south and to reach the ancient city of Lou Lan from the east. John Hare‚ his team discovered a hitherto undiscovered outpost of Lou Lan called Tu-ying on the Middle Silk Road. In 1999, on another expedition mounted on camels, John Hare’s team discovered two unmapped valleys deep in the Gobi sand dunes, which contained wildlife that had never seen or experienced man.

In 1997, John Hare with Kathryn Rae founded the Wild Camel Protection Foundation with Dr. Jane Goodall DBE as the Life Patron. Miraculously, John Hare and Kathryn Rae went on to persuade the Chinese government to allow the establishment of the Lop Nur Wild Camel National Nature Reserve in the former nuclear test site in Xinjiang Province. Measuring 155,000 square kilometres (almost the size of Texas), the WCPF became responsible for helping the Chinese to establish one of the largest nature reserves in the world, protecting not only the wild Bactrian camel but many other IUCN Red Book listed endangered fauna and flora. John Hare is the sole international consultant for the Reserve.

In 2001/2 Hare crossed the Sahara Desert from Lake Chad to Tripoli, a journey of

This route had not been followed in its entirety by a foreigner since Sir Hans Vischer negotiated it 100 years earlier. This journey was undertaken to raise funding and awareness of the plight of the wild Bactrian camel.

1500 miles which lasted three-and-a-half months,    to raise awareness for the wild camel. 

In 2006 John Hare made the first recorded complete circumambulation by camel of Lake Turkana (Rudolph), in Kenya.

At the northern tip of the lake this involved swimming 22 camels across the fast-flowing River Omo in Ethiopia. 

In 2005 and 2006 made two more expeditions into the Chinese and Mongolian Gobi desert, on domestic Bactrian camels.

In 2004 the WCPF established the Hunter Hall Captive Wild Camel Breeding Centre at Zakhyn Us in Mongolia with twelve wild camels, which had been captured by Mongolian herdsmen. This is the only place where the wild camel is held in captivity in the world apart from two zoos in China and in 2018 the population had increased to thirty-five. Over the past three years eight wild camels have successfully been released into the Mongolian Gobi.