Wildlife has always been under threat from human activities and modern life effects. The Kenyan National parks and game reserves are always stretched in their efforts at conservation and management of Kenya’s wildlife resources.
Wildlife conservancies offer extra hope for the protection of wildlife in Kenya. The difference between a National park / game reserve and a wildlife conservancy is that in a conservancy, land is managed by an individual entity or body corporate and in some instances a group of private or communal land owners forming a larger conservancy for purposes of wildlife management to better livelihoods.
Conservancies complement national parks and game reserves while enabling adjacent local communities to identify and own conservation efforts while benefitting directly from wildlife management.
Local communities are positioned to be at the center of wildlife conservation by providing them with better livelihood incentives which helps in the reversal of wildlife decline thus ensuring continuity for future generations.
1. Community conservancies
These are conservancies formed by local communities in jointly owned community land.
They are managed by the local community representatives with professional assistance from the Kenya Wildlife Service and other tourism partners.
These are conservancies formed by combining private land which share a common border to form a larger land area viable for the purpose of wildlife conservation and management.
The combined private landowners manage the conservancy with assistance from professional wildlife and tourism stakeholders
Most group conservancies are found around the Masai Mara Game Reserve.
3. Private conservancies
These conservancies are formed on sprawling private ranches by a private individuals or corporate owners for the purpose of wildlife conservation and management.
The private wildlife conservancies may be owned and managed by individuals or families, non-profit wildlife organizations or commercial entities.
Most private wildlife conservancies are found within the Laikipia area of Kenya
Below we present the many wildlife conservancies of Kenya where you can book a once-in-a-lifetime Africa Holiday with Natural World Kenya Safaris.
‘A Personal Adventure’
A picture postcard of flawless Africa – golden savannahs, perfect acacia trees dotting the horizon and lots of big cats. Lions and leopard sightings are common, as are masses of the other wildlife – this is the protected conservancy of Mara North.
The private wilderness of over 61,000 acres is a special zone created to protect this beautiful swath of land, the precious wildlife within its borders and its native inhabitants, the pastoral Maasai people. Going on a safari here is a unique experience of the land, the animals, and the culture as you will enjoy your time on these great plains with few other tourists and vehicles.
‘A New Kind of Safari Tourism’
Here in the Mara eco-system, amongst river valleys, acacia forest, and natural gorges you’ll find the most successful of the conservancies – Olare Motorogi. A partnership between the landowning Maasai people and five tourism operators, this rich swath of territory at the border of the Maasai Mara National Reserve offers safari-goers one of the densest populations of lions in East Africa.
Here you’ll also find plenty of elephants, many other grazers and endangered species like rhino and the African wild dog. Over 50 species of raptors have been spotted. The only thing you won’t find here in Olare Motorogi is the herds of visitors found in many other parks.
‘An Exclusive Safari Experience’
The Masai Mara National Reserve is perhaps the most exciting game park in the world with its incredible density and numbers of wildlife. But suppose you could explore a nearby conservancy that featured as many animals but far fewer tourists? A protected area that had none of the limitations of a national park but offered even more activities and wildlife experiences? That is the promise of Mara Naboisho.
This private conservancy limits the number of tourists who can explore its 53,000 acres so you may find yourself coming upon lions and other wildlife with no one else around. This makes for a very personal safari experience with the flexibility to engage in activities not possible in the nearby national reserve.
Naboisho is home to lots of big cats – over 100, so the density of lions and their large prides is one of the highest on the continent. Traversing the land with your private guide you’ll also find
great herds of elephants, giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, and Kenya’s rare wild dog. Of special note: the conservancy is a corridor for the Great Migration when several hundred thousand animals pass through on their yearly trek through the Mara region.
Ol Kinyei was the first, the pioneer of the private conservancy movement in the Mara eco-system and a multiple award winner as well! The landscapes of this region are blessed with green rolling hills, springs, rivers, streams, and enough displays of wildlife to satisfy safari-goers of any age and experience. Sightings of big cats are common, and you are likely to see large numbers of giraffes, Cape buffalos, and elephants as well.
Established in 2005 as a partnership between 171 Maasai landowners and Porini Safari Camps, just 8,000 acres were designated as cattle-free zones to encourage wildlife conservation and to further recovery and protection of the land. The venture was a success and many indigenous animals have returned including a pride of over 30 lions, plus leopards, cheetahs and over 300 types of birdlife.
Ol Kinyei has also expanded to its now 17,500 acres, attracting many new local landowning partners. Its success serves as a model and inspiration for newer conservancies in the Mara eco-system and has even garnered several awards. It was honored with the “Community Conservancy of the Year 2011 and 2012” by Ecotourism Kenya’s Eco-Warrior Awards.
‘The First Success’
Mara Triangle was one of the first in the region created to benefit the local Maasai community and to protect an area that was being decimated by poachers. Experiencing the wealth of wildlife now roaming this spectacular landscape, visitors will gladly confirm the success of this great conservation project.
The Mara Triangle is immense, about one third the total area of the Masai Mara Reserve and is blessed with an abundance of game. It is possible, in just one day, to view all the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhino in an area of just 2 km (1.2 mi). Visitors will also find plenty of wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, cheetah, and many others.
‘A Success Story for Everyone’
Visitors will find a wonderful array of grazers here – buffaloes, giraffes, gazelles, zebras, topis, dik-diks, elands, and so many others. And in the grand scheme of nature, right behind those grazers look for several resident prides of lions, plus leopards, cheetahs, African wild dogs, and hyenas.
The conservancy is a migration corridor for elephant herds, and some are truly impressive with over 200 individuals in a family.
Wildebeests also hold a special place in Siana’s eco-system. During the Great Migration from July through October, great masses of these creatures pass through the conservancy, creating an unrivaled spectacle of herding wildlife.
However, prior to the migration during January and February, visitors can also witness the unique wonder of innumerable wildebeests calving in the Loita Hills area.
‘A Compact Wonder’
Being more compact in size, it offers good wildlife viewing with fewer visitors and picturesque landscapes for a more natural safari experience. The game spotting is active throughout the year on its wide rolling savannahs bordering the Mara River. And the abundance of trees lining the river is a draw for big cats like leopards who perch above, scanning for their prey.
Visitors to Lemek will also find lions from the resident pride as well as cheetahs and sometimes large herds of elephants. During the annual Great Migration, the numbers of wildlife greatly expand, thrilling those lucky enough to visit this exciting conservancy.
A big attraction of the conservancy type of safari is that guests can partake of activities not allowed in the nearby Masai Mara National Reserve.
Olarro is a Masai term meaning buffalo. Olarro is located in South Western Kenya in the Loita Hills Massif. Olarro is 6000 feet above sea level, nestled in the Enkijape hills around 200 Kilometers from Nairobi. This is an exclusive conservancy with the Olarro lodge, intimate and stylish with private spaces of extreme luxury complementing the beautiful landscapes. Established in 2012, our conservancy seeks to preserve and conserve the environment and wildlife, create value for the community and strengthen the traditional heritage of the Maasai. The Conservancy sits along the corridor of the annual wildebeest migration and plays a significant role in the Greater Nguruman, Loita, Mara, and Serengeti ecosystems.
Enonkishu Conservancy, on the northern boundary of the Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem has developed a strategy for a culturally relevant context to apply to conservation. Right on the edge of human settlement and arable farmland, the conservancy is used as a demonstration site for sustainable rangeland management.
Crescent Island Sanctuary boasts more animals per acre than any other park in Kenya. You are certain to trek by diverse herds of wildlife – wildebeest, waterbuck, zebra, giraffe and gazelle amongst them.
Hippos are also known to graze all about the island and you’re sure to spot pelicans, cormorants and fish eagles as well.
The island is not fenced, and the animals are free to roam to and from the mainland… much like yourselves.
You can’t get any closer to the wildlife than this. Imagine riding alongside a gazelle – that’s a story you’ll never forget and love to share. So, get ready for a fun, animal-filled adventure.
Wildlife Conservancy bordering Lake Elmenteita World Heritage Site, Important Bird Area and Ramsar Site with awesome landscapes, birds and animals located in the spectacular Great Rift Valley of Kenya
Hippo Point is an exclusive private wildlife conservancy sitting on an isthmus between Lake Naivasha and Lake Oloidien at an altitude of 6,200 feet or 2,000 metres. With a near perfect microclimate, over 350 species of birds and an average of 1,200 resident animals roaming the grounds it is the perfect place to let go of your busy life – A sophisticated African environment to enjoy nature and have fun; catch up with yourself, enjoy family and friends. Fall asleep under Russian linen sheets, smothered by the stars of Africa, soothed by sounds of Hyena and Hippo calling in the night. Wake up early and breath in the cool spring air of altitude and walk among the game and birdlife along the lake shore, do yoga at sunrise, swim, jog with the Zebra, bike, meditate, read or simply enjoy breakfast in bed – here, you can do what you like when you like – and if you’re more than six – you get the whole place to yourselves.
Originally a cattle ranch, this conservancy is now managed by the local community who decided to fore-go cattle ranching in favour of wildlife conservation. Attractions include endangered Rothschild giraffe, a herd of buffalo, zebra, waterbuck, impala, Grants and Thomsons gazelle, eland, hyena, leopard, hippo and over 200 bird species.
The wildlife sanctuary surrounding Chui Lodge was created in the mid 1990’s with the sole purpose of giving the resident wildlife a place of safety and refuge. Over 18, 000 acres is surrounded by an electrified fence, as much to keep illegal cattle grazers out as it is to keep the wildlife from straying into the nearby farmlands.
The wildlife are still able to move freely between the neighboring Hell’s Gate National Park, the sanctuary and the lakeshore by way of wildlife corridors which ensures constant movement throughout the localized eco-system.
Since the creation of the sanctuary and the wildlife corridors the number of wildlife, specifically species such as leopard and giraffe, persecuted by the villages in the past, has stabilized and increased to sustainable levels.
Sanctuary Farm Naivasha is committed to the conservation of the diverse flora and fauna surrounding the lake.
Lake Naivasha is one of the few freshwater lakes in East Africa and was designated a RAMSAR site in 1995 under the Convention of Wetlands of International Importance.
The Lake and its environs support a complex system of terrestrial, riparian and littoral plants which provide critical foraging and breeding grounds for a large number and variety of resident and migrant birds and wild animals, including more than 350 species of water birds.
Its riparian land houses hundreds of hippopotamus and other large mammals such as Cape Buffalo, Maasai Giraffe, Waterbuck, Thomson’s Gazelle, Grant’s Gazelle and Impala. Smaller animal species include Serval Cat, Spotted Hyena, Silverback Jackal, Bat-eared Fox, Aardvark, Clawless Otter, White-tailed Mongoose, Skunk, Python and other snakes.
Due to urban development it is becoming more and more difficult for the wildlife to roam as far and wide as it used to. Their natural corridors are slowly being fenced off and they are more and more restricted to conservation areas such as Sanctuary Farm and Crescent Island. As a result, the wildlife on the farm is habituated to people and although the animals are still wild, one can walk at close proximity to many of the wild animals without scaring them.
Sanctuary Farm is a bird lover’s paradise and we can organize a guide to accompany you on nature walks around the farm and along the shores of the lake
The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a 360sq km wildlife conservancy in Central Kenya’s Laikipia County.
Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary
Home to about 40 rescued chimps, the sanctuary has 24-hour veterinary care to support and nurse the chimps back to good health. When they are ready, the chimps are brought into one of two large groups, living in large, natural enclosures. From an elevated observation post, keepers are happy to share with you each chimp’s story.
Endangered Species Enclosure
This large drive-through area is the protected home to the last two remaining northern white rhinos. Other endangered species, Grevy’s zebra and Jackon’s hartebeest are here as well.
Morani Information Center
named for Morani, a favorite black rhino who lived here for years, this center is a hands-on museum for visitors to touch such artifacts as a leopard skin and antelope horns to get a closer understanding of the park’s wildlife.
The most famous region of Laikipia is undoubtedly the Lewa Conservancy, or ‘Lewa’ as it is known. Like much of Laikipia, Lewa was originally a cattle ranch but one that was later established by the Craig/Douglas family as a black rhino sanctuary. Today, Lewa is Kenya’s greatest conservation success story with the conservancy officially running as a Non-Profit Organisation and a game density second only to the Masai Mara. As with many of the Northern reserves, Lewa hosts a variety of rare species ranging from the Grevy’s zebra, Sitatunga, Oryx as well a great diversity of big game found in East Africa especially the rhino and cheetah. There are also a number of ranches outside Lewa itself, from Borana in the south to Loisaba, Sabuk and Ol Malo in the north – all of these offer a wide range of exclusive safari experiences with camels, horse riding, helicopters and normal safaris in 4×4 wheel drive vehicles
The Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy works to prevent extinction of
the unique wildlife of Mount Kenya and beyond.
They save and rescue endless numbers of wild creatures and breed endangered species for survival and rehabilitation back to their ancestral homes.
Loisaba is a 57,000 acre wildlife conservancy located in Laikipia, Northern Kenya. With abundant wildlife, exquisite accommodation and adventurous activities, Loisaba will revive your mind, rejuvenate your body and revitalize your soul.
We can’t wait to show you our piece of wilderness…
The Borana Conservancy located at Laikipia County is dedicated to the sustainable conservation of habitat and wildlife. It works in partnership with the neighboring communities to provide a sustainable ecosystem for endangered species on the brink of extinction.
The area is a haven to a wide variety of wildlife from buffaloes and elands to impala and herds of Grant’s gazelle. A number of the infamous black rhino are also housed here. Profit generated from tourism is used to support schools in the community as well as sponsor Borana’s mobile clinic.
The conservancy has a local employment policy, providing employment, health insurance, and pensions to over 200 members of the local community. Borana also invests in some community owned conservation initiatives ensuring that the people are also involved in wildlife and wilderness conservation.
Borana Conservancy is home to some of Kenya’s most prolific wildlife as well as its most endangered species. It has also received the Ecotourism Kenya Award for the best conservancy.
OL JOGI is one of the most remarkable private wildlife conservancies in Africa. Family-owned for over 40 years, it is a safe haven for the preservation and future development of Wildlife Conservation.
By dropping fences, sharing information and opening migration corridors Segera has returned
a working cattle ranch into a thriving wildlife conservation area. Besides the lion, leopard, cheetah and hyena that hunt plains game here we have extraordinary birdlife and many rare and endangered species: Grevy’s Zebra, Patas Monkeys and even wild dogs have been researched here. Every year there are new generations of predators and prey, more elephant migrating through and more drama unfolding on the 50 000 acre estate. In the evenings you will hear the call of a lion, the melancholy whoop of hyena and zebra yipping.
There is nothing quite like it.
Solio Ranch is a privately owned wildlife conservancy.
The ranch is a fenced, privately owned protected area geared toward rhino conservation. The 17,500-acre reserve, 22 km north of Nyeri Town, plays a major part in the protection and breeding black rhinos in Kenya.
Solio Ranch is recognised as one of the most successful private rhino breeding reserves in Kenya.
The 365-square-kilometer Laikipia Nature Conservancy (aka Ol Ari Nyiro) on the edge of the Great Rift Valley is one of Kenya’s largest private reserves and provides an important sanctuary for wildlife of all kinds.
Located on the Eastern wall of the Rift Valley on the Laikipia Plateau, the Conservancy is the most important water catchment area for two major lakes, Lake Bogoria and Lake Baringo. It is part of the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot and harbours an invaluable remnant of the diverse flora and fauna that once covered vast areas of the Laikipia Plateau and the eastern Rift Valley escarpment.
Mugie Conservancy is located within Kenya’s Laikipia plateau on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. Mugie is home to several endangered species and forms an essential corridor for connecting West Laikipia with the highlands of Mt. Kenya.
Ol Lentille is a private conservancy of 14,500 acres, lying around seventy-five kilometres north of Mount Kenya. Named after the hill which dominates the area, Ol Lentille sits on the northern escarpment of the Laikipia Plateau.
In the northern frontier of Kenya, lies the Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy, an area of 850,000 acres of pristine wilderness in the Mathews Range.
The savannah plains and lush mountain slopes are home to elephant, leopard, reticulated giraffe, wild dog and kudu in ever increasing numbers.
This remote and dramatic landscape is also home to the local Samburu people whose age-old traditions, including the famous ‘singing wells’ are as much a part of the fabric of this land as the wildlife.
Here you will find Reteti Elephant Sanctuary which is designed to rescue and release orphaned and abandoned elephant calves, whilst creating much needed benefits to the local people that live alongside them.
This is seen through the representation of the communities standing up for wildlife, in recognition of the value that they can cultivate.
LUMO Community Wildlife Sanctuary is a community owned wildlife sanctuary in Kenya. It is located near Mwatate in Taita-Taveta County in the former Coast Province, approximately 220km from Mombasa. It covers an area of 48,000 acres. The sanctuary is formed by the Lualenyi, Mramba Communal Grazing Area, and Oza Group Ranch, hence the acronym “LUMO”.  LUMO Community Wildlife Sanctuary is adjacent to Tsavo West National Park and the Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary.It hosts cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, masai lion, masai giraffe, zebra, hartebeast, impala, waterbuck, Thomson’s gazelle, lesser kudu, dik-dik, and other smaller animals, including a great diversity of birdlife. The sanctuary has one community-owned tourist lodge, the Lion’s Bluff Lodge.
|Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is a privately owned sanctuary. It hosts cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, Maasai lion, Maasai giraffe, zebra, hartebeest, impala, waterbuck, Thomsons gazelle, lesser kudu, dik-dik, and other smaller animals as well as a great diversity of birdlife.|
Ngutuni sanctuary is a 10,000 acre private game sanctuary, surrounded on three sides by Tsavo East National Park.with view of the Sagala Hills and others nearby, only 2.5 hours drive from Mombasa and its international airport. Ngutuni sanctuary and the surrounding national park is best known today for their fantastic variety of wildlife including lion, cheetah, elephant, buffalo as well as a huge variety of plains game and bird life.
It is only in Ngutuni Sanctuary, in the whole of Tsavo East National Park, where one can do a night game drive conveniently and spot a lot of animals including many big cats at very close range.
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