Like many areas in Africa, Kenya has sadly lost much of its wildlife in the last 100 years. Loss of space and habitat connectivity due to development pressures and climate change threatens African’s wildlife and livelihoods for rural communities.
Local Kenyan Communities are at the heart of conserving wildlife
Human activities and the effects of modern life have always posed a threat to wildlife. Kenya’s national parks and game reserves are constantly stretched in their efforts to conserve and manage their wildlife resources.
Wildlife conservancies provide hope for conservation in Kenya. The distinction between a national park, a game reserve and a wildlife conservancy is that land in a conservancy is managed by an individual entity or body corporate. i.e., the land is leased from the local land owners/communities. It is not owned by a corporate entity or a family as is the case for many game reserves in South Africa.
Conservancies supplement national parks and game reserves by allowing local communities to identify and own conservation efforts while directly benefiting from wildlife management.
This means local communities are at the forefront of wildlife conservation, thereby providing better livelihood incentives, which aid in the reversal of declining wildlife numbers and ensures continuity for future generations.
It’s all about conservation.
The founding of wildlife conservancies was motivated by the desire partner with the communities living on those lands and providing them with real and sustainable benefits from wildlife and wilderness areas. This is a founding principle of protecting indigenous resources to generate income. In this model, you have a low-density ecotourism venture/s whose income goes towards the community as an incentive to preserve ecosystem health. It is now widely accepted as a conservation solution beneficial to people and the environment.
Conservancies can be described as areas for both wild and domesticated animals to interact as they roam wildly. Conservancies also provide connected landscapes that complement national parks and reserves while enabling communities to benefit from wildlife management and in turn, be at the heart of championing conservation efforts.
Listen to Jake Grieves-Cook explain how tourism helps to pay for the protection of habitat for Kenya’s wildlife by supporting conservancies on large tracts of community land adjacent to the parks and reserves in Kenya. Tourism pays for the conservancies to continue so if you wish to do a safari in a conservancy then that will be a big help for conservation and for the communities who have set aside their land as a home for wildlife.
Along with contributing to Kenya’s conservation, the beauty of being in a conservancy is the camps and guides are not governed by the national park and game reserve rules, which are quite restrictive. National parks and game reserves have strict rules; where you cannot go off-road, and there are no night drives, or walking. Not only this but in national parks and game reserves there is no limit to the number of vehicles at a wildlife sighting. In private conservancies, guides can drive off-road, conduct night drives and nature walks. Conservancies also a limit on the number of vehicles at a sighting, which means you do not get literally ‘hordes’ of vehicles at a lion or leopard sighting. Thus creating a more authentic safari experience away from the sometimes maddening crowds.
Kenya National Parks / Reserves
Aberdare National Park
Amboseli National Park
Buffalo Springs National Reserve
Chyulu Hills National Park
Hells Gate National Park
Lake Nakuru National Park
Masai Mara National Reserve
Meru National Park
Mt Kenya National Park
Nairobi National Park
Sam buru National Reserve
Shaba National Reserve
Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo West National Park
El Karama Conservancy (Laikipia)
Il Ngwesi Conservancy (Laikipia)
Kalama Conservancy (Samburu)
Laikipia Nature Conservancy
Lemek Conservancy (Masai Mara)
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
Loisaba Conservancy (Laikipia)
Loldia Conservancy (Lake Naivasha)
Mara North Conservancy (Masai Mara)
Motorogi Conservancy (Masai Mara)
Mugie Conservancy (Laikipia)
Naibosho Conservancy (Masai Mara)
Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy (Samburu)
Ol Jogi Conservancy (Laikipia)
Ol Kinyei Conservancy (Masai Mara)
Ol Lentile Conservancy (Laikipia)
Ol Pejeta Conservancy Laikipia)
Olare Orok Conservancy (Masai Mara)
Olchorro Oiroua Conservancy (Masai Mara)
Segera Conservancy (Laikipia)
Siana Conservancy (Masai Mara)
Sosian Samburumburu Conservancy (Laikipia)
Suyian Conservancy (Laikipia)
Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary (Tsavo Region)