Like many wildlife areas in Africa, Kenya has sadly lost a lot of its wildlife in recent years. Loss of space and connectivity due to increasing development pressures and climate change is threatening Kenya’s wildlife and livelihoods for rural communities.
The founding of wildlife conservancies was motivated by the desire to stem this degradation and the need to conserve wildlife and habitats by partnering with the communities living on those lands and provide 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 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. It is tourism that pays for the conservancies to continue so if you wish to do a safari in a conservancy then that will definitely be a big help for conservation and for the communities who have set aside their land as a home for wildlife.
Whether you are in a 4WD vehicle, on horseback, walking or even biking, private conservancies offer a more exclusive and unique safari experience where you can escape crowds of people/vehicles and experience the African wilderness and wildlife without encountering a great number of other vehicles.
The beauty of being in a private wildlife conservancy is the camps and guides are not governed by the national park and game reserve rules, which are quite restrictive. Essentially, in national parks and game reserves there are strict rules where you are not able to go off-road, night drives, or walk. Not only this, but there is no limit to the number of vehicles at a wildlife sighting. Whereas in private conservancies, guides are able to drive off-road, conduct night drives and nature walks. There is 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, for example thus creating a more private safari experience away from the sometimes maddening crowds.