20 March 2019
The next time you're researching safari destinations, consider the Mara Naboisho Conservancy. Here's why.
In Africa, wildlife populations are severely threatened by habitat loss, conflict with humans and poaching. So conservation projects that combine local communities and tourism are vital. One great success story is the Mara Naboisho Conservancy in Kenya, which borders on the famous Maasai Mara National Park.
The 50 000-acre conservancy was established just four years ago. More than 500 Maasai land-owning families came together to form a private wilderness area in their cattle grazing land. Wildlife move freely through the land, as there’s no fence between the conservancy and the national park.
In order to allow the land to recover from intensive herding, the Maasai who co-own the conservancy now practice controlled grazing. And, to make sure that tourism doesn't impact on the environment too much, there are only seven small camps that visitors can stay at. This means that there are 350 acres per available bed. No self-driving is permitted, so there are only a few cars for each sighting, unlike the extremely busy Maasai Mara.
It’s easy to see why the Mara Naboisho works. Safari goers get to see Kenya’s famous wildlife without having to contend with the traffic jams of safari vehicles in the Maasai Mara. The money from the tourists is funneled back into the Maasai community. They Maasai can now afford education for their children, and the animals of the Maasai Mara can move more freely.
When you stay in a reserve like the Mara Naboisho, you know that your money is going towards sustainable conservation and a solution to the age-old conflict between humans and animals over land.