Those in search of a more private Kenya safari experience can often find the Masai Mara National Reserve a bit overwhelming in numbers. It is not always easy to find those pockets of exclusivity in one of the most popular safari destinations in the world.
This eventually began to change in 2006 when dedicated conservationists saw the harsh effects increasing populations of people and domestic livestock had on wildlife and migration numbers. They immediately started working with Masai and Samburu landholders in order to carve out more land for wildlife. Thus the Masai Mara Conservancies were born with the creation of the Olare Orok Conservancy bordering the Masai Mara National Reserve. This conservancy model has since become the blueprint for sustainability of the great Masai Mara ecosystem. Mara North Conservancy, Naibiosho Conservancy, and other Masai Mara conservancies soon followed and now the Greater Masai Mara ecosystem spans an area almost twice its original size.
These Masai Mara conservancies have created a rebirth of the Masai Mara, in a sense. Through their efforts, they’ve secured 260,000 acres across eight new conservancies. The effects on wildlife have been immense and immediate. Where there were once small villages, there are now leopards, lions, cheetah, and other animals living in the area. And the migration is once again growing and extending the amount of time spent in Kenya. Through relocating homesteads to peripheral areas, reducing domestic livestock herd size, and by utilizing rotational grazing practices, the area has rebounded and contains one of the highest cat densities in all of Africa.
Of the Masai Mara conservancies, the private Mara North, Ol Chorro, and Lemek conservancies boast the lowest densities of tourists, allowing for secluded game drives without other vehicles vying for the same prime location when viewing game. Visitors can expect day and night game drives in Land Rovers led by Masai guides, traveling into the game-rich expanse of about 100,000 acres with leopard, lion, wildebeest, and hyena all trampling the plains.
By booking a safari with Ker & Downey and staying at one or more of the Masai Mara conservancies, you are contributing to the rebirth and sustainability the region, with a percentage of your trip cost being donated to the conservancy effort. Contact Ker & Downey today to ensure your journey to the Masai Mara is one of impact.