Mara Naboisho Conservancy
Living Large with Lions
Lions? Leopards? And Chimps
Combine an area with the world’s richest density of big cats and an elite, uncrowded tourism experience, and you’ve probably landed at the Mara Naboisho Conservancy. This 53,000 acre tract of protected land bordering the world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve is a partnership between 500 land-owning Maasai residents and their tourism partners.
Lucky visitors here will experience one of the highest densities of lions in the world, over 100 of the great felines make the conservancy their home – the largest pride boasts over 20 individual cats. In these uncrowded savannahs, you’ll likely come across herds of elephants, wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, and the rare wild dog. But for the discerning safari-goer look for the rarer species such as aardvark, caracal, serval cat, and the aardwolf.
That’s what the word Naboisho means in the language of the local Maasai. Inspired by the success of the other Kenya conservancies, and fearing further depletion of their land and wildlife, the partnership was created. The goal was to introduce best grazing practices to restore the ecosystem while limiting the number of tourists in the area. As compensation for changing their herding practices, the Maasai receive a regular stipend, enhancing their livelihood.
In 2010 this second largest conservancy in the region was formed, created out of the Koiyaki-Lemek Group ranch. Your visit to the conservancy will contribute to the preservation of the land, the wildlife, and the local Maasai community.
As special as your safari experience is at Mara Naboisho, your guides bring another measure of expertise and eco-awareness. Specially trained at the Koiyaki Guiding School – an initiative funded by the conservancy’s tourism partners – the guides are known for their high standards and rigorous code of conduct.
The Big Cat Project
There are so many of these splendid felines inhabiting the conservancy, it only made sense to bring in the resources to study them. The Big Cat Project combines researchers, NGOs, the tourism partners, and the community for the mission of studying and aiding the lions, cheetahs, and leopards to thrive.
Its four objectives are tracking, research, resolution of conflict between humans and animals, and community education. Data collection is vital to further understand the routines and habits of the big cats so to protect their natural habitat.
Sharing this land flocked with distinctive acacia trees are the Maasai people, nomadic herders from whom the park takes its name. They construct traditional villages surrounding the reserve and live as they have for eons, herding their cattle and pushing back at an ever-encroaching modern world.
Known for their brightly colored shukas and deft beadwork, the Maasai are a living link to a past that stretches back beyond colonial Africa, to an era when the entire continent was wild and untouched.
Camp in the Wilds – For the ultimate Mara adventure, try a night or two camping out in the bush. With a guide, you’ll set up your camp, cook dinner at a campfire, and listen to the sounds of the night’s wildlife.
Night Safari – The Mara becomes another world when the sun goes down. You’ll feel like it’s just you and the glinting eyes of a night stalker peering back. Thrilling and mysterious, this unique experience isn’t allowed at the nearby national park so take advantage of this opportunity.
Guided Walking Safari – Another treat of staying at a conservancy is the privilege of taking part in an immersive walking safari. You’ll see so much more, leaving your jeep behind and coming up close to the sights, sounds, and smells of the wild bush. Birdlife, insects, and smaller animals are some of the touchpoints you’ll encounter in this up-close natural world experience.
The Maasai – For an authentic moment with the Maasai people, visit one of their nearby villages. If you already have a local guide, he may take you to the village where he was raised or has relatives. You’ll experience their culture in a close and powerful way, seeing their customs and perhaps some of their dances as well.
These reserve-based projects help the livelihoods of the nearby rural communities.
- Education for local students, including computer skills training
- Healthcare – providing medical supplies to the local health centers and mobile clinic
- Energy – providing hundreds of local families with energy-efficient stoves – reducing the need for firewood.
Ol Pejeta Eco-Facts
- Sanctuaries to protect endangered chimpanzees, oryx, hartebeest, Grevy’s zebra, and bat-eared fox
- Home to the world’s last remaining northern white rhinos
- The largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa – the rhino population has increased by over 100 in the last 25 years.
These camps are all partners in the conservancy and follow its strict eco-practices:
- Asilia Encounter Mara Camp
- Asilia Naboisho Camp
- Eagle View
- Kicheche Valley Camp
- Leopard Hill
- Ol Seki Hemingways Mara Camp
- Porini Camp
- Wilderness Camp
Getting there: You can Book a tour with Africa Kenya Safaris. And you’ll go in style – a specially outfitted 4 x 4 safari Jeep.
This is Mara Naboisho Conservancy
Help sustain this precious tract of land, wildlife, and cultural heritage while enjoying perhaps one of the finest safari experiences in Africa. Mara Naboisho is a treasure and a testament to the success of the conservancy movement.
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