Tailormade safari in Kenya
This holiday is operated by a company based in the holiday destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your holiday to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.
How Tailormade safari in Kenya makes a difference
The local Maasai communities have set aside the Selenkay Conservancy and Ol Kinyei Conservancy and recently the Olare Orok Conservancy as reserves for wildlife.
The Selenkay area was previously an important wildlife dispersal zone and elephant migrated in from Amboseli National Park during the wet season. However during the last twenty years, prior to setting up the conservancy, there was increased hostility towards wildlife by the community. Elephant were harassed to the point that they stopped migrating into Eselenkei. Before the Selenkay Conservancy was established there was also wide scale snaring of wildlife for the "bush meat" trade while leopard, lion and cheetah were frequently speared.
Furthermore, the Mara eco-system where Ol Kinyei and Olare Orok Conservancies are located, is under serious threat of being degraded and fragmented as the Mara is being divided into individually owned plots. Tracts of wildlife habitat are being permanently lost with this subdivision of the group ranches. Many small individual landowners are now selling their plots to the highest bidders, who are setting up non-sustainable mass market concrete lodges or becoming involved in intensive farming and fencing off of their small holdings. Snaring of herbivores and poisoning of big cats has increased and wildlife is being driven out.
As a result of the community receiving direct benefits from wildlife there has been a change in attitude towards the concept of wildlife conservation. The community members have given their positive support to conservation and there is no snaring or harassing of wildlife within the three conservancies. The members see the wildlife as a resource which belongs to them and are enthusiastic about encouraging wildlife to move into their conservancies. They also recognize the vast improvement in vegetation and grass cover within each conservancy which is now a valuable source of controlled grazing for livestock during severe drought periods.
Since the conservancies were established there has been a big increase in biodiversity. We have resident lions and cheetah in addition to over 20 species of mammals. Birdlife is prolific especially birds of prey. A major positive result is that at Selenkay elephants have now returned to the area after an absence of over 15 years.
Our camps are run and maintained with the conservation of the environment at the forefront. We have a written environmental policy for water, land, energy, solid waste and sewage which is adhered to by the camp management. The numbers of tourist visitors are being limited to retain the wild and unspoilt nature of the area and to minimise the impact on the environment.
The Maasai communities own and lease us the Conservancy land and they also receive a direct monetary benefit as a fee for each tourist that stays at our camps. This income is used to fund community projects such as schools and water supplies.
Employment opportunities have also been provided for the local Maasai people in both conservancies as game rangers, trackers, and camp staff. Apart from the management and Head Cook, all other staff in the camps and Conservation Areas are members of the local community.
Previously, the Maasai were entirely dependent upon their livestock and in dry seasons they used unreliable water sources including boreholes with pumping equipment which was no longer properly maintained. As a result there had been degradation of the environment through over-grazing and the community had suffered hardship during the increasingly frequent periods of drought. Since the conservancies were set up, the communities where our camps are located are now receiving regular quarterly payments of the fees without delays. Bednight fees and visitor entry fees have increased greatly this year as a result of improving tourism. Over US $120000
) a year is now flowing to the group ranches' accounts with no associated costs and a further US $110000
) a year is going to the communities in wages.
During their stay guests have various opportunities to learn about the local Maasai people and how the conservancies and campsí goals are aligned with theirs. Maasai warriors escort guests on a walk in the conservancies where they can learn about how the various indigenous animals and plants are used by the community and how their way of life is intertwined with their surroundings. Guests are taken to a local Maasai village at Selenkay where they can get a genuine experience of traditional Maasai village life.
Tailormade safari in Kenya