Family safari and beach holidays in Kenya

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This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Family safari and beach holidays in Kenya

Environment

Cutting edge conservation, how does it work? In simple terms it’s known as ‘land leasing.’ The conservancy is managed by Cottar’s Wildlife Conservancy Trust (CWCT) , which leases from the Olderkesi Community Wildlife Conservancy (OCWC). The 7000 acres of the Olderkesi Conservancy is owned by all 6000 landowners of the 106,000 Olderkesi land unit, but it is rented by Cottar’s Wildlife Conservancy Trust. CWCT arranges a long-term lease of land from the OCWC, paying fair rates that exceed what could be charged by subdividing land with fences and putting competing land uses such as monoculture domestic farming or livestock.

This is most easily described as ‘renting land for wildlife.’ Rent payments go to the entire community, not just a few leaders in the group – everyone gets an equal share. CWCT also assists with creating opportunity and growth for the community in other ways. To date, the CWCT has built schools, provided medical and ambulance services, employed security scouts from the community, installed radio communication networks, built water troughs for cattle, and provided bursaries and local assistance to protect local cedar forests from predatory logging. In return, the leased land is to be left alone, free of settlements, farming, and uncontrolled domestic livestock grazing, and exists to create safe habitat and passage for wildlife. The Maasai agree to live on other sections of their land, supported in part by the payments from the Conservancy.

The land use policies are enforced by the Maasai people, with assistance from CWCT where necessary. In general, communities don’t want to be completely rid of wildlife, but they have to see a benefit to the risks in having it around. Conflict arises when humans and wildlife clash due to space encroachment…people are less inclined to want elephants around when they can destroy a whole season’s crop in one night, or when lions can kill valuable cattle, or little kids are at risk from desperate wildlife searching for territory and food. Setting aside land for wildlife and providing monetary benefits to the community for protecting wildlife helps alleviate this conflict. Wildlife has free space to roam, and the people are happy. Not only that- communities who see benefits in wildlife play active roles in protecting it.

This trip does involve a number of flights, which is unavoidable to cover the distance required in the time allotted. However, landing fees go back to communities.

In camp, water is reused, glass and paper are recycled on a daily basis - and source our food from local Masai farmers, so they benefit from the camps' presence.

Community

We take pride in saying that most of our employees are from the local community, by this we are actively involving them in development. We conduct local clinic visits (dental, ambulance transfers and other general services) which are arranged by Volunteer groups who come through Cottar’s 1920’s Camp and Bush Villa. We have also built a foot bridge with the Bridging the Gap Africa. The people can now access social amenities unlike before where they had difficulty crossing the Sand River especially during floods. The bridge is now saving an average of six lives a year.

The Cottars Wildlife Conservation Trust( CWCT) will be running a scout operation for wildlife monitoring, anti-poaching and anti-deforestation, and a host of other functions necessary to operate a wildlife conservancy. We have also acquired a gyrocopter to do aerial reconnaissance of activities within the conservancy and wider Mara area to help build a time lapse database of land use change, wildlife and livestock counts and additional donor funding for this will have a big impact on land use change decisions for the future.

Cottars built the Olpalagilagi Primary School for a total of 200 students, paying teachers salaries and – to keep the children coming to school – we also run a feeding program for them.

The Kenyan camps host a number of eco-programmes, all of which are designed to support and sustain the natural and human community of which we are a part and provide an eco-friendly tourist destination. Such programmes vary according to need, but presently they are as follows: Subsidized medical care to the local community - particularly in relation to maternal care and child-immunization; also in relation to HIV/AIDS sensitization. An out-reach programme is operated to the orphanages of the area which allows for visits from staff, the provision of funds, the hosting of seasonal events and the provision of clothing and foodstuffs. The camp works closely with the local Ereri Multi-Cultural Community Manyatta, in the promotion of cultural dance, music, traditional practices and in the promotion of local handicrafts.

Both temporary and permanent jobs are created for the local community, together with training and work-exposure programmes for school leavers.
We encourage interface between our guests and the local villages - hosting tours and promoting the sale of handicraft items.

Local community members are employed, with good working conditions, training opportunities, prospects for the future and a fair wage.

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