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Masai Mara – Wildlife Decline

You might be interested to have a look at a BBC TV clip which has been published on BBC World about the recent ILRI report on declines in wildlife numbers in the Mara eco-system. The declines reported are extremely high and one of the reasons given is the conflict between wildlife and the local community (Maasai pastoralists) living on the borders of the park as they both compete for the same scarce resources. It also highlighted the success of the community wildlife conservancies at Ol Kinyei and Olare Orok within the same Mara eco-system in addressing this issue. All the wildlife footage was shot in these two conservancies and there is an interview with ole Tongoyo, one of the Maasai landowners at Ol Kinyei who is a ranger there.   

Gamewatcher Safaris are involved with the conservancies and are using their tourist camps there to generate income to pay for the management of the conservancies and to fund community projects in the area – projects that provide a ‘hand up’ to these Maasai communities rather than the unsustainable model so often witnessed in tourism areas of hand-outs and kind donors.

The Gamewatcher Safaris business model is one to take a look at as they are using the community wildlife conservancies to attract tourism business that not only allows them to achieve their own profit targets but also creates an income for conservation and improves local livelihoods. See for info on Gamewatcher Safaris.