“What a marvellous example of how people and wildlife can live alongside one another” Sir David Attenborough after visiting Porini Amboseli Camp in 2012
Wild animals are declining catastrophically and for many species the numbers have halved in a relatively short period. This is almost entirely due to habitat loss from massive increases in the human population, especially in Africa. Many of the forests and wilderness areas where animals once lived in abundance have now been lost to destructive logging, intensive farming and human settlement. Animals are being displaced, losing their former rangelands and falling victim to wanton killing, retaliatory attacks or poaching.
In Kenya, the human population has increased from 10 million to 50 million in five decades. Space formerly available for wildlife is disappearing rapidly as the land becomes densely settled and sub-divided with fences which are excluding wildlife and changing migration patterns.
There needs to be more space for nature. In Kenya, less than 8% of the land surface area is in the state-controlled National Parks & National Reserves. This is just not enough to provide a home for all the wild animals that reside outside the parks but are losing their habitat.
Our “wildlife conservancy concept”: how we are making space for nature
Our mission for nearly three decades has been to create more space for wildlife by expanding the area of natural habitat beyond the National Parks so that a larger area is preserved in which the wild animals can live safely in their natural environment.
By working with the local communities adjacent to the parks we have created thriving wildlife conservancies (reserves) through the leasing of their land and setting it aside for wildlife. This provides land owners with a regular income greater than they would attain from farming, plus it creates jobs and livelihoods for their family members within the conservancy and gives them a reason to protect wildlife. In return, they allow us to operate a small, low-key eco-friendly tented camp within each conservancy to generate tourist income with which the leases are paid.
- Benefits to Wildlife: increased areas of natural habitat protected by anti-poaching rangers and reduced conflict with local people
- Benefits to Local People: regular income from lease payments and employment
- Benefits to Visitors: eco-friendly safari experiences in exclusive wildlife areas away from tourist crowds
With the total closure of safari tourism for months recently as a result of the global Coronavirus Pandemic there is growing concern about the welfare of those Maasai communities who depend on the income from tourism in the conservancies. There are also fears that the future of these important areas of protected wildlife habitat may be threatened with serious consequences for the teeming wildlife species that have made them their home.
Right now, as it is the income from our safari tourism that pays for the land leases and the wages for all the community members working in the camps and conservancies where Gamewatchers Safaris is involved, we need to find an alternative to tourism as a way of covering these costs over the next weeks and months while the current situation persists.
Through the “Adopt-an-Acre” plan, contributors can adopt an acre of land in the conservancies for a year with a donation to the Wildlife Habitat Trust which has been set up as a fund to help to pay the staff wages until the camps re-open, as well as the land leases so that the Maasai families continue receiving the rents and the conservancies can continue to exist. The Trust is audited by a reputable firm of auditors in Nairobi, Grant Thornton Kenya, so that contributors can be confident that all the money is going direct to the Maasai community.
We have 42,500 acres to be adopted! (Selenkay 13,500 acres, Ol Kinyei 18,500 acres, Naboisho 3,500 acres, Olare Motorogi 7,000 acres).
With the 42,500 acres leased by Gamewatchers Safaris providing an income of almost US$1.5 million to the community, this means that in a year, every acre of conservancy land supported by us is creating a protected habitat for wildlife and also generates US$35 going straight to the local people with US$20 going to payments for land rents and US$15 to wages.
- To adopt 1 acre for a year requires a donation of US$35 of which US$15 goes to conservancy and camp staff wages and US$20 goes to the families.
- To adopt 5 acres with a donation of US$175 means US$75 going towards the wages of the 247 Maasai staff and US$100 going towards rent payments to hundreds of families.
- To adopt 30 acres the donation is US$1050, with US$450 going to wages and US$600 going to the families.
As a special incentive, anyone adopting 30 acres or more will receive a credit from Gamewatchers Safaris for the same amount donated, to be used for payment of a stay at any of the Porini Camps in 2021 or 2022. So, for example, a donation of US$ 1050 to adopt 30 acres will receive a travel credit worth US$ 1050.
GIFT IT !
The adoption of acres to help support wildlife makes a wonderful gift to a friend or relative! And for larger donations (over US$ 1050) the travel credit can be applied to a booking for yourself or for someone that you nominate. So if you know someone that would love a true wilderness experience in some of Africa’s best wildlife locations then simply donate below, and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know what name to add to the Adoption Certificate.
HOW TO TAKE PART:
We are collecting donations on behalf of the Wildlife Habitat Trust via Donorbox. Please use the form below (payments are accepted by debit card, credit card or PayPal).
Payments are received in US$ but your own account does not need to be a US$ account and can be in a different currency (for example GB£, Canadian or Australian dollars, Euros or other currencies). Your bank will debit your account in your local currency for the equivalent of the amount sent in US dollars using their international exchange rate.
100% of the donations that we collect will be passed to the Wildlife Habitat Trust for use towards land leases and salaries of staff from the conservancy’s local communities.
If you have any queries or comments regarding the Adopt-an-Acre plan, please contact us on email@example.com.
For information on our Conservancy Concept and how it supports communities and protects wildlife: read more here
Ol Kinyei has been recognised by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) for its efforts in providing safe habitat for wildlife as well as tangible benefits to local communities. The IUCN is comprised of government and civil organisations and is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. More information about the IUCN Green List status can be seen here: IUCN: Pioneering Conservation Model: Ol Kinyei