Become a Member of a special group: the Friends of Porini and protect a large acreage of wildlife habitat in Kenya’s Maasai Mara and Amboseli eco-systems while at the same time receiving a generous allocation of nights for you and your family and friends to stay as our guests in double tents at all the Porini Camps for the next three years to see the conservation work which you are supporting!
OUR WILDLIFE CONSERVANCIES:
VAST AREAS OF PROTECTED WILDERNESS TEEMING WITH ANIMALS
As you may know, Gamewatchers Safaris has been instrumental in adding 100,000 acres of protected wildlife habitat adjacent to the Mara Reserve in the form of three adjoining wildlife conservancies: Ol Kinyei, Naboisho and Olare Motorogi on land leased from thousands of individual families of the Maasai community.
In addition to the Mara, we had previously set up the Selenkay Conservancy which has been a great success in conserving the wildlife dispersal area and eco-system beyond Amboseli National Park, especially for elephants and big cats.
These Conservancies have been recognised as playing a vital role in expanding the lands where wildlife can freely roam, allowing the big cats and elephants to have a safe haven where they can thrive.
Kenya’s eminent elephant conservationist, Cynthia Moss, has described this as “the single most successful conservation initiative since the creation of National Parks in the 1940s”. Cynthia states: “Conservancies protect land for Kenya’s wildlife and even more important, create sanctuaries of safety. In addition conservancies bring benefits in the form of direct payments and jobs to the people who share their land with wildlife.”
Since the conservancies were first set up, many visitors have had the memorable experience of discovering what it means to be in a beautiful unspoilt part of Africa where the savannah plains are teeming with wildlife such as elephants, all the big cats and many different herbivores like giraffes, zebra, buffalo and antelopes of all kinds.
PAYING FOR WILDLIFE CONSERVATION THROUGH SMALL-SCALE RESPONSIBLE TOURISM
It is tourism to our small Porini Camps by visitors such as yourselves that in has enabled us to pay for all the costs of running the conservancies. The income from guests staying at our small camps in the conservancies has been sufficient in the past to cover the costs of leasing and managing them. Up until a few years ago this had worked well but in recent years tourism arrivals slumped, causing the camps’ income to fall below the level needed to pay for the conservancy costs, putting the continued existence of the conservancies at risk.
This recent collapse of tourism numbers into Kenya was almost entirely due to misplaced fears a few years ago that there could be a risk of the Ebola epidemic in parts of West Africa crossing the vast African continent to reach Kenya, as well as heightened fears of the possibility of global terrorist attacks affecting tourists in Kenya, fuelled by widespread negative media coverage, resulting in Travel Warnings which deterred many thousands of visitors from coming to Kenya on beach and safari holidays in the period from 2012 to 2016.
In the end, the fears about Ebola turned out to be entirely unfounded and the terrorist risk has now been recognised as a global threat against most democratic countries in the free world including America and Western Europe and not confined to Kenya. As a result, the Travel Warnings were lifted two years ago resulting in an increased demand with new bookings coming in at the highest level we have seen for a long time, and last year tourist numbers to Kenya were back to normal once again. However the damage had already been done, as the greatly reduced income from the smaller number of tourist arrivals in the previous years had a huge impact on our ability to keep paying for the conservancies and this is threatening the future of all the wildlife species which abound there.
As the income needed to pay for keeping the conservancies going had fallen below the required level in recent years, we had to subsidise this from our company reserves until tourism numbers were fully back to normal and so we have had to look for other ways of generating the money to keep paying the lease costs for the land and the management costs of running the conservancy with wardens and rangers to protect the wildlife.
We need to continue receiving the funds needed to cover the conservancy running costs and to make up for the deficit to date, or else the future of the conservancies will be threatened and there is a very real risk that they will be turned into farmland and fenced off or developed for human settlement, as is happening on the neighbouring lands outside the conservancies, which will mean total loss of wildlife habitat and the end of much of the wildlife in those areas especially the big cats and the elephants.
This threat is especially serious in the case of the 18,500 acre Ol Kinyei Conservancy which has extended the wildlife habitat a considerable way beyond the Mara Reserve and helped to provide rangeland for the wildebeest migrating in from the Loita Plains, as all the land outside the Conservancy is now becoming fragmented, with fencing and increased human settlement and developments. The Ol Kinyei Conservancy is home to over 20 lions and also has many leopards and cheetahs. Ol Kinyei Conservancy is a favourite habitat of big bull elephants as well as large herds comprising many families of females and calves. It holds a high density of giraffes which is now becoming a threatened species in most of Africa.
This video clip shows a herd of 115 elephants in Ol Kinyei Conservancy:
Elephants in Ol Kinyei Conservancy
Similarly, the Selenkay Conservancy in the Amboseli eco-system is a vital dispersal area for the elephants from Amboseli National Park and provides important rangeland for them. Before we started the Selenkay Conservancy, nearly two decades ago, elephants had not been seen there for over 20 years but today they have made it their home.
The map below shows the recent movements of elephant between Amboseli Park and Selenkay Conservancy, something that was no longer happening before the Conservancy was established 17 years ago.
INTRODUCING: FRIENDS OF PORINI
The applicable allocation of nights may be used by Friends of Porini members accompanied by family and friends and can be used in any combination of camps or numbers of tents at a time within the total allocation of nights, subject to being booked in advance from available space at the camp.
It is also possible to allow your family and friends to use some of your allocated nights on your behalf without having to accompany them, so that they can be used as gifts to others who would enjoy the Porini experience.
The Friends of Porini nights include all the normal elements of the daily stay for guests at the Porini Camps: double tent, all meals, free drinks package, game drives, nature walks, sundowners, bush breakfasts and picnic lunches. They also include all the conservancy fees to our Selenkay, Olare Motorogi, Naboisho and Ol Kinyei Conservancies (but not the park entry fee to the Amboseli National Park or Mara National Reserve which will be payable as an extra if you wish to visit them). The cost of transport by air or by road from Nairobi or elsewhere to the camps is not included and is payable as a separate charge but local airstrip transfers in the camp vehicles are included as are road transfers in camp vehicles between Porini Mara and Porini Lion Camps.
The actual cost per person per night represents a significant reduction on the normal rates applicable at the camps especially in the high season periods. The Friends of Porini rates are fixed at the following heavily discounted levels for the 3 year period from date of joining or extending membership, equivalent to paying specially reduced rates throughout the year and without any further annual price increase that would normally apply during a three year period. They are per person for 2 persons in a double tent and include the daily conservancy fees.
- Platinum 68 nights for $60,000 = $428 per person x 2 persons
- Gold 50 nights for $45,000 = $450 per person x 2 persons
- Silver 38 nights for $35,000 = $460 per person x 2 persons
- Bronze 25 nights for $25,000 = $500 per person x 2 persons
The applicable Friends of Porini nights in a double tent for each category of membership may be taken at any time during the three years after joining, with a maximum of 12 nights out of 68 to be taken in the months of August and September and the Christmas and New Year period from 22nd December to 3rd January for Platinum, or 9 nights out of 50 for Gold, 6 nights out of 38 for Silver and 4 nights out of 25 for Bronze.
In addition to the nights in double tents at all the Porini Camps, the following benefits will also apply:
PLATINUM members will be allocated exclusive use of game drive vehicles while on safari at the Porini Camps within their allocation of “Friends of Porini” nights excluding the month of August when they will be on shared game drives or the supplement for exclusive use will apply.
GOLD and SILVER members will be allocated exclusive use of game drive vehicles within their allocation of “Friends of Porini” nights, excluding the months of July, August and September when they will be on shared game drives with other guests at camp.
BRONZE members will be allocated exclusive use of game drive vehicles within their allocation of “Friends of Porini” nights in the months of March, April, June and between 24th October to 15th December.
All members, PLATINUM, GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE will receive free airport transfers on arrival in Nairobi when coming out on a safari which includes stays at the Porini Camps within their allocation of “Friends of Porini” nights.
All members, PLATINUM, GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE will receive a 10% discount on our published rates (including special offers) when booking additional nights during the high season period of August and September once they have used up their “Friends of Porini” allocation for the peak season, so long as they still have other unused nights for other months remaining from their allocation.
All members, PLATINUM, GOLD, SILVER and BRONZE will receive a branded Friends of Porini Safari Fleece and Cap.
Our Friends of Porini will have the satisfaction of knowing that by their action they are keeping the conservancies in existence while also enjoying the chance to stay at our camps in the future at a substantial saving on normal prices over the next three years. On completion of three years, the Friends of Porini will be given the option to continue their membership.
Once a member has joined and paid the subscription, it cannot be cancelled and refunded but it will be possible to transfer membership to someone else, with the agreement of the Directors of Gamewatchers Safaris. It is also possible to allow your family and friends to use some of your allocated nights on your behalf without having to accompany them, so that they can be used as gifts to others who would enjoy the Porini experience.
All payments to the Friends Of Porini will be credited to a separate account held by Porini Ltd and utilised to contribute towards the costs of land leases and conservancy management costs which currently cost us in excess of US$1.3 million a year.
Porini guests enjoy sundowners and guided safari walks on the Conservancies
How to Apply
If you would like to join us then please email us to indicate what level of membership you wish to subscribe for in order to protect the acres of wilderness in the conservancies for the next 3 years. We will give you details of how to pay your subscription so that you can join and receive confirmation of your membership and our acknowledgement of your support in protecting the wildlife habitat and entitling you to the allocation of nights to stay at the camps.
To apply to join or if you have any query then please contact our Chairman, Jake Grieves-Cook, firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are maps of the Conservancies showing their location.