Naboisho Conservancy

If you’re looking to get away from the crowds and experience a truly authentic Kenyan safari,then this private conservancy is perfect for you. Home to high concentrations of wildlife, including a impressive numbers of big cats, herds of elephant, giraffe, and wildebeest – Naboisho is wilderness haven.

Naboisho Conservancy consists of 50,000 acres (20,000 hectares) of pristine wildlife territory and spectacular scenery. Despite its short time in operation, Naboisho has become renowned for its bountiful biodiversity and breathtaking beauty. Located in Kenya adjacent to the Masai Mara National Reserve, this private conservancy is a ground breaking project of tourism benefiting conservation and community. With its high concentration of wildlife, and generous personal space and freedom on offer, visitors enjoy exceptional wildlife encounters.Already, researchers are witnessing how the wildlife thrives in protected areas. The density of lions within Naboisho is one of the highest in the world, with a population of more than 70 identified lions who use Naboisho as their home territory. Poaching is an ever-increasing threat to Kenya’s elephants. Elephant researchers identify a prominent change in elephant behavior inside protected areas. Naboisho has become a haven for elephants, a vital sanctuary in a dangerous time.

Naboisho is the second largest conservancy in the Mara region and represents a community response to the challenges of privatisation of group ranches in the Greater Mara region. The conservancy was established in 2010 and provides the opportunity to conserve the land and the wildlife, whilst simultaneously creating wealth for the local Maasai landowners of which there are approximately 500.

The Mara Naboisho Conservancy is home to the big cats - in impressive numbers - and herds of elephant, giraffe, and wildebeest. Rare species such as Aardvark, Caracal, Serval cat, Aardwolf, and Ratel are occasionally found. Naboisho is a bird watcher’s paradise with several bird species rarely seen elsewhere in the Mara such as White-Headed Buffalo-Weavers, Northern White-Crowned Shrike, Pigmy Falcon, Von Der Deckens Hornbills, Bush Pipits. Unlike its neighbour, the Masai Mara National Reserve, this private conservancy strictly monitors the number of tourists who enter the area, reducing the number of vehicles and the human impact on the environment and wildlife. 

More than any other wildlife on the planet, the lion has been the object of admiration and respect throughout human history. The face of the male lion is by far the most popular national symbol – a somewhat comical choice for countries in Northern Europe where lions have never lived. Still, this is a natural choice considering how the lion, with its majestic mane and regal posture, symbolizes strength, potency and power like no other. Truly, after witnessing them in the wild it is no denying that the lions are the rightful kings of the savannah.

Unfortunately, the lion is under great threat due to loss of habitat, poaching and poisoning. Researchers estimate that in the last 40 years there has been a 70-90% decline in overall lion populations, reducing the number of remaining lions to approximately 25 000. As a consequence, it is becoming harder and harder to witness lions in the wild. To help safeguard these amazing cats, Basecamp is a major supporter of the Mara Predator Project. In addition, Basecamp partners with Kristiansand Dyrepark and Strømme Foundation in a combined effort to protect animals in the wild.

Besides having one of the highest lion densities on the planet, the open savannah of Naboisho increases the likelihood of seeing lions when they are active. Lions are unusually social compared to other cats and live in medium-sized family groups. The females are responsible for rearing the young and for hunting, while the males are responsible for … well, not that much… Evidently, some privileges come with being the King.

While the charm of the Mara Naboisho Conservancy is its exclusivity, the philosophy of the conservancy is refreshingly inclusive. The conservancy was established not only to conserve the environment and wildlife, but also to protect and empower the local Maasai community. The 50,000 acre conservancy is made up of land contributions from 500 Maasai landowners and by visiting the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, you will be playing a part in protecting the cultural heritage of the local Maasai and improving their access to vital services. When you stay at Naboisho, a large part of the conservancy fee is channeled back into the community, making the project more sustainable. 

The population distribution around the Naboisho Conservancy is estimated to be a little fewer than 23,000 people. The Maasai have maintained a pastoralist way of life, co-existing with wildlife for several thousands of years. Livestock farming is the main source of livelihood along with income for the landowners who have leased their land to tourism enterprises such as Hemingways Collection. The creation of the conservancy is an opportunity not only to conserve the wildlife, which is under threat from human activities and land-use changes, but also help to diversify the livelihoods of the Maasai so that they can cope with the climatic fluctuations that are common in the drylands.

COMMUNITY

Besides contributing to sustaining the biodiversity of the Mara region, Naboisho generates a monthly income benefitting more than 10,000 individuals. Every month the landowners receive a set land lease fee, creating economic stability never previously experienced by most beneficiaries. Besides transforming the economic situation for thousands of people, Basecamp has instigated several community projects to improve the living conditions for the communities neighboring Naboisho. An additional positive effect results from the employment deriving from the construction of eight tourism camps inside Naboisho. Basecamp sets the benchmark for the other tourism operators by having about 95% of local employees, including many women.

SAFARI WITH A PURPOSE

The positive impact of Naboisho is clearly illustrated by the increasing population of such vulnerable species like cheetah, wild dog and lion, as well as the improved living conditions in the neighboring Maasai communities. However, since the monthly land lease fee is covered by revenue from tourism Naboisho is completely dependent on guests to be able to survive! Hence, by visiting Naboisho guests are making an essential contribution to the future existence of Naboisho – to the immeasurable importance for wildlife and people alike.

Within Naboisho Conservancy guests are allowed to participate in certain activities not permitted elsewhere, including walking safaris, night game drives and bush dinner. The tourism partners have agreed on certain codes of conduct to enhance the safari experience. This includes restrictions on the number of vehicles permitted at a time. Hence, there are few other places in the world where you will experience a safari as exclusive as in Naboisho. The absence of vehicles creates the outmost safari experience – expertly guided by our knowledgeable Maasai guides.