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 AND THE IMPACT OF THE RECENT TOURISM SLUMP IN KENYA
It is tourism to our small Porini Camps by visitors such as yourselves that up to now 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 recently this has worked well but in the past two years tourism arrivals have 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 last year 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 Advisories on Mombasa which deterred many thousands of visitors from coming to Kenya on beach and safari holidays.
In the end, the fears about Ebola turned out to be entirely unfounded and there were no cases in Kenya. And similarly, in the last two years there were no terrorist incidents affecting any tourists on safari anywhere in Kenya’s wildlife preserves or at the beach resorts, so that the British government eventually lifted its travel warning on Mombasa. Subsequently several prominent international figures have recently been on visits to Kenya, the latest being Prince William of the United Kingdom in March 2016 and prior to that President Obama from the United States who was followed soon after by the Pope.
We are at last starting to see an increased demand and in fact new bookings taken in recent months are the highest we have seen for a long time, and this year tourist numbers are returning to normal once again. However the damage has already been done, as the greatly reduced number of tourist arrivals in the last two years has had a huge impact on our financing of the conservancies and 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 break-even level, we need 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.
If we cannot generate the funds needed to make up the deficit to date, then the future of the conservancies is 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 30 lions as well as 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.
This video clip shows a herd of 115 elephants in Ol Kinyei Conservancy:
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
Pre-pay for an allocation of a number of nights over the next three years to stay in double tents at any of the four Porini Camps in Selenkay Conservancy, Amboseli and Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Laikipia as well as Olare Motorogi and Ol Kinyei Conservancies in the Mara and have the satisfaction of knowing that your contribution is directly paying for the cost of leasing hundreds of acres which make up the Conservancies.
While helping to secure the future of the Conservancies, you will be allocated nights at all our camps to be taken over the next three years, with all your payments being used entirely for conservation, helping to secure the land in the conservancies and funding the shortfall in the lease payments and conservancy running costs which has arisen as a result of the big reduction in income from tourism.
The annual cost to Gamewatchers Safaris is over US$1.2 Million to cover all of the payments required for the acreage of over 30,000 acres in Ol Kinyei and Selenkay which we fund entirely on our own and the nearly 90,000 acres in Olare Motorogi and Naboisho which we finance in partnership with a number of other camps located there. We have set ourselves the target of getting our Porini camps back to the occupancy levels of previous years in order to generate the income needed to pay for the Conservancies to exist and to make up the deficit in the funding of the Conservancies in recent years.
Join us to continue preserving wildlife habitat, protecting the big cats, elephants and all the other species as well as supporting many members of the local Maasai community who depend upon the Conservancies for income and livelihoods, by becoming a Friend of Porini or extend your existing membership for another three years.
There are four categories of the Friends of Porini all of which directly contribute to secure the future of the conservancies and to pay the conservancy lease and running costs:
1. PLATINUM sponsorship:
Protect 500 acres of wilderness for the next 3 years and
Receive 68 nights in a double tent for 2 persons at any of our Porini Camps to be used over the next 3 years
2. GOLD sponsorship:
Protect 400 acres of wilderness for the next 3 years and
Receive 50 nights in a double tent for 2 persons at any of our Porini Camps to be used over the next 3 years
3. SILVER sponsorship:
Protect 300 acres of wilderness for the next 3 years and
Receive 38 nights in a double tent for 2 persons at any of our Porini Camps to be used over the next 3 years
4. BRONZE sponsorship:
Protect 200 acres of wilderness for the next 3 years and
Receive 25 nights in a double tent for 2 persons at any of our Porini Camps to be used over the next 3 years
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 inclusions for guests at the Porini Camps: double tent, all meals, 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 the Nairobi National Park or the Meru National Park or the Mara National Reserve which will be payable as an extra.
The Friends of Porini rates are fixed at the following discounted levels for the 3 year period from date of joining, 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 accommodation, meals, drinks, game drives and conservancy fees in Selenkay, Ol Kinyei and Olare Motorogi.
- Platinum 68 nights for $60,000 = $441 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 8 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 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 running expenses which currently cost us in excess of US$1.5 million a year.
How to Apply
If you would like to join us – or if you have any further questions – then please contact Dr Mohanjeet Brar, Managing Director, Gamewatchers Safaris & Porini Camps by mail to email@example.com to indicate what level of sponsorship you are interested in.
On joining you will receive a certificate confirming your support in protecting the wildlife habitat and entitling you to the allocation of nights to stay at the camps.
Below are maps of the Conservancies showing their location.