Top 5 Reasons To Visit The Mara Naboisho Conservancy : The Mara Naboisho Conservancy in Kenya, which borders the famous Masai Mara National Reserve, is a success story of conservation and community development. “Naboisho” means “coming together” in Maasai, which is exactly what the conservancy’s 500 landowners accomplished when the conservancy was established. Since its inception, the conservancy has grown in strength, benefiting people, wildlife, and the environment’s natural resources. With so many high-quality safari destinations within Kenya’s borders, here are five reasons why the Naboisho Conservancy should be on your safari itinerary:
- The Space
The landscape was in desperate need of revival when the Mara Naboisho Conservancy was first established. The soil quality had been degraded by overgrazing and misuse, further taxing the ecosystem and making matters worse for the traditional pastoralist communities’ finances. It was acknowledged that careful land management would be essential to the success of the new conservancy in enabling the ecosystem to not only recover but to thrive on a sustainable basis. Accordingly, the conservancy’s carrying capacity was established to make sure that the number of visitors never outpaces the amount of natural resources that can be used. As a result, each camp inside the conservancy is restricted to a certain size, both in terms of the number of beds it can accommodate and the number of vehicles it is permitted to use. These two fundamental principles guarantee that the conservancy always gives its visitors a feeling of exclusivity while prioritizing the ecosystem’s sustainability. Only vehicles registered to the conservancy are allowed to drive inside, and visitors staying in camps outside the conservancy are not allowed to enter. As a result, the visitor experience is improved, the ecosystem is strong, and the wildlife population is thriving.
- The Wildlife
According to the land management plan, unofficial settlements were relocated into more formal villages where the development of communal resources could be more effectively carried out, and cattle were moved into designated grazing areas and used on a rotating basis to allow for regeneration. The grasslands recovered, and wildlife started to move in while people and cattle were not present. Today, the conservancy is home to large herds of elephant, one of Africa’s highest densities of lions, a resident leopard, and a variety of plains game. The Masai Mara’s unfenced border with the conservancy permits animals to roam freely between the two areas.
The Great Migration’s wildebeest swarm across the Masai Mara plains from July to October, spilling over into the Naboisho Conservancy to take advantage of the lush grasslands. The conservancy quickly became a popular setting due to its rich landscape, low tourist and vehicle traffic, and the opportunity for game viewing that can now compete with that of the Masai Mara. The experience is further enhanced by the strict code of conduct that the safari guides must adhere to, in addition to the abundance of wildlife. Only six vehicles are permitted at a sighting at any given time, and there is a minimum distance that must be followed when approaching wildlife. These regulations enhance the guest experience by preventing wildlife from feeling threatened or harassed.
- The Activities
The rules of the Masai Mara Reserve do not apply to the Mara Naboisho Conservancy because it is separate from the reserve. This opens up a much wider range of activities than the usual twice-daily game drives in the reserve. The conservancy also offers fly camping, night game drives, and walking safaris in addition to game drives. Only Naboisho Camp offers walking and fly camping, but both Naboisho and Encounter Mara offer night game drives. An entirely different vehicle-based experience can be had when driving after dark while using a red-filtered spotlight and keeping an eye out for the telltale reflection of eyes in the shadows. It is always an unforgettable experience to sit in total darkness with the engine off and the lights off while listening to lions call through the night. When it is still dark enough to safely walk outside in the morning, a walking safari is typically at its best.
Your senses begin to register the fact that you are now walking through lion territory as you step out of the car and start to hear the snap of every branch underfoot. Smaller ecosystems, spoors, and tracks that are frequently missed from the height of a vehicle are the focus of a walking safari, but larger game is always visible and observed from a safe distance. A night spent in a fly camp is frequently the highlight of a trip for the adventurous traveler. Set out on foot from Naboisho Camp in the late afternoon for a walking safari that ends with your arrival at your personal fly camp. Simple dome tents with cozy bedding, breakfast and dinner cooked over the fire, drinks by the stars at night, and hot coffee to enjoy while watching the sun rise over the Naboisho Conservancy are all included.
- The Community
The Maasai families that own the land in the Naboisho Conservancy have villages and bomas dotted all around the conservancy’s perimeter. The income and development brought about by the establishment of the conservancy have led to a variety of positive changes to their way of life, even though many aspects of it remain unchanged from their heritage and traditions. Being able to accompany visitors into their villages and introduce their family members thanks to the fact that a large portion of the staff at both Naboisho Camp and Encounter Mara are from these communities adds an extra layer of authenticity to the experience.
A true and illuminating immersion into the daily life of these Maasai is provided by visiting a traditional boma and experiencing the conditions of the lifestyle. Along with the traditional components, there is the chance to observe how the communities have benefited from the establishment of the conservancy, in the form of boreholes for simpler water access, the protection of natural resources, and the possibility of creating additional revenue streams. It’s significant that while quality of life has improved, heritage and culture have been preserved. People are aware of the advantages of tourism and how crucial it is to preserve their natural resources in order for the tourism industry to remain viable. The outcome is a genuine cultural experience free from the all-too-common expectation of receiving a handout when visiting nearby villages.
- The Contribution
The conservancy leases its land to tourism companies like Asilia, which pay an annual fee for the use of the land regardless of the number of campers present. This guarantees that the landowners are paid a fair rental amount for the use of their property. However, there are a ton of additional opportunities for income generation that come along with tourism. All safari camps need staff, and the majority of them are hired from the local area, generating income that goes well beyond the primary breadwinner. Another wealth-generation opportunity that has had success is the development of goods that can be sold to camps, either for use in the camp or to be resold to visitors.
The Maasai people are known for their intricate beadwork, which is decorated on belts, various pieces of jewelry, bags, and other items. Beautiful items are made by women in the local communities and purchased by camps for staff use as well as resale in camp shops. Every visitor who stays in the conservancy pays a conservancy fee, which establishes a fund for funding additional programs for the improvement of neighboring communities, enhancing the conservancy’s infrastructure, and hiring rangers. Your decision to visit the Naboisho Conservancy gives your trip meaning because it has an effect that goes well beyond your own enjoyment of the trip and benefits the locals as well as the wildlife of Naboisho.
The Mara Naboisho Conservancy should be at the top of your list of safari destinations if you’re looking for an African safari experience that provides excellent game viewing without making you jostle with other vehicles vying for the best view and that has a real impact on both people and wildlife.