Ol Kinyei Conservancy
This pioneering award-winning conservancy was the first conservancy in the mara eco-system where an area of over 8,000 acres was set aside by the community for wildlife and without the presence of human settlements and cattle. The conservancy is now 17,500 acres and belongs to a Maasai community who set aside the land for the purposes of wildlife conservation providing them with tangible returns to help them improve their lives and not be solely dependent on cattle. The Conservancy was formed in 2005 through a partnership between 171 local private landowners and Gamewatchers Safaris & Porini Safari Camps.
Ol Kinyei Conservancy - voted as 'Community Conservancy of the Year 2011 and 2012' in Ecotourism Kenya's Eco-Warrior Awards - was formed as a livestock exclusion zone to promote wildlife conservation through tourism enterprise and as such the small and exclusive Porini Mara Camp was set up within the Conservancy. The camp is operated with the objective of creating income for the community through employment and the leasing of land. The land owners are paid per acre of leased land as well as a fee per bed-night occupied, and 90% of the camp’s staff come from the community.
Porini Mara Camp has been awarded a Gold Eco-rating by Ecotourism Kenya which reflects its positive focus on sustainable use of resources, protection of the environment and support of the local economy. The camp is non-permanent and has minimal impact on the environment.
With just six guest tents at Porini Mara Camp and 9 at the affiliated Ol Kinyei Mobile Camp (peak season only) even at full capacity the Conservancy still has less than 1 tent per 1,100 acres.
Since the formation of the Conservancy many indigenous species have returned to the land. The Conservancy is now home to a wide variety of wildlife including a resident pride of over 30 lions, leopards and numerous other animals as well as over 300 species of bird.