We would like to tell you about the area that our new research and Lion Guardians camp is based. The local Maasai Group Ranch is called Eselenkei, which is communal land owned by the Maasai, mainly used for grazing livestock. This map shows you the ranches around Amboseli National Park, which is near to the border with Tanzania in the south of Kenya.
Some 15,000 acres of this land have been leased by Porini Ecotourism, a non-profit company, to create the Selenkay Conservancy, an extremely successful wildlife reserve, which not only protects the flora and fauna in this important wildlife dispersal area around Amboseli National Park, but also helps the local communities by creating employment, as well as many other benefits including helping to build schools, sponsor local children through tertiary education, creating boreholes to provide fresh water, and enabling controllable grazing within the conservancy during times of great need, like the recent drought the local people have been facing here.
Gamewatchers Safaris owns and runs a tented safari camp for tourists called Porini Camp on the conservancy, which generates income and employment opportunities for the local community, and pays a fee to Porini Ecotourism to cover the running costs of the conservancy.
In partnership with the local Maasai communities, Porini Ecotourism and Gamewatchers Safaris use the available community resources to improve and provide alternative source of livelihood in an area with no previously obvious tourist attraction where the local community depended only on livestock rearing for a living. We would like to extend our thanks to Porini, and to the local Maasai community for welcoming us into the area.
We are very glad to be working in an area where the local communities are excited and willing to help with further conservation measures here, and we have some more great news about lions in the area! Keep reading for updates on our local lions and how the Lion Guardians project is getting young warriors involved in helping conserve the lions in their areas, and reduce human-wildlife conflict.