Mara Naboisho Conservancy – Sustainability report May 2018

Basecamp Explorer was instrumental in establishing Mara Naboisho Conservancy, an innovative and effective partnership that benefits almost 600 local Maasai families through guaranteed revenue generated as lease fees. Recognizing that the only way to ensure the survival of the Masai Mara ecosystem is to develop nature-based and economically viable livelihood alternatives for local people, Basecamp Explorer, the local Maasai community and landowners established Naboisho Conservancy to safeguard the pristine ecosystem from subdivision and further degradation.

Since the formation of the conservancy in March 2010, there has been a dramatic increase in wildlife, with Naboisho now believed to have one of the highest lion densities in Africa and is home to over 220 recorded bird species. Most importantly, Naboisho’s model of partnership, controlled grazing that allows integration of tourism with traditional Maasai cultural practices and joint-decision making has established it as the leading community private sector partnership, and provides an estimated 300 jobs with further indirect benefits to approximately 10,000 local people. In 2017, BCEK paid USD 272,536 in annual land fees to the land owners. This greatly improves the livelihood of the Maasai families within the conservancy.

Over the last 8 years, Naboisho has acquired land under the conservancy growing the number of land owners to more than 600 and established a wildlife corridor that allows the movement of wildlife from the Masai Mara National Reserve into the Conservancy. In 2017, Naboisho improved its infrastructure and intends to focus on reduction of poaching as well as continued increase of land under the conservancy.

With additional funding, Naboisho Conservancy partners will mobilize more community members to lease their land for conservation and will sustain and create more wildlife corridors to ensure the free movement of wildlife within the Mara Serengeti ecosystem.

Wildlife Statistics

Over the last four decades, it is estimated that populations of almost all the wildlife species have fallen by about 66% affecting the survival of the species. The causes of the decline include declining prey, human wildlife conflict and global warming. Nonetheless, the establishment of conservancies now bring tangible benefits to land owners ensuring the protection of wildlife in these areas . Although it is estimated that there are less than 2,000 lions in Kenya, efforts by conservancies ensure a higher survival rate for wildlife. A 2016 estimate places about 420 lions in Masai Mara representing one of the highest lion densities in Africa . Below are estimates of wildlife population in Masai Mara over the last four years .

Percentage increase
Elephants 1,448 2,493 72%
Buffalo 7,542 9,466 26%
Giraffes 1,619 2,607 61%

Masai Mara has higher cheetah numbers than in many other places in Africa. There are roughly 31 adult cheetahs which have been spotted as indicated below. The information below is based on a 2016 report .

Number of cheetahs spotted
Masai Mara National Reserve 23
Mara North Conservancy 4
Mara Naboisho Conservancy 17
Olare Motorogi Conservancy 17
Ol Kinyei Conservancy 9
Other conservancies in Masai Mara 1 adult and 3 sub adults


Ogutu Joseph, “Kenya’s wildlife populations are declining markedly as livestock numbers grow,”, (10 October, 2016)

University of Oxford, “Scientists devise new method to give ‘most robust’ estimate of Maasai Mara lion numbers.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, , (13 December 2016.

Anyuolo Lena, “KWS census shows increase in wildlife population in Tsavo & Maasai Mara,”, (23 June, 2017)

Kenya Wildlife Trust Mara Cheetah Project, “Mara Cheetah Project Kenya Wildlife Trust 2016 Progress Report,”

Monitoring and Evaluation of the project


To safeguard the pristine Mara Serengeti ecosystem from subdivision and further degradation


Maasai land owners


Secure land for conservation by preventing subdivision & degradation


Number of land owners
Size of land under conservation


Increase in area under conservation


Increase in land owners and size of land under conservation as well as an increase in number of wildlife species
Controlled grazing that allows integration of tourism with traditional Maasai cultural practices


Increase in tourism and revenue generated from tourism for tourism partners and the local communities

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