Community Conservancies Can Be More Profitable Than Farming

by | Jan 10, 2016

Community Conservancies can be more profitable than farming. This depends upon where they are located and what they offer.

I personally feel radical measures should be adopted by the County Government of Taita Taveta in order to stop the rampant cases of Human-wildlife conflict. One of the best measures is setting up community conservancies or helping the existing ones achieve their intended goals, and start seeing the benefits from them.

Kipalo Hills Lodge Main Area

The new Wildlife Conservation and Management Act of 2013, has already recognized community conservancies as a positive form of land use which can be adopted by communities or a group of land owners living in areas where wildlife naturally occurs. This makes me wonder why political leaders in the areas prone to human wildlife conflict don’t support such initiatives? Surely, supporting these kinds of projects would be more profitable than growing corn in such areas with unreliable rainfall.



One of the room tents at Kipalo Hills

The Mbulia Conservancy electric fence is being completed thanks to US Fish and Wildlife African Elephant Conservation Fund, the Eden Trust, Disney Conservation Fund, and private donors. The fence will make the land continuous with Tsavo West National Park creating a safe haven for the wild animals, and mitigate conflicts experienced in the area. The lodge will bring in money and create more jobs for the community.

The Tsavo West National Park is a section of one of the largest wildlife conservancies on the planet, as well as one of Kenya’s largest wildlife national parks. It is well-known for its resident population of Red Elephants as well as the tale of the Tsavo Man-eaters. Unfortunately, most of the communities bordering these parks have never had a chance to visit them due to the cost. For these reasons Amara organizes game drives with Purdue University students each year into Tsavo West National Park. We also encourage children to form Wildlife Clubs and embrace their wildlife and environment. This year Mrabenyi Secondary School in Taita Taveta County had the opportunity to tour the vast Park and interact with the University students from USA.


tHistorically, the Tsavo Area is renowned for the Man-eaters of Tsavo, two mane-less lions who developed a taste to prey on humans back in the early 1900’s (various reasons are cited for this, one recently being that they suffered from tooth decay and pain that made hunting difficult for them!). Although they were later shot, they killed many people that were constructing the railway line connecting Mombasa and Nairobi. Additionally, it was the main battlefield between the Germans and the Britons in Africa in the course of World War I. Currently the area is very peaceful and is now famous for its resident Red-colored Elephants, that enjoy dust-bathing in the red colored soil. The serene environment of Tsavo comes mainly with thorny bushland, open grasslands and among the most beautiful scenic areas are; the Yatta plateau, the World’s longest lava flow stretching 290km; Mzima springs; Shetani Lava Flow; Chaimu Hill; and Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary.

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