Kenya’s rich wildlife is found both inside protected areas and outside on community land. These community lands are equally critical havens for wildlife, dispersal areas and corridors connecting wildlife areas.

One of the major threats facing wildlife conservation is loss of habitat due to land use changes including agriculture, settlement and development. Presence of wildlife on community land often causes human wildlife conflict which becomes a burden to the community. When communities are not able to realize economic value from wildlife on their land, that land easily becomes converted to other land use opportunities leading to loss of wildlife areas. Wildlife on community land has great potential of revenue generation and wealth creation to the local community through employment, business enterprises and development of rural economies. The loss of these great community wildlife reservoirs equals lost opportunities to the local community.

Mbulia Group Ranch is one of the 28 ranches that form the Taita ranches. The ranch neighbors the Eastern boundary of Tsavo East National park and adjoins the southern side of the Upper Tsavo West segment. The ranch is the most critical dry season habitat and migratory corridor for wildlife in the Tsavo Conservation Area. Human wildlife conflict was very high in the area resulting in great losses for the local community. Amara Conservation has worked with the Mbulia community to help them develop a community conservancy that will help them reap benefits from wildlife and preserve this important wildlife habitat. In December 2011, following five years of community work by Amara Conservation and local leaders, the community agreed to set aside 11,400 acres of Mbulia Group Ranch as a conservancy. We helped link them with an investor and after discussion and negotiation they entered a lease agreement with the investor. Today the Mbulia Wilderness Trust (MWT) is up and functioning, with a Headquarters and seven full-time game scouts, operated and monitored through conservation fees provided by the 8-bedroom lodge, Kipalo Hills (completed in December of 2012). Amara Conservation has continuously played an active role to ensure smooth running of the conservancy. Our aim is to help ensure security of the conservancy, improve the conservancy infrastructure, help build capacity to manage the conservancy, improve governance, reduce human wildlife conflict and help develop environmentally and economically sustainable livelihoods for the local community.