Established in April 2014, Entumoto Conservancy is a brain child of the owners of Entumoto Safari Camp ltd.
Five years ago, after setting up the Entumoto Safari Camp in the Sekenani Valley. We had two main visions namely:
First, the old Siana Conservancy did not include the Sekenani Valley and surrounding hills. Given its strategic proximity to the Masai Mara Game reserve, it was deemed necessary to have the Sekenani Valley included in the Siana scheme as a first step towards securing this all important wildlife corridor. We embarked on an ambitious task of engaging the Committee and Community members at large to understand the need for this.
Secondly, we had a vision to secure the Valley and the surrounding hills for long term prosperity. After fruitful engagements with the Siana Committee members, the Sekenani Valley was finally included in the larger Siana Conservancy area after more than two years of selling the idea to them, it then became apparent that the best way to go about this was to make it a Conservation area, which later gave birth to Entumoto Conservancy.
In April of 2014, a big meeting was held where all landowners attended to give blessings, consent and Entumoto Conservancy was born.
This is something that we the Entumoto family is proud of as this make us the pioneers of Conservation in this part of the Mara.
How it Works
We lease Land from the local Masai plot owners who signed with us a 15 year lease agreement.
The Conservancy has a management team led by a manager. We also have four rangers who are a great asset to us. The rangers play an important role of ensuring that the Conservancy is clean and free of cattle in designated areas. Before inception, temporary manyattas was the order of the day which led to wild game shying away. Patrols are conducted by the Rangers. Land owners are also co-opted in that their representatives sit in our board and work closely with us.
Plans are at an advance stage to introduce a Conservancy Management plan which shall incorporate a grazing plan in the Conservancy at specific times.
Our guests are required to abide by the code of conduct while utilizing various activities within the Conservancy.
Entumoto Conservancy is ever streaming with wild animals, a pride of 7 lions,1 Cheetah,2 leopards, herds of elephant, 100 buffalo, herd of wildebeest, 60 zebras, 20 giraffes, 50 impalas, 30 Thomson’s gazelle, a pack of wild dogs, 10 aardvarks, 7 porcupines,80 baboons and 20 ostriches . Also a pack of hyenas consisting of two clans, 1 black rhino, several genets, lesser and greater bush babies are seen regularly in the reserve.Bird life in the conservancy is abundant and diverse with 40 different species of birds.
Proceeds accrued from Conservancy fees goes to paying the land leases, improve infrastructure, and training rangers among others ,all of which goes a long way to improve the livelihood of our land owners.
The formation of the Entumoto Conservancy and later the Siana Conservancy has had many positive effects to the local community. First it gives all inhabitants in the community a direct benefit from conservation and tourism as we lease the land from the individual families. They get a fixed yearly lease but also a variable lease based on the number of tourist bed-nights we have.
The creation of the conservancy has also given us the opportunity to have frequent meetings with large groups of Masai and discuss development issues but also organize all inhabitants in a land-owners company which in turn co-manage the conservancy company. This is a very important step as it also gives the Masai a democratic and well governed organisation which can work for the benefit of the community. It also offers a good platform for the Narok County, NGOs and other donors to help developing the area in a sustainable way with wildlife, tourism and inhabitants living side by side in sustainable harmony.
The Siana Conservancy is a fully formed wildlife conservancy, aiming to preserve the surrounding wildlife and the culture of the Masai in an area of 35.000 acres. It comprises of:
The Land Holding Company
The Company brings together all the 3,500 land owners who own it commonly. The Community has entrusted 31 elected directors with the shareholding mainly for ease of administration .
Siana Conservancy Management Company ( Manco)
As part of the Conservancy governing structure, Manco is charged with a responsibility of managing the affairs of the Conservancy. Manco’s ownership comprises 50% land owners and 50% Tourism partners who are commonly known as TPs. The TPs are derived from the six participating Camps who have shown commitment to move forward with the Conservancy initiative, Entumoto Safari Camp, Mara Bushtops Camp, Leleshwa Camp, Spirit of the mara, Masai Mara Sekenani Camp ( formerly mountain rock camp) and Olkeri Mara Camp.
The above Camps have nominated three representatives to sit in the board of Manco, who joins three Community representatives from the Land Holding.
The WWF commissioned a fact finding mission in June 2014.They had heard the good initiatives started by Entumoto, Bushtops and Leleshwa who worked together with the Community with a goal to conserve giving the Conservancy another chance to revive. WWF met the three conservation drivers and representatives of three camps.The WWF officials included officers from the Nairobi office as well as those from the UK office.
In December last year, we received the news that WWF has secured funding for Siana, which was great news to all parties involved. We began working closely with the WWF to and this is how we ended up with all the governing structures for the Siana Conservancy.
Land Owners Commitment
Siana has 3,500 land owners who own about 6.5acres plot each inside the Conservancy.The plot inside the Conservancy is insignificant for anyone to carry out a major activity like settling and grazing on it. Its sole use is for conservation purposes. All the 3,500 land owners are required to commit by way of signing a letter of intent.
Siana Conservancy has attracted various organizations such as the Africa Wildlife Fund(AWF) which is assisting by sponsoring an integral management plan for Siana.