Our History

History behind the camp

Our founder, Karl von Heland, is the grandson of Erik von Heland. Erik was a young Swedish officer who became the manager of Karen Farm (Bogani) in 1919. The now world-famous farm belonged to the author Karen Blixen and her husband Bror and was the scene of the film, and one of the most famous novels “Out of Africa”. 

Almost a century later, in 2009, Eric’s grandson Karl von Heland established Entumoto Safari Camp in the Sekenani Valley together with his close colleague Rimoine Ole Kararei and some Swedish family companies. Rimoine was born in a Masai village near the camp and was one of the first from his area to go to university in Nairobi. He stayed with Karls relative, the diplomat Kjell Nordenskiöld, in Nairobi and thus got to know Karl and his family.

“I was looking for the right opportunity in East Africa for 20 years. But when Rimoine showed me this valley and told me he would like to be part of establishing a camp here, I realized that my dream was about to come true. This place looks just as I imagined it would. My grandfather would have loved it”, says Karl von Heland.

Founder Karl Von Heland with his founding Masai Partner Rimoine Ole Kararei

Founder Karl Von Heland with his founding Masai Partner Rimoine Ole Kararei

Anders Abenius, Partner of Entumoto since 2008

Anders Abenius, Partner of Entumoto since 2008

Susanne Hobohm, Partner of Entumoto since 2016

Susanne Hobohm, Partner of Entumoto since 2016

History behind the Conservancy

In April 2014 Karl and Rimoine aspired to create a conservancy for Entumoto. The immediate area known as Sekenani Valley was not included in the surrounding Siana Conservancy - it was therefore home to temporary manyattas (Masai villages) that covered the landscape and meant wildlife was few and far between.

After two years of selling the idea to the local Masai landowners and Siana Committee members the Sekenani Valley was eventually included in the larger Siana Conservancy. The area was declared a conservation area and Entumoto conservancy was born. 

We are proud to be the pioneers of conservation in this part of the Mara as well as pleased to offer our guests exclusive viewing of wildlife in our private conservancy.

How it works

We lease land from the local Masai plot owners who signed a 15-year lease agreement. Siana has 3,500 landowners who each own about 6.5 acre plots inside the conservancy.

Proceeds accrued from conservation fees goes to paying the land leases, improving infrastructure, and training rangers among others.

WWF rangers play an important role patrolling the area and ensuring that the conservancy is clear, clean, safe and free of cattle in designated areas.

WWF Financing

The WWF (World Wildlife Fund) heard about the good work we were doing and in 2016 we received the news that they would help with funding the Siana conservancy – which was great news to all involved. We work closely with the WWF and they are to this day integral to the protection and security of the conservancy.