Mara Conservation Fund, Kenya
The Mara Conservation Fund was founded by Zhuo Qiang, better known in the Maasai Mara as ‘Simba’, the first Chinese wildlife conservationist working in Africa. Simba spends half his time in the Maasai Mara in Kenya, based at the Porini Adventure Camp in the Ol Kinyei Conservancy. The History Channel made a 90-minute documentary – LIONHEART – about Simba’s legendary journey to Africa from China in order to save the lions for future generations.
The Ol Kinyei Conservancy in the Maasai Mara is a very special place. Established in 2005, it was the first community-owned wildlife conservancy, pioneered by Gamewatchers Safaris in collaboration with the Maasai community. It now covers an area of 18,700 acres with an abundance of wildlife. Amongst the predators, there is a resident lion pride of over 20 animals, several leopards, and a number of cheetah. Elephants, zebra, and giraffe are frequently spotted, and the birdlife is incredible. Ol Kinyei is home to two small permanent safari camps and two seasonal mobile camps; in fact, it was in the Adventure Camp in 2017 that Simba and Tori first came up with the germ of an idea that became be.do.co.
The challenges are many, and Gamewatchers / Porini has set up the Wildlife Habitat Trust with the goal of protecting wildlife habitat in the Maasai Mara and other parts of Africa, creating and protecting wildlife migratory corridors all while engaging and collaborating with the communities that own and/or live near the land. Simba and the Mara Conservation Fund are supporting a number of Wildlife Habitat Trust projects in Ol Kinyei. Tori & Denise have visited Ol Kinyei several times, talking to the people involved and visiting several projects.
be.do.co supports …
be.do.co will initially channel funds to the following two projects:
- Build a Rangers’ post in Ol Kinyei Conservancy
- Objective: to secure the safety of animals in Ol Kinyei conservancy by improving the efficiency of our ranger’s daily patrols
- Quantity: 1
- Budget: USD 12,000
- Build 6 Lionproof Bomas* in Ol Kinyei Conservancy
- Objective: to effectively reduce human-lion conflicts surrounding Ol Kinyei conservancy
- Quantity: 6
- Budget: USD 9,000 for 6 Boma
*Livestock enclosure and family compound