Our trip with you to Kenya is not a ‘traditional game viewing safari’, spotting wildlife and snapping pictures. This is not what we’re about.
Yes, we understand people want to see the wildlife close-up (safely and without disturbing it) but we also we recognise that people now want to understand the bigger and more important picture of the conservation. It’s a challenging and complicated story, but vital we get the solutions right.
Through our special partnerships with Tusk Trust and Wildlife Conservation Society, we get you highly privileged access to the very top people and places. We’ll get you behind the scenes of the cutting edge science and to areas otherwise out of bounds.
By travelling with us to Kenya, you can help us raise money, awareness and support for Tusk. Travelling with Oryx must be the most immersive wildlife experience you could have.
From Nairobi, we’ll fly you up to Lewa. We’ll put you up in the wonderfully comfortable accommodation at Sirikoi Lodge and introduce you to the people that ‘make’ the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
While here at Lewa, we’ll give you a deep insight into the wildlife: how the elephant move, the individual characters and relationships amongst the lions (there are currently 22 lion. Stand back for Mufasa, the dominant male). There are 10 or so cheetah (try counting the cubs!), leopard, reticulated giraffe, Somali ostrich, Beisa oryx, the gerenuk and Grevy’s zebra.
Lewa has been the catalyst for the internationally acclaimed Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) which works in partnership with Lewa to secure conservation through the lands to the north of the Conservancy. A World Heritage Site, with its land secured by virtue of a landmark transaction, which moved private land into that owned by the Conservancy, under the aptly named Lewa ‘Milele’ (Swahili for Forever) campaign.
Lewa and Tusk have been key partners in changing the dynamics of wildlife conservation in northern Kenya. Historically marginalised communities, who in the mid-90’s were seeing no benefit from wildlife and who had no reason to embrace wildlife on their communal lands, came to recognise that that positive change could be effected and wildlife could add value to their livelihoods, given a chance.
Tusk’s recognition of the inescapable imperative of ‘community ownership’ in conservation, coupled with a pragmatic and adaptable attitude towards funding in such a fluid time, cemented its role as a vital partner in northern Kenya’s conservation landscape. Five million acres of land under community conservancy management is testament to the success of a multitude of partnerships and that provided by Tusk stands out for its durability and continuity.
Under the recent pressure of increasing elephant and rhino poaching, Lewa increased security training, improved equipment, intelligence gathering and investigations, but also identified a need to directly engage with those communities from whom many of the poaching gangs emanated.
We’ll take you to Killmani School, which was one such opportunity. A primary school on the outskirts of the local town of Isiolo. Here was the entry point – the school was in a dilapidated state and investment could lead to leverage within the broader community. An investment of US$100,000 from a Tusk donor for school infrastructure development led swiftly to a fundamental change in the dynamics of community attitudes towards poaching. Information on who was involved, when, how and where gangs were likely to strike flowed to Lewa security/intelligence teams. Community elders issued a ‘No Go’ area edict to the gangs and this continues to be upheld.
We’ll visit the Isaqbini Community Conservancy, the local Somali community saving the hirola antelope from certain extinction, and into the conservancies of Nakuprat-Gotu, Namunyak and Mpus Kutuk, where endangered and vulnerable species such as Grevy’s zebra and elephant are being safeguarded.
There are now 33 Northern Rangelands Trust member community conservancies, home to over 300,000 people, who are managing over 31,000 km2 of wildlife-rich community land and safeguarding the future of a wide range of species in northern and coastal Kenya. With the help of organisations like Tusk, NRT is a trusted partner which mentors and coaches the elders, managers, womens groups, herders and rangers to fulfil their development and conservation objectives. The family of community conservancies has doubled in the last six years. And the impact of this approach is growing year by year. Wildlife populations are stable or increasing in nearly all conservancies.
We should discuss where you might wish to go from Lewa. Look across the African continent on our website and you’ll see Tusk is working with lion conservation in Southern Tanzania (the Ruaha National Park), with cheetahs and rhino in Namibia, supporting the Southern African Wildlife College in the Kruger, supporting great conservation in Zambia and many more fascinating add-ons where we hope you will have a really life-changing experience.
We give 10% of this sale to Tusk Trust and so by travelling with us you help conservation and you get an incredible insight into the wildlife and the conservation issues.
Much will depend on your time, but do ring us and we can work this out together.