As such, they form an extended area for game viewing – and the wildlife is just as prolific as it is in the reserve, as there are no fences and the animals are free to roam. A holiday here is an excellent option for travelers who are keen to see a lot of wildlife while enjoying a quieter atmosphere on safari! And many camps offer the opportunity to venture into the reserve itself, so you get the best of both worlds.
There are six conservancies in total, all used previously for cattle grazing by landowning Maasai. Wildlife areas have been created via land-use and lease agreements between the local people and safari camp operators, benefiting local communities and wildlife alike! The names of the conservancies are Mara Naboisho, Mara North, Olare Motorogi, Ol Kinyei, Ol Derikesi and Siana Group Ranch.
Mara Naboisho Conservancy is situated to the north of the Maasai Mara National Reserve (MMNR for short). It is the newest conservancy here and boasts over 125 sq. miles of savanna and bush, home to impressive numbers of elephant and giraffe. Its lion population is also worth a mention, comprising between 70 and 100 individuals and including the Enesikiria or KGS pride, the area’s largest. Mara Naboisho has plenty of wild dog too. Additionally, it witnesses the Loita Migration of wildebeest and zebra, when huge herds move between the Loita Hills and the MMNR and Mara North Conservancy. Game viewing is excellent all year round!
Mara North Conservancy is another great spot for wildlife watching. It too consists of savanna and bush, an area totalling 200 sq. miles distinguished by ridges formed by luggas, courses of seasonal streams. Again, there are plenty of plains animals here, as well as loads of lion including the Acacia and Gorge prides. And it is not unusual to spot Maasai herders out with their cattle in Mara North, as the local people retain grazing rights.