History / Background
Olderikesi is located in one of the remoter regions of the Mara, there has been little tourism in the area and little awareness of wildlife’s` true economic potential, and hence there has been more investment by the Maasai in other land uses such as maize and cattle; land uses that are not compatible with wildlife.
Cottars 1920`s Camp instituted `The Cottars Wildlife Conservation Trust` three years ago with the sole objective to identify a lasting solution to this problem, and currently organises the payment of fees to the community through their Community Based Organisation` (CBO) in return a `no cattle` zone created around the camp, and a `no overnight boma` zone of 10,000 hectares to allow the land a bit of space from overgrazing by livestock. These zones exist today, and wildlife has improved markedly over the last year, with cats and elephant frequently observed there, and rhino and wild dog seen occasionally.
The Trust has implemented many community services to achieve these results so far, including built a school, provide medicines and ambulance service, security scouts employed and radio network installed, built water troughs for cattle, provided bursaries, protected the cedar forests from logging, anti poaching and many others.
For the future, the Cottars Wildlife Conservation Trust and the CBO are working to make the `no boma` zone into the future `Olderikesi Wildlife Conservancy`, again (similar to Siana) by offering to assist the Maasai landowners to get freehold title to their land, and then leasing it back for wildlife conservation and tourism at commercial rates. This will allow the Maasai to finally capitalise their land on an individual basis which is the very basis our dynamic Kenyan economy. This strategy will allow the Maasai to continue their traditional pastoral lifestyle if they so wish, but also gives them the revenue for assured food security, housing and education.
The problem of such an area is that the existing number of tourist facilities is small, and the leases for the conservancy would have to be underwritten for a period of time until wildlife based tourism can be adjusted and improved to be financially sustainable to meet the lease commitments.
To achieve such financial backing is imperative, and The Cottars Wildlife Conservation Trust and CBO are working with other Conservancy initiatives surrounding the Mara to this end. In the long run, the Maasai Mara should be encircled with financially viable Wildlife conservancies all working together to support this unique ecosystem into the future while fulfilling the financial requirements of the Maasai landowners- wildlife will be conserved as a result of human needs being met!
Location and Size
The conservation area currently covers an area of 10,000 hectares and is located on Olderikesi group ranch which lies to the south east of the Maasai Mara National Reserve, between the Reserve and the Loita Hills.
There is an airstrip at Cottars 1920’s Camp. Alternatively you can drive via Narok. The roads are in poor condition however so a four wheel drive vehicle is recommended, particularly during the rains.
Park / Conservancy Fees
Cottars have the exclusive tourist rights to this area. Please ask your travel agent about this.
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