This striking, powerful, inspirational video highlights a common animal conservation problem: How do you recruit anti-poaching rangers from the surrounding villages… when the poachers also live in those villages?
How do you get someone to arrest his neighbour, or perhaps his friend? And risk social pressure or anger from their local community? Watch the video first, then afterwards I’m going to tell you about another brilliant solution to this problem, that works just as well (perhaps better) than this one:
Here at Nashulai Conservancy, we have an excellent team of rangers (currently all male) and we have not had one incidence of poaching or animal death due to poaching since our inception in 2015.
I believe it is because Nashulai uses a mixed-use model of conservation. Unlike most conservancies in Africa (which sequester land for wildlife only), the Nashulai Conservancy is owned by indigenous Maasai, run by the Maasai, and promotes a way of life that has worked successfully for millennia: Where people, livestock and wildlife exist peaceably side-by-side and share the land and resources.
The conservancy pays a land lease fee to the Maasai landowners – which prevents the descent into poverty that produces desperation killing. We also train local villagers for jobs and skill acquisition in our Safari Camp. Revenues from our Safari Camps pay for local schools; education leads to opportunity. And of course, the local people realize that the wildlife are the reason our safari expeditions are so popular!
Our conservancy of 6,000 acres spans key wildlife migration routes, plus it is the historical birthing ground for elephants and giraffes. Did you know giraffes have just entered the endangered species list? Many of our wild animals had disappeared when locals farmed this land and put up fences. But as our Maasai community took down the fences and returned to the mixed-use model of conservation, the wildlife ‘voted with their feet’ and returned to our lands. Now every Big 5 safari animal can be seen on our land (we offer jeep, motorcycle, or walking safaris!).
We also offer cultural immersion experiences, where safari guests can visit our local Maasai villages; see how we live, cook, milk our livestock and use solar lights for our homes. We offer storytelling with our Elders round a campfire at the Safari Camp, along with herbal medicine walks and wildlife tracking skills. Here’s a recent guest sampling some of our local berries:
Come. Experience it for yourself…