Top Masai Mara Conservancies

Top Masai Mara Conservancies : A conservancy is a very particular kind of wildlife and land conservation where landowners lease their property to safari companies. This means that in the Masai Mara, thousands of small-scale farmers and locals with modest land holdings band together, pool their holdings, and enter into agreements with safari operators in exchange for monetary compensation and other assistance, which may include anything from educational and healthcare programs to livestock management and grazing management. A concession, which is typically when a safari company rents a parcel of land from the state or government, is not the same as a conservancy.

Conservancies are not pristine pieces of land because they have supported agriculture and had people live there (and some still have sizable villages). But it’s amazing how quickly wildlife bounces back once the cows, goats, and humans have left. The conservancies surrounding the Mara region consistently provide some of Kenya’s most reliable and thrilling predator sightings.


The Greater Mara Ecosystem is centered on the Masai Mara National Reserve, but over the past ten years, several conservancies have been created on either side of the unfenced national reserve. These preserves are located on Maasai families’ privately owned land that has been set aside for wildlife preservation and tourism.

 The landowners lease their property to safari companies and lodges, which pay monthly fees that are used to support community development projects like education. In exchange, the Maasai are still permitted to pasture their cattle on the land, though under very strict guidelines.

With the creation of conservancies, Maasai communities have experienced economic growth, and wildlife populations have increased as formerly overgrazed land is now being restored as wilderness.

The best option for those seeking a low tourist density Masai Mara safari is the Mara conservancies because most of the concessions only have a few camps and don’t permit self-driving, which means there will be fewer vehicles at sightings.

Another benefit of staying in a conservancy is being able to participate in activities that are prohibited in a national reserve, such as bush dinners, night drives, off-road driving, and walking safaris, all of which are wonderful opportunities to observe wildlife and the wilderness.

Maasai guides will teach you about the ecosystem, the fascinating animal, bird, and insect life there, as well as the therapeutic and traditional uses of plants, as you take walks through the savannah.

 The conservancies are concentrated near the northern end of the national reserve and cover a space of land that is almost as large as the reserve itself. They are also located in more remote areas to the east of the Masai Mara.

Staying at a Maasai-owned conservancy allows you to enjoy the exclusivity of wildlife viewing while also supporting local conservation efforts, enhancing the quality of life for nearby residents, and boosting wildlife populations. Here are some of the available Maasai mara conservancies:

Mara North Conservancy

One of the best concessions is the 74,000-acre Mara North Conservancy, which is located on the western edge of the Masai Mara National Reserve. It is known for its diverse wildlife, classic savanna landscapes, and dedication to local conservation.

Here, projects support the management of grazing areas and work to restore overgrazed land and natural habitats.

Big cat sightings and the impressive herds of the Great Migration are two highlights of the excellent game viewing. It has the most camps of any conservancy, ten in total, but there is still a lot of room and privacy, with almost 700 acres per tent.

Mara Naboisho Conservancy

It is easy to understand why many consider this 50, 000-acre conservancy to be the best Masai Mara safari concession. There is plenty of wilderness without other cars in the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, which is to the north of the national reserve, and the environmental impact is minimal because there are only seven camps there (each occupying 877 acres).

 There is a lot of wildlife here, including big cats in large numbers and herds of wildebeest, elephants, and giraffes. Additionally, it meets all the criteria for effective neighborhood conservation.

 When more than 500 Maasai families who owned land decided to connect their parcels to allow for wildlife movement, the conservancy was created. To help the land recover from intensive herding, the Maasai now engage in controlled grazing.

Enonkishu Conservancy

The 6,000-acre Enonkishu Conservancy, located at the northern end of the Greater Mara Ecosystem, is dedicated to enhancing cattle management so that the ecosystem and wildlife can regenerate and local communities can have a sustainable source of income from grazing and conservation fees.

 Numerous plains game, giraffes, buffalo, elephants, and a pride of lions that reside on the conservancy’s edge are among the wildlife that can be spotted. The conservancy offers lodging on a ranch that has been “rewilded” from intensive cattle farming.

Ol Kinyei Conservancy

On its 18 700 acres of grassy plains and undulating hills, the Maasai-owned Ol Kinyei Conservancy offers plenty of privacy and exclusivity with just two small camps (as well as two mobile camps).

With a resident lion pride, leopards, elephants, buffalo, giraffes, and more than 300 bird species, it provides excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing. The camps within the conservancy also provide game drives within the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, which is nearby.

Top Masai Mara Conservancies
Ol Kinyei Conservancy

Olare Motorogi Conservancy

Olare Motorogi, one of the first and most effective conservancies in the Masai Mara (composed of the former Motorogi and Olare-Orok Conservancies), has served as a model for other concessions and community conservation.

 With one of the highest animal concentrations and the fewest tourist densities in the Mara, it also provides exceptional wildlife viewing (with numerous lions and elephants). With only one room per 700 acres on its 33 000 acres of riverine forest, valleys, and acacia woodland, the conservancy has a 94-bed maximum occupancy limit.

Olderikesi Conservancy

The 24,700-acre Olderikesi Conservancy is situated in one of the most remote regions of the Masai Mara ecosystem, near the eastern edge of the national reserve in Tanzania that is close to the Serengeti National park.

 There are only 20 rooms on the entire conservancy, or one room for every 1200 acres, making it one of the most exclusive concessions. If you want some peace and quiet during your Masai Mara safari, head to Olderikesi. Additionally, it has an abundance of game and is well-known for amazing lion, leopard, and cheetah sightings.

Mara Siana Conservancy

The 7898-acre Mara Siana Conservancy, which was only recently founded in 2015 by 1200 landowners, is located some distance to the east of the Masai Mara National Reserve. This is a good choice if you want to venture off the beaten path because it is less accessible than some of the other conservancies and only offers two places to stay.

 There is a variety of wildlife to be seen in this remote valley, including prides of lions, herds of elephants, cheetahs, leopards, buffalo, and the sporadic Black rhino and pack of wild dogs.

Loita Hills

The Loita Hills, a sparsely visited mountain range to the northeast of the Masai Mara, is home to Maasai communities and boasts stunning landscapes of vast plains, dense forests, verdant hills, and mountain peaks that rise up to 2150m (7054ft).

Although there are fewer animals than in conservancies and this is not a conservation area, there are still plenty of birds and game to be seen, including buffalo, bushbuck, and Colobus monkeys. However, seeing traditional Maasai culture, touring community initiatives, and going on a walking safari with Maasai guides in a place where not many other tourists go are the main draws of Loita Hills.

Walking safaris have two main options: staying at a base camp and going on day hikes into the surrounding area, or taking a multi-day trip lasting up to 12 days while staying at mobile camps and having all of your supplies carried by donkeys.

Loita Migration

Few people are aware of the Loita Migration, whereas everyone has heard of the Great Migration. A smaller migration of hundreds of thousands of wildebeest and other antelope moves from the Loita Plains, which are to the north of the Masai Mara National Reserve, southward into the reserve around May, at the beginning of the dry season.

For a chance to witness this miniature version of the migration, book a stay at one of the camps within the Mara Naboisho, Olare Motorogi, or Ol Kinyei Conservancies during your Masai Mara Safari.


You can rest assured that most lodges in conservancies offer game drives in the national reserve if you want to see the Great Wildebeest Migration. To increase your chances of seeing the river crossings, you can choose to pay additional park fees and enter the reserve again. If you want to do this, we advise a stay of at least 4 nights.

The public and other safari operators are not permitted in the conservancies, but conservation vehicle access is permitted into the national reserve. If low vehicle counts and uncrowded sightings are essential to you, then this is crucial.

Because the conservancies maintain a strict limit of about 350 acres per visitor (700 acres for a 2-person tent), there are very few lodges and camps there. As a result, the lodging quickly sells out, particularly during the busy mid-year period, so it is best to make reservations as soon as you decide to travel.

Conservancies make an effort to hire as many people from the neighborhood as they can. The Maasai people are fully engaged in the safari industry, even if it does mean that some staff members may not speak English well.

Remember that because many camps are small and cozy, they can only provide a limited number of tent rooms and are frequently booked.

The best and most convenient way to get to lodges and camps on conservancies is to fly into their airstrips, where staff from the lodge you’ve reserved will be waiting to pick you up. The conservancies are accessible by car, but self-driving is not permitted inside the conservancies.

During the months of the Great Migration, you can go on game drives in the Masai Mara National Reserve if you stay in a conservancy to see the Mara River crossings.


The Masai Mara Conservancies are open all year, but to avoid disappointment during the Great Wildebeest Migration, it is best to make reservations as soon as possible. Check out our reasonably priced Masai Mara Conservancy Safaris, or get in touch with one of our African safari experts right away if you’re ready to take the next step in realizing your Kenya safari adventure.

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