Responsible tourism

Wilderness & community conservancies

Wilderness and Community Conservancies


An impressive movement in Africa that is making a significant difference is creating wilderness and community conservancies. It is happening in Eastern and Southern Africa to great effect.

These conservancies cannot be formed without commitment from local communities, government and private sector because their support helps to ensure a more solid foundation to stay on course with massive projects that literally save lives and habitat.

With change coming quickly in Africa due to massive population growth, organisations on the ground need to work smarter and think bigger. They are evolving their approaches to ensure they stay on top of the urgent pressures on nature.

Why set up wilderness and community conservancies?

One of the primary motivating reasons to create these wilderness and community conservancies is to protect wildlife outside national parks and ensure the safety of local communities and their livestock.

In Kenya, 70% of wildlife survives outside national parks. This means that the community land holds significant value in securing the future for endangered species including lion, elephant rhino and many others threatened by loss of habitat.

The African Conservation Centre has spent significant time and money studying the rangelands of Kenya to better understand the changes that face pastoralists and the wildlife. The safari industry works closely with ACC to strategise ways to improve livelihoods through better use of the natural resources and conservation.

Shining examples

Mara Triangle, Kenya

This Mara Triangle tract of land is an integral part of the greater Masai Mara Ecosystem. Huge efforts have been made and continue to this day so the ecosystem is protected, creating a secure environment for the animals, community and a great experience for our guests. Its position is precarious because it is right on the border of Tanzania, so it’s vulnerable to illegal activities that cause detriment to wildlife, wilderness and local farmers.

Gombe, Tanzania

Another great example of powerful partnerships with communities is in Tanzania’s Gombe region where the chimpanzee habitat was under huge threat. Local communities are now managing the forest’s natural regeneration and working to reduce human impact to ensure a sustainable future for themselves and chimpanzees.


As a country, Namibia has invested in communal conservancies, defined borders and governance managed by the local community to protect their wilderness and wildlife for two decades. Since 1998, the country has created 82 communal conservancies that now cover 20% of the country. Over $7 million US has been generated each year as cash income for the communities (189,000 community members which is just short of10% of Namibia’s entire population).

This money and other in kind support goes straight back into the community to improve education and health and ensure a sustainable future for the conservancy, protecting wilderness and animal residents with anti poaching strategies and wildlife management.

Did you know?

Over 3500 poachers have been arrested in the Mara Triangle since 2001 and almost 50,000 snares cleared? Endless animals have been treated for injuries from the snares and 200 heads of cattle recovered and returned to rightful owners.