Chake Conservancy Rangers with wire snares that they find on patrol

Chake Conservancy Rangers with wire snares that they find on patrol. Chake Community Conservancy image and copyright.

Equatorial Africa! Do any other two words convey such promise of romantic adventure?
Maasai Mara, perhaps. Most people know that Kenya’s Maasai Mara is one of the great wonders of the Natural World, but did you know that it relies heavily upon the local and indigenous communities to help maintain its primordial majesty?
Many tasks of stewardship fall to Kenya’s nature conservancies and without them this area of the World would be a sadly poorer place! I understand that each Kenyan conservancy is unique and has its own remarkable character and charms.

Apart from their nature stewardship, another thing the conservancies all have in common is that ecotourism is important in supporting their activities, just as their activities are important in supporting the ecosystem.

It’s what the UNDP would call a triple win: win for the economy, win for the community and win for nature! However the Covid Pandemic has hit the ecotourism sector very hard and now that vaccination is helping normalize travel and tourism again, all the conservancies, including Chake, are eager to welcome visitors back to this wonderful part of Africa!

So, what else sets Chake apart? Several things, really:
  • Chake is brand new! If you want to give them a helping hand it will certainly have good leverage! This is a Fledgling Community Conservancy directed by Honorary Ranger Charles Kinara and his board.
  • The word ‘chake’ in Kiswahili language means ‘theirs’ and reducing human-wildlife conflict is a core mission. Their whole outlook is nature-centered; they see the land as belonging to the animals as well in a common heritage, the human and wildlife community is worth protecting and as such they are opposed to hunting tourism, preferring sustainable eco-tourism instead.
  • To my knowledge, Chake is quite remarkable as many of the Directors and Rangers serve as medics and paramedics and teachers in the Narok area.  As well as conserving the natural splendour of the area by conducting reforestation and patrolling to prevent wildlife and forest crime, they help in health and environmental education.
  • I’ve been assisting Chake with their Chake Community Conservancy website (so any faults there are mine and I’d be grateful if you would alert me to them for remedy).
The Chake Directors welcome visitors to Kenya to sign up for a unique, day-long Chake Awareness Tour. Please see their Visitors’ Page for the details.  In so-doing you would be helping their sustainable development and advance the area’s reforestation!
In a nut-shell, the day tour is a personalized introduction to the Chake Conservancy guided by the Director Charles Kinara. Visitors can see conservation in action and by doing so, support this important work. Chake’s area of benefit includes important topographical and hydrological gradients and forest that is threatened by cutting for charcoal.
If you wish to support Chake Conservancy through booking local safari guides and accommodation too, that will help our community prosper! In the game park, wildlife observation is permitted by vehicle from dawn to dusk, but within the community conservancy area visitors can explore the elevated forest and rocky outcrops and ravines on foot. Much of the indigenous flora, fauna and fungi are best seen this way! Birds, reptiles and insects can add much interest to your Kenyan travel experience.

The Maasai Mara National Reserve offers visitors year-round wildlife watching in the world’s richest big game park. Sweeping vistas of grassland with characteristic acacia trees have hardly changed since the dawn of mankind! Lions, zebras, elephants, rhinos and hippos? They’ve got ‘em! That’s because they protect them and this natural heritage is worth far more to them alive as part of their living landscape than they would ever be dead or removed.

If you are considering a Kenyan holiday, please allow some extra time to enjoy and support the community and cultural context of the protected areas!


This article represents the author’s genuine opinions and the author Charles Paxton has received, and expects, no payment for this article.