Naboisho, which means “coming together” in the Maasai’s Maa language, is a community response to the challenges of the privatization of group ranches in the Greater Mara Region. Strain was put on the soil, endemic vegetation, and the wildlife as a result of intensive herding and various tourism activities such as camping and off-road vehicle activity.
Inspired by their neighbours in the Olare Orok Conservancy, the approximately 500 landowners asked the Basecamp Foundation Kenya to facilitate the formation of the conservancy as a community wildlife area. In 2008, a forum – which brought together community leaders, upcoming community champions, dedicated resource managers, seasoned conservationists, experienced socio-ecologists and tourism investors – was convened to chart out a broader framework for the development of Naboisho.
It was agreed that the conservancy model should combine conservation of nature and cultural heritage, tourism, and the enhancement of livelihoods for the local communities. On the 28th of March 2010, the landowners formerly signed a 15-year lease to create the Mara Naboisho Conservancy.
The Mara Naboisho Conservancy is now the second largest conservancy in the region. Once the conservancy was established, a plan was put in place to ensure that the environment was given a chance to recover, that wildlife was protected, and that the landowners benefitted, both financially and from a social development perspective.