Kenya’s Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) grew out of the dedication and perseverance of Ian Craig, who, along with his brother Will, converted their ranch at Lewa Downs into the Lewa Conservancy in the 1990s. NRT’s mission is simply stated: To develop resilient community conservancies that transform lives, secure peace, and conserve natural resources. Today, the communities of this part of northern Kenya have placed almost 10,000 square miles of their territories under the management of the NRT.
While many “mission statements” for conservation organizations in Africa include references to transforming lives and communities and conservation of natural resources, the words “secure peace” stand out in the NRT statement. The tribal communities of northern Kenya have traditionally been enemies, especially when it comes to cattle. And when drought strikes tensions can rise to the point that, in the past, have led to armed conflicts.
The success of the NRT’s efforts at securing peace was shown when Samburu herders lost track of 13 head of cattle. These cattle are worth approximately $4,440 – an impressive amount in a country where the average agricultural wage is just $2 a day! Let me remove the suspense – the cattle were found and returned to the Samburu herders. But the fascinating part of this story lies within the details – those who found and returned the missing cattle were members of the Borana tribe, who have often been the Samburu’s enemies. This was a groundbreaking event in the NRT’s effort to secure peace among people who have traditionally often seen each other as enemies.
Many of our travelers who safari in Kenya have chosen to add the Lewa Conservancy as we worked together to design their personal safari itinerary. If you’d like more information about how the Lewa Conservancy may fit within your safari, please click here or call us at 800-779-2146.