A leopard lounges in the crook of an impossibly tortured fever tree watched by one ecstatic vehicle. A cheetah crosses a new concrete bridge.
A family of seven cheetahs takes priority over a deHavilland Dash 7 on a perfectly manicured and graded Mara North airstrip. People relish the five vehicle limits, they leave camp when they want to and return long after sunset. They are confident that their Conservancy fees are properly spent and audited. They should be.
Also among this sensitive collection is a mother suckling her cubs in the shadow of a gently driven Kicheche Toyota. Would she do this is she was hassled or corralled…. no, of course not. Perhaps days of atonement are over in the Conservancies for past trespasses elsewhere, it certainly appears so. They are not fined for driving ten cm off a poorly kept road, not do they have to watch five spotted predators ply their beat under the watchful gaze of legions of vehicles (92 was one report in September).
Lions numbers are growing in Naboisho, Mara North, Olare et al, some of the few places, if any in Africa. It is not by co-incidence.
Brave people have been at the vanguard of these parcels of faunal paradise, they are heroes, determined to succeed where others have failed. Some call them Conservancies, they are right, others describe them as nirvana, the grail or the wilderness elixir, they are also correct ….. we call them the future.
See how Masai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association is working to expand the Greater Mara ecosystem.