The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Fostering Map click
Click on a pin to learn more about the place a particular orphan was
found and the plight of elephants in that area.
Loisaba Ranch and the dispersal area , Laikipia:
Says the Manager of Nairobi's recently established Conservation Service Centre - "Wild animals need more room to roam that Parks can ever provide, and the only way they'll get it is if people get some economic reward from sharing their land with them and moving from a cattle-based economy to a wildlife-based economy, illustrating that the people can actually earn more money from tourism and other businesses while allowing the land to regenerate". This is a noble ideal within the grasp of pastoral tribes who are not partial to eating game meat, and who are not involved in the lucrative bush-meat business, but not for the majority of Kenya's population.
Located on the edge of the Laikipia Plateau and Kenya’s rugged Northern Frontier, just 70 km north of Mount Kenya, and in the heartland of the Laikipiak Masai community, Loisaba Ranch is a 225 km2 (22,500 hectare) private wildife conservancy in the heart of the Ewaso eco-system with the Ewaso Ng’iro river on its southern boundary and dramatic escarpments and wildlife plains to the north. The Western boundary borders with the warlike Pokot tribe, who are certainly not known to be elephant-friendly. There poaching, cattle rustling, and resolving tribal vendettas is common place. Loisaba is incredibly rich in both biodiversity and topography and the terrain varies enormously across the reserve.
In the northern part of the reserve there are the vast grassy plains of the plateau. In the south, the plateau breaks into valleys, escarpments and cliffs. From many of these elevated viewpoints your view extends for hundreds of miles, to faint blue outline of Mount Kenya, the Loldaiga Hills and the Mathews Range. Finally, in the valleys and lowlands a different ecosystem exists, lush groves of acacia, fig and palms, fed by the waters of the Ewaso Ng’iro and the N'gare Narok rivers. The same size as Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater and larger than many of Kenya's National Parks; the Loisaba wilderness is a haven for more than 250 species of birds and 50 species of wildlife including elephants, lions, leopards and rare species of gerenuk, the endangered grevy’s zebra and reticulated giraffes. The area also offers some excellent big cat and wild dog viewing opportunities. The manager of AWF’s recently established Conservation Service Centre makes the point that: “Wild animals need more room to roam than Parks can ever provide and the only way that they’ll get it is if people get some economic reward from sharing their land with them and moving from a cattle based economy to a wildlife based economy, thereby illustrating that the people can actually earn more money from tourism and other businesses while allowing the land to regenerate”. This is a noble ideal, within the grasp of pastoral tribes who are not partial to eating game meat and who are not involved in the lucrative bush-meat business, but not for the majority of Kenya's population.
One of the Conservation Service Centre's more progressive clients is the Wilderness Guardian Company; a dynamic group of young Kenyans who have started a community-centred initiative based at the Loisaba Ranch in northern Laikipia. Loisaba, once known as Colcheccio Ranch and owned by an Italian Count, has long been a successful cattle ranch with a luxury Lodge, but today, through the vision of the Wilderness Guardian Company, who have leased it from the Count, the ranch is at the centre of a promising new partnership involving its tribal neighbours and an emerging mix of land uses, including high quality cattle, wildlife, tourism and local industry, operating and cooperating on the same land. There is a working cattle farm on the ranch and the staff work in tandem with the local community to maintain the equilibrium crucial to the survival of this spectacular wilderness. Loisaba offers a rare insight into the cultures, traditions and a way of life that has stood the test of time. Together with several complementary spin-offs such as handicrafts and mat-making, the project will give the community a new incentive to conserve the big game on land where such animals have never been considered anything other than a costly danger, a concept that has been difficult to change, and which yielded a number of our orphans.