Kenya is home to some of Africa’s most diverse ecosystems and identifiable species. Lush savanna landscapes play host to the African wild dog, leopard, hyena, Grevy’s zebra, and kudu, among other wildlife, but, unfortunately, these species and their homes are under constant threat from deforestation, poaching, and unsustainable agricultural practices.
Satao Elerai, a small luxury lodge situated on a 5,000-acre communally owned conservancy in Southern Kenya, is the product of a unique partnership between African Wildlife Foundation, the Entonet/Elerai Maasai community, and Southern Cross Safaris, a leading private operator.
The local Maasai community owns the lodge, which it planned and established with strategic support from AWF. As part of the project, the community broke down fences and set aside the surrounding area for conservation. Southern Cross Safaris operates the lodge and the conservancy as a single high-quality, highly efficient enterprise.
The two facets of Satao Elerai are mutually reinforcing: Revenues from the lodge are reinvested in conservation and the community; the thriving conservancy, in turn, provides the basis for a high-quality tourism experience that attracts visitors year after year.
With each passing year, more wildlife is said to return to the Elerai area, and vegetation is thriving. As the conservancy’s place in the larger landscape matures, new conservation initiatives will be designed and introduced for the benefit of people—creating a community anchor to preserve an area of ever-changing natural wealth.
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