Covid-19 has hit Laikipia and the Maasai Mara hard and tourism has dwindled, but a loan programme will help conservancies, communities and wildlife.
In a new arrangement, Conservation International, in partnership with the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association, will issue loans to the Mara conservancies.
Mara conservancies have been facing massive financial losses caused by the drop in tourism due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Working with the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association, Conservation International has established the Maasai Mara Rescue Fund
The fund will provide a significant boost to donations by other supporters. The loan programme will help cover lease payments owed by conservancies to landowners. The Greater Mara ecosystem is home to 25 per cent of Kenya’s wildlife and the scene of the greatest annual migrations on earth, as wildebeest and zebra cross the Mara River.
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Laikipia conservancies have yet to receive anything similar, and each conservancy has been left to find new funds to cover the revenue lost through the 90% drop in tourism. Each conservancy is experimenting with appeals and fundraising in an effort to make up the shortfall in annual revenue. The LTA is working with the tourism sector in Laikipia to promote additional domestic wildlife tourism, and to secure Covid compliant certification so that visitors can feel safe and confident during their visits.