IL Ngwesi Conservancy
"il ngwesi" - The People of Wildlife
‘Il Ngwesi’ means “people of wildlife” in Laikipiak Masai and the name couldn’t be more appropriate. It was one of the first community-led conservation initiatives in northern Kenya, set up with a vision to sustainably manage the environment in order to both graze livestock and conserve wildlife, which it was hoped would in turn, encourage tourists. Along with Namunyak Community Wildlife Trust, Il Ngwesi made the beginnings of the NRT family back in 1995, when the Il Ngwesi Lodge was also built. Both the lodge and Il Ngwesi’s neighbouring conservancy, Lewa, have played a huge part in helping to develop community initiatives, and continue to do so today.
The Conservancy has also developed sustainable land use plans, which includes grazing management plans drawn up by a dedicated grazing committee. Bunched herding of cattle and designated grazing blocks are proving to help rehabilitate the rangeland, benefiting both the livestock and the wildlife that graze the same plains, and ensuring the sustainability of the natural resources.
This Destination in pictures
Where to find IL Ngwesi Conservancy
Game Viewing Activities at IL Ngwesi Conservancy
Though some species such as Lion and Leopard are shy and hard to see, commonly seen animals include Elephant, Impala, Waterbuck, Greater and Lesser Kudu, Dik Dik, Gerenuk, Eland, Common and Grevy Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe often in large numbers, Rock Hyrax, Vervet Monkey, Baboon and Warthog. Cheetah, Jackal, Spotted and Striped Hyena are all occasionally seen at the water hole and around the ranch, and Leopard and Hyena are heard calling almost nightly. Il Ngwesi is known as a destination for seeing African Wild Dog, and although the resident pack roams a vast area and is at times absent from the immediate area, when the dogs are around, they make their presence felt. In 2015 the rare Aardwolf was also seen in the ranch.
Today, the conservancy serves as a vital part of the migratory path that extends south to Mount Kenya, as well as home to black rhinos, African wild dogs, Grevy’s zebras, gerenuk, reticulated giraffes and other rare species. More than 400 bird species have been identified in the conservancy, and it is listed as an Important Bird Area.
At Il N’gwesi, the Maasai welcome guests into their way of life and proudly share their pristine homeland. You learn about these intriguing people through village visits, guided nature walks and day trips, all narrated by Maasai guides who tell traditional stories and describe how they survive in the wilds of Kenya.