The Olkiramatian Maasai are hugely proud of their cultural heritage which includes the wildlife with which they share their land. Sitting round the campfire under the glittering Milky Way, their cattle lowing in the shadows, the community elders murmur in response to the haunting roar of one of their lions, proud that the sounds of their youth remain alive and well.
At the turn of the century the Olkiramatian lands were devoid of lion and other major carnivores; the sounds of the night but a memory. Realising that a part of their heritage could be lost forever the Maasai elders determined to divide their land to ensure that their community development would not be at the cost of their wildlife.
A community conservation project was born. For centuries the Maasai had lived a nomadic lifestyle moving with the rains to find fresh pasture for their cattle in tune with the movement of the wildlife. Knowing that such movement had worked for centuries the Olkiramatian Maasai re-initiated their traditional nomadic lifestyle migrating from one side of the Ewaso Nyiro River (which forms the boundary of the conservation area) to the other in tune with the bi-annual rains.
A buffer zone was set up along the core conservation area providing a break between the community and the core conservancy. The community movement keeps the grasslands along the Ewaso Nyiro River open and provides the game (and the now numerous predators) with sufficient room to migrate in tune with the community, reducing the usual human wildlife conflict associated with community conservation areas. The model has proved to be one of the few truly successful community conservation initiatives in Kenya leading to a lion density second only to the Maasai Mara. Renowned Kenyan cinematographer Anna Campbell has produced a short film on the success of the model - Shall We Dance and the National Geographic has featured the Olkirimatian Conservancy in its documentary, The Plains, as an example of conservation success.
Lentorre encourages guests to visit the community, the community owned Lale' Enok Research Centre and Rebuilding the Pride to learn more about how the local people and wildlife are thriving in their co-existence.