Kigio Wildlife Conservancy
Kigio Wildlife Conservancy is a community-owned, operated, and managed conversancy within the Great Rift Valley in Gilgil Kenya right between Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha. The Kigio wildlife conservancy is protected and occupies a total area of 3500 acres that is made of leleshwa shrubs, woodlands, euphorbia and riverine vegetation.
About 2 to 3 hours from Kenya’s capital Nairobi, the Kigio conservancy over looks Lake Naivasha, Aberdares and Mt Longonot, giving its guests spectacular views of these places.
The Kigio conservancy was first owned by colonialists and it was used a cattle ranch by white settlers during the colonial years; the ranch was mainly used to rear herds of cattle and other livestock activities.
The white settlers later as the colonial era came to an end sold the ranch to the Kigio community from which the conservancy gets its name. When the Kigio community bought the ranch, the community decided to turn the ranch into wildlife habitat because they figured the ranch was more conducive for wildlife than livestock.
The decision for the kigio community to make the ranch a wildlife habitat has surely paid off, because Kigio wildlife conservancy is one of the top wildlife destinations in Kenya, attracting lots of tourists through the year. This Kigio wildlife conservancy in that was is a source of revenue to the local community that owns and manages the conservancy.
The kigio conservancy is committed to wildlife conservation and eco-tourism and the conservancy’s efforts were recognized by Tusk Trust, Born Free Foundation, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and other conservation organizations that are working alongside the kigio community to see that the works of wildlife conservation and eco-tourism are successfully implemented in Kigio conservancy. These different organizations have provided funds for several developments at Kigio conservancy including the improvement and development of the Kigio wildlife conservancy infrastructure that has structures built from natural grass thatch and powered with solar energy from recycled waste.
The Kigio conservancy comprises of a rich mixture of vegetation that includes leleshwa shrubs, euphorbia woodlands, bushy grass and riverine woodlands; the unique vegetation of the conservancy also includes over 100 indigenous plant species that the conservancy protects.
The Kigio conservancy is also rich in birdlife, harboring over 200 bird species with the most prominent bird in the conservancy being the grey-crested helmet shrikes among other birds that include the brimstone Canary, Red-billed Teal, Montane Nightjar, Common Greenshank, and common Ringed Plover etc.
The animals in the Kigio conservancy include impalas, elephants, waterbucks, buffalos, zebras, gazelles, elands, hyenas, hippos, giraffes, leopards, and many more animals; altogether the conservancy has slightly over 30 animal species protected in the conservancy.
Malewa River borders the Kigio conservancy to the east and though the conservancy is fenced with an electric fence this part of the conservancy is not fenced but the rest of the conservancy is fenced so the animals are always protected from poachers.
Visitors to the Kigio conservancy are able to enjoy several activities that include:-
- Game drives: taking a drive through the park to experience the different mammals in the conservancy. The conservancy has both day and night game drives. These game drives however have to be organised prior to the visit.
- Birding: watching and enjoying the different birds that make their home in the conservancy
- Guided nature walks through the conservancy that will help you accept the diverse vegetation and nature of the conservancy
- Cycling through the conservancy trails for exciting and fun adventures
- Fishing on River Malewa for sport and for fun
Accommodation facilities are available inside the conservancy that are built with local/traditional materials and designs.