Morani Preserve, formerly known as the Male (MAH-lay) Conservancy is the kind of life changing ecotourism and research destination everyone in the world should get to visit at least once in their life!
Located in northern Kenya in Samburu County and an area known as Laikipia, Morani Preserve is teeming with wildlife. Lions, giraffes, elephants, jackals, baboons, oh my. If this sounds a bit like the cast of the 1990’s classic, the Lion King, there is good reason for that.
The Kenyan bush is THE place to go to see these native African animals in all their glory. Forget Zoos, this is the real thing. A place where you can explore Pride Rock, learn the mysteries of the sacred Acacia and get to know the local Masai and Samburu people who call this part of the world home.
Ecotourism equals Sustainability
Morani Preserve is an ecotourism and research destination because it offers access to pristine wilderness. Scrub forested savannas stretch into rolling hills and plateaus that extend in every direction for as far as the eye can see.
During the dry season, the land is a deep orange, when I visited, it was lush and green, dotted with wild flowers. On the ride towards Morani, I got to see zebras, giraffes and a myriad of native bird species which completely mesmerized me.
The sun bird, just one of many flying species which captured my heart. The call of jackals and low roar of male lion’s celebrating their latest hunt serenaded me after arriving on the grounds.
This is a place where paradise is riding in a safari vehicle and transcendence is getting to see all the wild things you ever dreamt of. No hunting is allowed and the land is under strict conservation.
Only a select number of visitors are allowed to visit Morani but for those able to make the trip, it is an experience that will completely change your life.
Nyumbani means Family
Jacob Lekorere is the owner of Morani. His father bought this land and he is doing everything in his power to preserve it and ensure that it is conserved for future generations.
When I was visiting this magical place last April, my heart soared when I listened to Jacob’s 8 year old son Davis tell us: “He wanted to become president so that he could single handedly secure world peace AND protect all the nature of the world.”
Jacob and Davis belong to the Samburu Tribe. One of over 45 unique tribes found in Kenya, the Samburu are related to the Masai but have their own unique cultural traditions. One thing the Samburu do share with the Masai is their language, known as Maa.
In Maa, “Nyumbani” means family and after spending just a few days with Jacob and his kin, I felt like I had finally found a part of my family, all the way, on the other side of the world, in Kenya.
A River Runs Through It
The River Ewas Nyirios which divides the 12,000 acres of the Morani Preserve is a vital source of life for the plants, animals and people who live in this part of the world. During the rainy seasons, its ferocity makes it impossible for even the mightiest of elephants to cross it.
Though, due to the effects of climate change, the dry seasons continue to increase in ferocity. Water is life and in Kenya, this is a fact that all creatures great and small must except.
When I was visiting Morani Preserve, the River Ewas Nyirios was a deep ruddy color and moved at a very quick speed. After one of the most epic rainstorms I have ever witnessed in my life, it has swollen and moved with a speed that most anyone would recognize as truly ferocious.
After that storm, I got to accomplish a major life goal which was seeing a herd of African Elephants in their natural habitat. That sight was something I will never forget and if I could, I would want to share the emotions that I felt with everyone in the whole world because it was that special.
Environmental Conservation at its Finest
Jacob and his family are dedicated to developing Morani Preserve as an ecotourism destination because it provides a sustainable means for conserving the land.
This part of Kenya is lacking in development which means it is a life changing place to visit, but also a difficult place to earn a sustainable livelihood in any other way than the traditional pastoral raising of cows and goats which the Masai and Samburu have done for untold generations.
In creating a lodge which allows visitors to enjoy this unspoiled wilderness, Jacob has created a means to stimulate economic development which works to support his mission of ensuring that these land remains under conservation.
Jacob has learned from the experience of his family that the traditional pastoral lifestyle of raising animals, depletes the land of its natural vibrancy. He created Morani Preserve to create a new and more ecological way to support his family and solidify his legacy as a leader of the local community.
Visit Kenya’s Best Ecotourism and Research Destination
Everyone in the world should get the chance to visit the Morani Preserve to check out pristine African wilderness. It is a once in a lifetime trip that changed me and I hope you can enjoy that too.
My absolute favorite part of being at Morani Preserve was being able to have a complete sensory overload of sights, smells, sounds and tastes. The hospitality Jacob and his family provided was outstanding and their expert knowledge of the animals thriving in this area made for absolutely epic drives and hikes through the bush.
While I didn’t get to see a Black Rhino, the animals I did get to see were absolutely awe inspiring. And the good news is, Jacob is currently working in conjunction with my company, Exponential, Inc. (XPO2) to solidify its environmental conservation efforts.
Once sanctioned by the Kenyan government as an official wildlife conservation, a next step would be to apply to become a breeding ground for endangered species such as the Rhino. Currently more than 400 endangered species call Morani home which is why protecting this land and ensuring that the encroachment of development and hunters is so essential.
Morani Preserve can be protected for future generations. It is not too late to save these animals and ensure that they are still here for our children’s children and so on. There is a plan and it is in motion.
Support the Morani Preserve
Today, the efforts to protect the Morani Preserve are going well but to ensure that these lands and animals survive for future generations, it is essential that funds are allocated to be able to drive the conservation efforts on the ground.
Tourism is tremendously helpful and allows the conservation efforts to be sustainable. However to truly bridge the gap and develop Morani into the ecotourism and research destination it should be, we need your help.
Today, you can support the environmental conservation efforts at Morani.