Kitich sits on National Forestry land, and is surrounded by Namunyak, a 383,000-acre conservancy owned and managed by local communities. Namunyak is part of a network of 39 community conservancies across northern Kenya supported by the Northern Rangelands Trust.
Together, these conservancies are empowering local peopleto take charge of their wild spaces, to build sustainable economieslinked to conservation, lead peace effortsto mend years of conflict, and shape government regulations to support it all. As institutions, they not only give people a voice, but provide a platform for developing sustainable enterprise and livelihoods either directly or indirectly related to conservation.
NRT member community conservancies work to conserve wildlife and sustainably manage the grassland, forest, river and marine ecosystems upon which livelihoods depend. As a result, a region once infamous for conflict and poaching is now at the forefront of community-led development, inextricably linked to the protection of its incredible wildlife and landscapes.
Sustainable tourism is a critical part of the community conservancy model, providing jobs, conservancy revenue and conservation incentives.
We employ roughly 90% of our permanent staff from Namunyak, and 100% of our casual labourers from the local village, providing income and career prospects in an area of little economic opportunity. Where possible, we source any ingredients we cannot grow ourselves from local suppliers, and connect local groups with our guests to enable them to earn revenue from cultural visits.
60% of the tourism revenue Namunyak receives goes toward conservancy operating costs, which pays ranger’s salaries and puts fuel in conservancy vehicles. The other 40% goes toward social projects deemed a priority by the community - such as education scholarships and water projects.
As well as positively impacting local lives, Kitich aims to be as environmentally responsible as possible. Our efforts to go green – which include running the camp entirely off solar power, recycling waste and sourcing local produce – have been awarded ‘Gold Level’ by Ecotourism Kenya.