The Mara North Conservancy is located North of the Masai Mara National Reserve, this is a key area for the Great Migration, in fact, the herds, who do not stop in the Mara Triangle or the National Reserve and push further North, pass from these lands; it is therefore vital for the wildebeests and zebras, and for the entire ecosystem, that this area is preserved without man-made barriers, how villages can be; it also must be preserved from a natural point of view, thus the maintenance of the flora to its original state is critical.
This conservancy is affected also by the Loito Hills Migration, that moves between the area of some Northern reserves and Loito Hills and the Masai Mara National Reserve.
This grassy and shrubby savannah is also very important because here live many other animals such as lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, buffalos; in fact, this is one of the few areas where, with a little luck, you may spot the Big 5 and other rare species threatened with extinction.
There are also cheetahs, buffalos, hyenas, elephants, wild dogs, giraffes, crocodiles, several species of antelopes, impalas, hippos and about 450 species of birds.
The land of this grassy and shrubby savannah is broken by some narrow channels that are formed by the sliding of seasonal streams that make their way into the chocolate brown ground.
The Mara North Conservancy is a non-profit organization founded in 2009 and covers an area of 320 sq km, it is the reserve belonging to the Great Masai Mara Ecosystem with the widest extension and has been established and operates thanks to the collaboration between 12 accommodations and more than 800 Maasai landowners.
Prior to its establishment, in the '80s and' 90s, the growing fragmentation of land ownership had led to the construction of fences, that are barriers for wildlife, and to the impoverishment of the land itself.
Without collaboration between the Maasai owners and the members of the Conservancy, the situation would have degenerated without any possibility of solution.
The board of directors is elected by the owners of the tented camps and lodges found in the reserves and operates in partnership with the Committee of  the Maasai landowners; the activities that are carried out are many: the original natural environment restoration in areas that have suffered exploitation, the protection of animals from poaching and from the practice of the traps used to hunt them, the management of grazing areas for the Masai livestock, the resolution of conflicts between the presence and actions of man and wild animals.
Moreover, the managers of the tented camps and lodges have adopted a stringent environmental policy to make their structures environmentally friendly and minimize the impact to the environment: solar panels, water saving systems, composting of organic waste used as fertilizer or as bio-gas, use of ecologic products, are some of the measures that have been adopted.
In general, the main rule of this conservancy is to assess the impact of each activity on every aspect and implement actions that, in the long run, bring value to the area.
In this regard, one of the missions the members of the Mara North Conservancy are engaged in, is to increase the development and prosperity of the Maasai landowners and local communities also because they are key to the success of the Conservancy itself.
Projects with this objective are many and are active in different fields including education, health and women's entrepreneurship.
Here, as in the other reserves, there are few visitors and so there is not the crowding of the Masai Mara National Reserve, because only the guests of the reserve can make game drives within this area, they can also make walking safaris and night drives, organizing lunches and dinners in the bushes and visit the Masai villages to discover their culture.
The revenues of the reserve are invested in nature conservation, protection of animals and the environment, but also to improve the living conditions of the Maasai.
In the Mara North Conservancy are the Musiara Marshes, the Rhino Crest, the Heaven Plain and the Leopard Gorge, known for being places often immortalized in the BBC Big Cat Diary documentaries.

Conservancies of the North Zone of the Masai Mara

  • Mara Naboisho Conservancy
  • Mara North Conservancy
  • Olare Motorogi Conservancy
  • Ol Kinyei Conservancy
  • Ol Choro Oiroua Conservancy
  • Lemek Conservancy

Masai Mara National Reserve Map Conservancies Kenya

Maasai Mara National Reserve and neighbouring Conservancies - Illustration Credits: Marco Dal Molin -