Kenya // The National Parks and Mombasa Highway //

Selenkay Conservancy

North of the park proper, but only easily accessed from it, with a driver-guide who knows the way, the Selenkay Conservancy is one of Kenya’s pioneering community conservation success stories. Here, Gamewatchers Safaris, one of the country’s most environmentally sound safari operators, co-manages Porini Amboseli Camp with the local Maasai community. With a maximum of eighteen visitors, there are no time-serving, long-distance staff here: you’re looked after by local warriors, generating direct income for their families.

Although the Selenkay (also spelled Selengei) area is bushy, with few stretches of open savanna, and wildlife is much less habituated to vehicles than in the park, the game-viewing can still be good, with predators frequently seen, as well as elephants, several species of antelope, and often the more infrequently observed mammals – there’s a porcupine den close to the camp, for example. And the beauty of being here is the chance to go on game walks with your Maasai hosts, as often as you like. Down in a sandy area near the seasonal Merueshi River, they do sundowners and bush dinners, while their tree platform, near a waterhole, is a regular bush breakfast and sundowner spot, a favourite especially with younger visitors. It’s about 4.5km from camp – a two-hour gentle walk, and they bring you back by vehicle if you prefer.

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