A Guide To Kigio Wildlife Conservancy
Originally a cattle ranch, Kigio Wildlife Conservancy conservancy is now managed by the local community who decided to fore-go cattle ranching in favour of wildlife conservation. Attractions include endangered Rothschild giraffe, a herd of buffalo, zebra, waterbuck, impala, Grants and Thomsons gazelle, eland, hyena, leopard, hippo and over 200 bird species.
Kigio Wildlife Conservancy Location
The conservancy, which covers 3,500 acres (1,400 ha), is located between Lake Nakuru and Lake Naivasha. Kigio conservancy derives its name- Kigio from the area where the community that owns it came from. It was originally a cattle ranch owned by white settlers. After buying the ranch, the local community decided that there could be more revenue from eco-tourism. Fees now provide income to the community and help cover the cost of maintenance. Several organizations have provided funding for infrastructure and conservation including Tusk Trust, Born Free Foundation and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. and Projects Abroad (www.projects-abroad.org)
Flora and fauna
The Kigio Wildlife Conservancy contains diverse habitat including short grass, Leleshwa shrub, euphorbia woodlands and riverine woodlands.Almost 100 indigenous plant species are protected in the conservancy.
There are over three hundred bird species including what is said to be the world’s largest population of grey-crested helmetshrikes. There are about 3,500 head of large mammals, up from about 100 head in 1996.
Grazing animals include African buffalo, common eland, impala,waterbuck, Grant’s gazelle, Thomson’s gazelle and Grant’s zebra. Other species include spotted hyena, African leopard, hippopotamus, caracal,aardvark, aardwolf, honey badger and spring hare.
The endangered Rothschild’s giraffe is also found here. The last giraffe in the region was killed by poachers in 1996. The management of the reserve applied to the Kenya Wildlife Service to have Rothschild’s giraffe moved to the conservancy. This was granted on condition that the conservancy was fenced, which was done with funding from the European Union and the Born Free Foundation.The conservancy, bounded by the Malewa River to the east, is now enclosed by an electric fence on the three other sides. The BBC programme, Born to be Wild included an episode that covered the process of relocating the giraffes.From eight Rothschild’s giraffe moved from Lake Nakuru National Park in 2002 there were almost thirty by 2012.
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Kigio Wildlife Conservancy Activities
- Kigio Wildlife Conservancy Game Drives
Both day and night game drives are possible at Kigio Wildlife Conservancy. Daytime game-viewing focuses on the endangered Rothschild giraffe, plains game, eland, buffalo, warthog, hyena and the elusive leopard. Birdlife is exceptional too.
Night game drives may reveal the aardvark, aardwolf, spring hare, leopard, serval, genet, hyena and other nocturnal wildlife.
- Kigio Wildlife Conservancy Nature Walks
Kigio Wildlife Conservancy offers delightful nature walks along the river or on the short grass plains. Guests have encountered a leopard on few occasions.
Kigio Camp naturalists are highly knowledgeable about birds, trees and all the Kigio wildlife which make the nature walks entertaining. Walks are complimentary and depart at scheduled times. Numbers are limited per walk.
- Kigio Wildlife Conservancy Biking
There are 7 bikes available for use by the guests. Bike rides depart at scheduled times, accompanied by the naturalist. Guests are always delighted with the experience.
- Kigio Wildlife Conservancy Fishing
Malewa River has good fishing and rods are available. We do however recommend that you bring your own rods.
- Kigio Wildlife Conservancy Bush Breakfast & Bush Lunches
Guests are treated to a bush breakfast or lunch by the river when weather permits.
- Kigio Wildlife Conservancy Safari Excursions
Guests can book excursions to Lake Naivasha and Nakuru through African Spice Safaris. All activities are subject to availability and weather.
Kigio Wildlife Camp
The camp is only 1 kilometer from Malewa Wildlife Lodge. Malewa Kigio Camp is located 15 kilometer to the northeast of Lake Naivasha in the Rift Valley southwest of Kenya. It is a superb all suite camp surrounded by a beautiful Yellow-fever tree woodland overlooking the Malewa River.
The Camp accommodation is in eleven spacious suites (each 72 sq meters) and one 2-bedroom family suite, each built on deck and containing a large bedroom and sitting area, a private bathroom with flush toilet, shower and balcony.
At night hippo and buffalo visit the camp to feed on ground salts and vegetation, in the morning zebra and giraffe wander through as more than 250 types of birds sing away. Kigio Wildlife Camp not only offers some of the highest standards of accommodation in the Rift valley lakes area but also a rewarding experience. Guests can partake in complimentary nature walks with naturalists, fishing and biking.
Optional 4×4 day and night game drives are equally rewarding with a chance to see aardvark, aardwolf and caracal. A minimum of 2 nights stay is recommended at the camp – Kigio is great fun.
How to get to Kigio Wildlife Conservancy
By road: Kigio Wildlife Conservancy in the Great Rift Valley. The Conservancy is approximately 120 Kilometers from Nairobi between Naivasha and Gilgil about 2 hours drive from Nairobi.
A Map to Kigio Wildlife Conservancy
Kigio Wildlife Conservancy Contacts
Attraction Type: Wildlife
Category: Wildlife Conservancy, Birding Site
Region: South Rift
City / Town: Nakuru
Road / Street: Gilglil
Telephone:+254 786 579594;+254 20 209 1026
Entrance Fee: Yes