Protecting the Great Migration - Mahali Mzuri in Kenya
- By Richard Branson -
- Mar 30, 2012
Delighted to announce a new Kenyan safari camp that will help to protect the Great Migration. We wanted to share how the idea came to fruition.
I was contacted by Jake Grieves Cook, one of our Tourism Partners who also operates Gamewatchers Safaris and is a former Chair of the Kenya Tourism Federation. He told me the Great Migration, which sees one million wildebeest plus hundreds of thousands of zebra, gazelles and other game undertake a 1,600km journey through Tanzania and Kenya, was in danger of being destroyed because the migration passages were being taken over by cattle farming. People were putting fences up and these wonderful creatures were losing their habitat.
The loss of the Great Migration would also effect the Maasai Mara, which is one of the most wonderful game reserves in the world, because all these animals head to the Mara.
Jake came up with an idea that if myself and a number of friends could invest in pieces of the land the migration takes place on, give the Masai employment and pay the Maasai more than they could earn from their cattle farming, it would be a win-win for everybody. We decided to take up a chunk of the land, encourage others to do so and work with the Maasai to create beautiful private reserves that could protect the migration.
Our particular camp, Mahali Mzuri, will be open in 2013. It is stunningly beautiful. We will be employing a lot of the Maasai on it. The elders whose land it was are extremely happy and have moved their cattle elsewhere. Thanks to Jake’s hard work it is looking like the migration is well protected for future generations.
Personally I think the Great Migration is one of the 10 natural wonders of the world, it is absolutely breath-taking to see it happen.
Image by joxeankoret on Flickr
By Richard Branson. Founder of Virgin Group