Emergency food drives

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, global tourism has been severely impacted – therefore we are facilitating emergency food drives to those most vulnerable within our neighbouring communities.

Whilst we are all suffering the unprecedented losses of revenue, unfortunately things have been extremely difficult for many of our community neighbours. Most of these people relied directly on revenue channels from tourism. For example, our Masai neighbours were making small incomes from selling their beaded wares or charging entrance fees to tourists who wished to visit their traditional homesteads (Manyattas). Others earned monthly rentals from safari camps which operate in the conservancies. The camps of the Mara struggled to pay these rents since they didn’t have any guests in camp to cover the nightly conservancy fees. Thousands of others were of course employed in the safari camps themselves or provided services such as transport or sold basic supplies to many of the families who relied on these tourism revenues. The Masai are traditionally pastoralists who sell their cattle at weekly markets. With government enforced restrictions, they were not allowed to sell their cows thus crippling their only other potential source of income. Nobody was left unaffected. Early on we recognised that this situation was a recipe for disaster. Without an income to feed their families, many people are forced to turn to illegal activities such as setting wire snares to capture wild animals (the bushmeat as it is known can be sold at a fraction of the price of conventional sources of meat) or felling indigenous hardwood trees for timber or charcoal production. The threat of poaching for ivory and rhino horn also increased. All of these activities are extremely detrimental to the workings of a healthy ecosystem. Our aim was to raise funds in order to facilitate large-scale community food drives, thereby providing basic food and hygiene supplies to some of the most vulnerable families in the neighbouring communities. So far, we have provided these supplies to between 80 – 200 in the Masai Mara each month since June, between 40 – 50 families near to Loldia House since July and between 60 – 80 families in Laikipia since August this year.

In Rwanda we have been facilitating food drives since April, with a total of 24 weekly donations; we support a number of unmarried mothers from the Turengerubuzima Women’s Sewing Group and their dependents in the immediate area of Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge. In addition to this, we have rebuilt Mama Speciose’s house which has spawned additional community-driven groups to achieve five further similar home rebuilds within the area.

We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the Mara Rianda Charitable Trust, the Chairman’s Foundation via the Wilderness Trust, Margot Ragget, all our valued guests, travel partners, our brilliant team of staff and our many benefactors for all your kind support.

Please take a look at our Community Report for 2020 which highlights some very positive figures which we should all be proud of.

If you would like to help us continue with the food drives, please do make a donation (however big or small), through our secure online payment link . Thank you so much!