Conservation Area – West Gate Community Conservancy

Mar 15, 2009 | Categories: Westgate Conservancy | 10 Comments

I moved to Westgate Community Conservancy in May 2008, and set up the Ewaso Lions Camp here.  Westgate is a community owned and managed group ranch, where local communities, their livestock and wildlife all live together.  It is a stunning area and is adjacent to Samburu.


View of Westgate

The goal of Westgate is to “… develop a platform for the Samburu pastoralist community living within the Group Ranch to reduce poverty levels through integrated eco-friendly tourist activities and conservation” (source: Northern Rangelands Trust website).

Within the conservancy, there is a small Conservation Area.  Every morning and evening I  drive in the area, recording all wildlife that I see along set routes along the river.  The Conservation Area is only 2 years old but wildlife numbers have increased as a result of the dedicated West Gate scouts who put so much time and effort into working here.  It is a small area – but there is much to see.  Over the past few months I have been delighted to record lions, leopards (this is where we saw leopard cannibalism), hyenas, and even a caracal!


Scanning the Conservation Area 


More views of the Conservation Area

There are many challenges here though…the area surrounding the Conservation Area has a lot of livestock especially across the river in Isiolo District.  The Conservation Area is under intense pressure from the livestock and local communities who are seeking new pastures especially now with the drought.  The area is a small paradise for wildlife…the bush is thick, there is wild prey, there are plenty of places to hide and it is a place where animals now feel safe.

The West Gate community scouts and the Ewaso Lions team are working hard to ensure that animals continue to feel safe here and are well protected.

There is a special animal who calls this little Conservation Area her home.  Do read my next blog to find out who she is…


10 People have left comments on this post

» paula said: { Mar 15, 2009 - 08:03:07 }

Hi Shivani, are you guys getting many tourists out there? Will the global economic down turn affect you guys ….what other economic activities are practiced in West Gate?

» ewasolions said: { Mar 16, 2009 - 01:03:26 }

Hi Paula,
Not too many tourists – its gone up and down a lot. Lodges half empty most of the time.
In West Gate – there is one lodge (Sasaab) which supports the local community in the area. 75% of the staff here come from the communities around and the conservation fee that tourists pay goes directly to the local people. Apart from the lodge, there are a few local women’s groups who sell beadwork.
The Conservancy is still fairly new – only a couple of years old but they do have plans to do more in the future.

» sauwah said: { Mar 16, 2009 - 08:03:55 }

are the women’s beadwork much similar to the masai’s?

» ewasolions said: { Mar 17, 2009 - 01:03:29 }

Hi Sauwah,
Yes the women’s beadwork is quite similar to the Maasai’s. They make bracelets, necklaces, etc. However some of the colours used are different. Have a look at this website which is something I started a few years ago to try and promote the ladies beadwork from Samburu:

» Dibblex Lesalon said: { Oct 4, 2016 - 12:10:24 }

Hi Shivani,

Am currently a fourth year student at strathmore university pursuing a bachelors degree in Tourism management.

I would like to enquire for an internship opportunity in your organization starting march next year.

Warm regards,

Dibblex Lesalon.

» lagat said: { Jan 22, 2017 - 08:01:30 }

do students come over there for attachment?

» admin said: { Jan 22, 2017 - 10:01:07 }

Hi Lagat. Occasionally we take on Masters students. You can email

{ Mar 17, 2009 - 03:03:32 } Ewaso Lions » Magilani