Namunyak means “blessed“ in Samburu, and an aerial view of this rangeland makes it easy to see why the name came to mind. It surrounds the Mathews mountain range, a rich expanse of lush indigenous forest which hosts abundant populations of wildlife and rare plant species. Namunyak began as two group ranches, and over 15 years, driven by the need to protect the Mathews range, has expanded to include the four neighbouring group ranches surrounding the Mathews forest. Sarara, Sapache, Ngilai West, Ngilai Central, Ngare Narok and Ndonyo Wuasin group ranches now make up the 394,000 hectare Namunyak Conservancy. It was one of the first community conservancies in northern Kenya to be established, along with Il Ngwesi.
Due to its size, Namunyak is divided up into three management units; Naluwuon, Ngilai, and Kalepo. Each unit has its own HQ, management staff, board, rangers and grazing committees, and run independently under the Namunyak Conservancy umbrella. There is an umbrella manager and an umbrella board with representation from the unit boards. In 2015, support from the French Development Agency (AFD) and USAID enabled Namunyak to open the Ngilai HQ, and launch a Community Forest Association.
Visit Namunyak Conservancy and stay at the following lodges:
Melako Bandas is a self-catering banda set in the shade of Doum Palms and acacia trees on a stunning sand river. It is a fantastic little private paradise; a perfect little gate away for family and friends with an open area living room, a fully furnished kitchen and two en-suite bedrooms with three beds in each.