Koiyaki Guiding School
MAASAI MARA, KENYA
There's a reason some of our favorite guides have been Maasai. Their knowledge of the bush and connection to the land is palpable, and the Koiyaki Guiding School helps make this relationship possible.
With an increasing human population invading prime wildlife habitat and eroding the natural beauty of northern Kenya, the Koiyaki Guiding School educates Maasai communities about how to take a “holistic approach to conservation” and to create a mutualistic relationship between man and animals filled with respect, love, and appreciation. By educating local Maasai to be safari guides, Koiyaki Guiding School is promoting community growth and providing reliable income to Maasai communities. Change happens in the classroom, and through educating local communities in Kenya, Koiyaki Guiding School is building a future where all wildlife and communities can flourish. Visit the school on our Kenya Conservation Safari.
Background on Koiyaki
The Koiyaki Guiding School is situated on the Koiyaki Group Ranch neighboring the Maasai Mara National Reserve in southern Kenya. The school was established in 2005 with the help of Tusk to educate the local Maasai in the tourism industry and other nature based enterprises, thereby providing employment opportunities and promoting and encouraging the long-term conservation of the unique Maasai Mara ecosystem.
Creating Local Guides
The school was built with initial funding from the European Union Biodiversity Conservation Program and Tusk. The school’s annual intake of 24 students must complete a year’s course which includes every aspect of guiding from ecology, to camp management and first aid. Every year approximately 85% of students receive bursaries from key hotels and camp operators in the Mara who have recognized the huge need for employing local Maasai (traditionally 80% of guides come from elsewhere in Kenya) and the positive contribution it can make to safeguard the future of the Mara and its tourism industry.
Koiyaki Wilderness Camp
Last year, the project embarked on the construction and opening of the Koiyaki Wilderness Camp, which is located within walking distance of the Guiding School. The affiliated education orientated eco-camp has two important roles; firstly to give the trainee guides hands on experience with camp management and provide crucial work experience. Secondly, the Wilderness Camp will ultimately finance and provide long-term financial security for the Guiding School. The local community is also a direct beneficiary of the revenue generated by the camp – further demonstrating the benefits of eco-tourism and conservation towards their future prosperity.
GO FOR A CAUSE
We've been supporting the efforts of Koiyaki Guiding School for decades. Join us in the protection of wildlife, wilderness areas, and communities by traveling on one of the safaris below.
"Outside GO is founded on its deep love of the wilderness and a passion for sharing it with others. We believe in empowering local people and supporting and partnering with extraordinary community-owned lodges and wildlife conservation projects."
–Sandy Cunningham, Outside GO President
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Koiyaki Guiding School
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