Kimana Sanctuary is special for a number of reasons. Not only was it the first community-owned conservancy in Kenya when it was established back in 1996, it’s also located in a crucial wildlife corridor that links Amboseli National Park with the with the Chyulu Hills and Tsavo protected areas, providing animals with a route though the narrowest part of the space between two settled areas. When elephants pass between the areas, they are able to use this corridor; sometimes they will just pass through the Sanctuary and other times they will stay for months.

Accommodation for guests is available either by camping in a tranquil spot by the river or staying at the dreamy Kimana House, a four-bedroom self-catering property that comes with an on-site manager to do the washing up. Two notable organizations are involved: Big Life Foundation manages the Sanctuary in partnership with the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

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Maasai Graduation Party

We sponsor the education of a Maasai girl with BEADS for Education. She was graduating from secondary school in Kimana, a rare event for a Maasai girl. We wanted our young lady and her community to know that she had accomplished something special. So we planned a “party” with the help of Deeper Africa. We made arrangements for goats, gifts, transportation and lodging. When we first met her mother, she said to us: “I give her to you because you can do so much more for her.” We now share the guidance of Sanaipei’s education. Dressed in our Maasai wear, we left our lodge for Sanaipei’s boma and were met by many family and friends. In her father’s hut, exchanging gifts, laughing at Maa tongue twisters, we were mesmerized by the family’s warmth and sharing. We went with the warriors to eat the roasted goat which had been prepared for us. The liver was a special treat. Sanaipei’s brother then called us to come to the kraal where a baby calf was being born, a good omen. After the meal, the community gathered. Chief Patrick spoke of the importance of educating women. We and others added our own voices to reinforce him. We took photos of the family, friends and Sanaipei in a cap and gown. Sadly it came to an end. We saw Sanaipei crying and trying to hide her tears as we left. Happily we still sponsor Sanaipei and speak with and email her often. She graduates this year as a Clinical Officer in Medicine. Next year we will attend her graduation ceremony. It was a great party!

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