The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has identified important habitats to help protect and preserve, and has recently embarked on a partnership with the Kenya Forest Service having secured a concession of the Kibwezi Ground Water Forest. The purpose of this Project is to conserve a representative example of Kenyan dry forest and all that lives within it so that it can continue to provide benefits, through resource utilization and tourism, to the surrounding communities and the Kenyan Forest Service in both the short and long term.
This initiative includes conservation and protection programs, dealing with resource management, monitoring and research and protection activities and preventing the illegal use of forest resources, ensuring measured control together with forest rehabilitation. Community programs are an important component for forest management and we aim to improve the quality of life in the surrounding communities through, electric fencing to alleviate human wildlife conflict, sustainable use of the forest resources, education and the encouragement of activities that reduce the demand for access to the forest.
This precious patch gazetted in 1936 is 58.6Km2 in extent and contains the beautiful Umani Springs, similar to Tsavo West's Mzima Springs. Set conveniently close to the main Nairobi - Mombasa road this Forest reserve is part of a network of protected areas in this region of Kenya, know as the Tsavo Conservation Area, and abuts the Chyulu Hills National Park. This represents the largest contiguous protected area in Kenya and is also one of its most important conservation areas. The Umani Springs are an increasingly important water source for the human population in the surrounding areas as well as the wildlife, as it is also the only surface water in the dry seasons in this region. The forest and springs is home to varied large mammals, birds, reptiles, butterflies, invertebrates, and fish.
The Trust has recently completed a very attractive self help lodge where people can stay and experience this unique ecosystem. The funds generated through tourism helps offset the costs associated with the Kibwezi Forest conservation and protection programs.