From 2006, Maasai elders invited conservation representatives to collaborate with them to form conservancies, seeking to increase the benefits of tourism and wildlife to local people.
The conservancies are all owned by Maasai families who receive a fixed monthly rent per acre for their land, and in return they have moved their homesteads to large community areas on the periphery of the core area, which is set aside for wildlife and tourism. The landowners then graze their livestock on a managed rotational basis in accordance with available pasture, the location of key species and breeding refuge areas.
This model of community conservation has been extremely successful and due to the popularity of the first conservancies, many others have since been established, as more landowners want to sign up to the concept.
There are currently fifteen unfenced wildlife conservancies in the Mara ecosystem covering 347,011 acres. The total land now protected in this way has doubled the wildlife habitat of the Mara ecosystem, bringing substantial income to thousands of Maasai people. The Maa Trust works closely with the Maasai Mara Wildlife Conservancies Association (please put this link on name: https://www.maraconservancies.org/) to ensure that its community development work complements conservancy efforts across the Maasai Mara.
The Maa Trust receives $5 per guest per night from the camps within Olare Motorogi Conservancy as well as annual support from Asilia Africa in Naboisho Conservancy. Tourism operators support The Maa Trust to ensure that the benefits of conservancies extend beyond just male landowners, to also reach to women, youth and children.
Activities undertaken by The Maa Trust are focused around Olare Motorogi and Naboisho Conservancies and across Pardamat Conservation area.