Redefining the Luxury Safari Lodge

5 of 10

Ten
years on, it’s clear that the experiment has succeeded. Shompole has provided
local Masai with some $3 million in earnings and land conservation fees—allowing
their settlements to thrive and hundreds of their children to attend schools
and colleges. The tribe’s renewed commitment to managing the land has paid off
ecologically as well. Ten years ago, only a handful of starving animals
occupied this part of the valley, including just four or five lions. Today,
thanks to the unprecedented efforts of Shompole’s Masai landowners to limit
livestock grazing and forgo their ancestral custom of game hunting, 68 lions
now live on and around the conservancy.

Masai
influence is everywhere at Shompole: in the traditionally beaded textiles and
upholstery, the iron spears planted upright in doorways to indicate “do not
disturb,” the voices of staffers murmuring to one another in their native
tongue, Maa.

Redefining the Luxury Safari Lodge

Ten
years on, it’s clear that the experiment has succeeded. Shompole has provided
local Masai with some $3 million in earnings and land conservation fees—allowing
their settlements to thrive and hundreds of their children to attend schools
and colleges. The tribe’s renewed commitment to managing the land has paid off
ecologically as well. Ten years ago, only a handful of starving animals
occupied this part of the valley, including just four or five lions. Today,
thanks to the unprecedented efforts of Shompole’s Masai landowners to limit
livestock grazing and forgo their ancestral custom of game hunting, 68 lions
now live on and around the conservancy.

Masai
influence is everywhere at Shompole: in the traditionally beaded textiles and
upholstery, the iron spears planted upright in doorways to indicate “do not
disturb,” the voices of staffers murmuring to one another in their native
tongue, Maa.

Sarah Gold
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