UK +44 (0)1367 850566

USA 1-855-216-5040

Big Life Foundation


Big Life has established a successful holistic conservation model in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem

Big Life Foundation Elephant snare.jpg

Big Life was co-founded in September 2010 by photographer Nick Brandt, award-winning conservationist Richard Bonham, and entrepreneur Tom Hill.

Since its inception, Big Life has expanded to employ hundreds of local Maasai rangers—with more than 40 permanent outposts and tent-based field units, 13 vehicles, tracker dogs, and aerial surveillance—protecting 2 million acres of wilderness in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem of East Africa.

WHAT THEY DO:

Using innovative conservation strategies and collaborating closely with local communities, partner NGOs, national parks, and government agencies, Big Life seeks to protect and sustain East Africa’s wildlife and wild lands, including one of the greatest populations of elephants left in East Africa.

The first organisation in East Africa with coordinated anti-poaching teams operating on both sides of the Kenya-Tanzania border, Big Life recognises that sustainable conservation can only be achieved through a community-based collaborative approach. This approach is at the heart of Big Life’s philosophy that conservation supports the people and people support conservation. 

Big Life has established a successful holistic conservation model in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem that can be replicated across the African continent.

The Explorations Company, where no two journeys have ever been the same

Some of their key programme areas include:

WILDLIFE PROTECTION

Big Life strives to prevent the poaching of elephants and all wildlife within their area of operation, which consists of more than 30 permanent outposts and tent-based field units, tracker dogs, and aerial surveillance. In addition to preventing poaching before it happens, they track and apprehend wildlife criminals and collaborate with local prosecutors to ensure that they are punished to the fullest extent of the law.

One of the largest employers of local Maasai in the Amboseli-Tsavo-Kilimanjaro ecosystem, their rangers are expertly trained and well-equipped to tackle a variety of wildlife crimes. As a result, poaching of all animals in their area of operation, whether for trafficking or bush meat, has dramatically declined since our inception in 2010.

RHINO PROTECTION

Big Life works in partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Service to protect the endangered Eastern black rhino population in the Chyulu Hills area. Together, they conduct extensive foot patrols, aerial surveillance, and monitoring via camera traps. We also provide reliable, year-round access to protected watering points in this remote wilderness area to discourage rhinos from wandering beyond otheir area of operation in search of water during the dry seasons.

PREDATOR PROTECTION

For Maasai herders, their cattle are their livelihood. When livestock falls prey to local predators, like lions or hyenas, the herders are financially disadvantaged and justifiably frustrated. To prevent herders from retaliating with spears or poisoned carcasses, Big Life incentivises members of our partner communities to protect their livestock through improved fencing and husbandry practices.

In the event that an animal is lost to a predator through no fault of the herder, Big Life will compensate the herder for a percentage of the market value of the animal. This small consolation is significant to the Maasai, and as a result, retaliatory killings have been dramatically reduced in the area, with lion and other predator populations now on the rise.

HUMAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICT

As the human population increases, so do competing land-uses, such as farming and cattle grazing. Fighting for desperately limited resources like water and grass, humans encroach further and further onto what once were wild lands. With less space to share, people and animals now come into contact at an alarming rate, often with catastrophic and deadly results. Big Life works in partnership with the local Maasai to mitigate the impact of wildlife interactions, such as crop-raiding by hungry elephants, both for the people and the animals.

EDUCATION

Fighting wildlife crimes helps the ecosystem today, but winning the hearts and minds of the community and providing a mutual benefit through conservation is the only way to protect wildlife and wild lands far into the future. Big Life invests in the future of participating communities by funding teachers’ salaries, providing scholarship funds for local students, and conducting conservation workshops. When the entire community benefits from conservation efforts and recognises the value of protecting the ecosystem, enforcement becomes self-policing.

MAASAI OLYMPICS

In 2008, the cultural fathers of the new warrior generation asked Maasailand Preservation Trust—now Big Life Foundation—to help them eliminate lion hunting from the Maasai culture. In response, they partnered with the local Maasai to create the first-ever Maasai Olympics: the hunt for medals, not lions. This biennial event is a critically important—and effective—part of the initiative to create a cultural shift in attitudes of the Maasai toward a broader commitment to wildlife and habitat conservation.

Help us to support The Big Life Foundation by making a donation today.

How can I make a donation?

There are many more ways you can help towards our goal. We understand that your giving is important to you and we want you to do it in the way that suits you. If you would like to find out about more ways you can support the Big Life Foundation, please contact our Individual Giving Manager at [email protected] and find out how we can make the best of your generous contributions.

Find out more Forward facing arrow

Take the first step on your extraordinary journey into Africa

Showreel screen grab

The Explorations Company

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour and catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore – Dream – Discover - Mark Twain - You can view clips of some of our own favourite discoveries here.


exploration logo

100% Tailor Made

- Utterly designed and tailored around you and your requirements

- Totally unique every time you travel with us

- The very best hand picked guides which can make the difference between a  good and an outstanding holiday

exploration logo

Priceless Knowledge

- Established over 30 years ago we have been around longer than most

- Our specialists come from, have lived in or travelled extensively in the regions we cover

- Unparalleled knowledge provides you with the best possible experience

exploration logo

Making a difference

- Philanthropy is our philosophy

- Our founding principle is to always ‘put something back’

- An amount from each holiday is donated to our selected conservation and humanitarian charities


We're Here to Help!

We're friendly and available to chat. Reach out to us anytime and we'll happily answer your questions.

About You

About your journey

30 years badge

How many people in your party?

Adult
Children under 12

Explore with The Exploration Company

By Marcela Kunova - 20th April 2017

Nicola Shepherd, founder and CEO of The Exploration Company, organises unusual trips for HNW and UHNW clients ranging from birthday parties at an Indian Maharajah's palace to reliving Sir Vivian Fuchs's 1950s expedition to the South Pole. Citywealth caught ...

View Forward facing arrow

Our Guarantees To You

Premium service from one of the world's most knowledgeable travel companies

24/7 contact number

Your holiday is fully protected by the Package Travel, Package Holidays & Package Tours Regulations 1992

Flight-Inclusive Bonding: We are licensed by the Civil Aviation Authority and hold ATOL Number 7159

Flight-Exclusive bonding: Your holiday is further protected by our membership of ABTOT Membership Number 5197

logo