Ol ari Nyiro (The Place of Springs),Laikipia Nature Conservancy is a over 100.000 acres private wildlife sanctuary and nature Conservancy situated on the extreme Western edge of the Laikipia Plateau along Kenya scenic Great Rift valley.It is the largest Conservancy in Kenya and the only one without any livestock. Spreading through hills and savannah, comprising the only remaining indigenous relic forest in the area, and cut in half by the stunning Mukutan Gorge (The Meeting) plunging from over 7000" to 3000", Ol ari Nyiro supports an extraordinary variety of recorded flora - some of it endemic and priorly unrecorded, over 470 species of birds, a large wildlife population, particularly of elephants, lions, black rhino, leopard (including black, melanistic leopard), antelopes, baboons, and the largest known population of Cape Buffalo in private land in Africa with over 4000 recorded heads.
Water falls , natural springs including thermal hot springs and the Mukutan river are part of Ol ari Nyiro ecosystem, in addition to 62 man-made lakes, most with fish, a network of over 1000 km of roads and three private airstrips.
Its rich and thriving biodiversity is in contrast with the eroded and overgrazed surrounding areas where no conservation principles were applied over the years.
Archaeological sites from Paleolitic to Neolitic have been discovered on Ol Ari Nyiro and are being studied at this time.
Formerly an operating cattle ranch, Ol ari Nyiro was transformed by Kuki Gallmann into a nature conservancy managed holistically after the death of her husband and son, and the land donated to the Gallmann Memorial Foundation, which is implemented there.
The Gallmann Memorial Foundation/The Gallmann Africa Conservancy (USA)
The Gallmann Memorial Foundation (GMF) is a non profit registered in Switzerland and in the United States as Gallmann Africa Conservancy (GAC) with 501(c) 3 status. It honours the memory of Paolo Gallmann and Emanuele Pirri-Gallmann who both died tragically in Kenya.
The GMF will in perpetuity endorse its mission statement which promotes coexistence of people and nature in Africa through harmonizing the protection and the creative sustainable and ecological utilization of the natural resources.
The GMF has made of Ol ari Nyiro an example of this conservation principle and a monument to nature.
This is achieved through a variety of projects, ranging from Antipoaching and Wildlife and Habitat protection and research, from entomology and ornithology to botany and ethno-botany, re-forestation and tree nurseries, innovative utilization of indigenous plants, (from ecocharcoal to essential oil production through Africa Botanica), cultural studies; through Sveva Gallmann's 4 Generations Project, Interfaith gatherings, Peace workshops, and various educational schemes, from the Wilderness Education Center to the African Humanities and Biodiversity Centre.
GMF/GAC is most active in service to the local communities and provides health care support, and donations of buildings, books and materials to local schools, and a sponsorship programme.Its has completed a modern 10 beds Maternity Clinic and Health Centre which was donated to the Ol Moran community and where volunteer doctors from overseas work together with local nurses.
GMF also promotes the protection of the environment through the arts through its Great Rift Valley Trust, which aims to highlight environmental themes through bringing great artists to Humankind's common Cradle to create original art together with African artists-.We have two open air Theatres: Woodhenge, and the Aqua Theatre and an artist Court to accommodate 30. We believe that Nature's potential for healing and inspiring and for spiritual nourishment, is one of its more powerful assets and one of the strongest incentives to protect it.
The Conservancy is also home to The Laikipia Highlands (Sports for Peace) that engage local tribal communities in modern athletics and traditional games of skill, with support from the Olympic Committee of Kenya.