A dream come true and a long journey to World Heritage

I must admit this past week I’ve been holding my breath while waiting to hear if the Kenya Lakes System  (Elmentieta, Nakuru and Bogoria) World Heritage Site would be inscribed. Then late last night while I was sitting in the dark because there was a power cut, I suppose due to the heavy storm,  I turned on my computer, hoping there was a little battery power to check my mail. There in my inbox was a brief note ” You are now part of a World Heritage Site, Congratulations!” At first I was a bit stunned having prepared myself for disappointment.

I couldn’t wait for dawn to rush down to the lake and experience a World Heritage Site. It was like  seeing everything for the very first time…my first World Heritage flamingo, my first world heritage giraffe, eland, tommie, impala, leopard tracks. I wanted to tell those little pelican babies that they would have a safe home. Magical!

It was a hard choice to just soak it in or snap a few photos as I had to rush back to Elmenteita town for a MOGTEKA meeting.

I guess you will need to Blog William Kimosop at Bogoria to hear how long a journey this has been for him, many many years…but for me, I was asked to a meeting back in 2006 when it was decided to try for WH status once again. The last attempt failed due to the unprotected status of Lake Elmenteita. Now began the long process of gazetting Lake Elmenteita Wildlife Sanctuary.

While this was in the process our Greater Lake Elmenteita Conservaton Area Committee and Stakeholders  worked with National Museums of Kenya and Kenya Wildlife Service for years in developing  Management Plan for the Conservation Area which includes the Core zone of the Lake and Riparian Land, The Buffer Zone , Riverine Zone and Controlled Development Zone.

We will be posting more information and links and photos to inform you of our progress.

Here is a link to the UNESCO Site.


We will be looking for help to ensure the World Heritage Status.

Yours in Conserving our World Heritage,

Kat Combes



In exercise of the Wildlife Act the Minister for Wildlife and Forestry has declared Soysambu to be a wildlife sanctuary. Our director, Kat Combes, has worked on this for the last five years so that we can get UNESCO nomination for a World Heritage Site.

We would also like to ask ask those residents and stakeholders on and around Lake Elmenteita to support GLECA (Greater Lake Elmenteita Conservation Area). There will be a meeting soon to discuss the management of the Lake with the Kenya Wildlife Service. There is a draft management plan.

The declaration of Lake Elmenteita Wildlife Sanctuary is a step forward in the nomination of the Kenya Rift Valley Lakes World Heritage Site. It will provide national protection to this incredibly fragile lake. Soysambu borders the Lake on the west. We look forward to working with our neighbors in protecting this valuable part of Kenya’s heritage.

The Lake Nakuru National Park to Lake Naivasha Project

Here on Soysambu Conservancy we are not only working to protect and preserve the wildlife and habitat in our immediate vicinity, but the Conservancy land is a crucial part of a bigger wildlife and habitat protection project- The Lake Nakuru National Park to Lake Naivasha Project.

The aim of the project is to secure critical habitat for the free movement of wildlife between Nakuru Park and Lake Naivasha by connecting key community, private and public lands. Moving north to south, the long-term vision seeks to connect three nationally and internationally important water sources in the Rift Valley – Lake Nakuru, Lake Elmenteita and Lake Naivasha as part of a greater conservation area. The Project is involving land holders of small and large scale farms, businesses, properties already designated as wildlife sanctuaries, Kenya Land Conservation Trust; Kenya Wildlife Service; The Lakes Nakuru, Naivasha and Elmenteita Conservation Area (LaNNECA); and other conservation bodies.

As we look around us it can be disheartening to see forests and natural habitat being cleared to make way for more farms. However, a lion that recently roamed from Nakuru Park, through Soysambu all the way down to Lake Naivasha area was a symbol of hope that there still is hope in protecting this corridor. There is no doubt though, the window of opportunity is closing, which is why we are working right now to conserve this strip of precious habitat. So far the response and enthusiasm to the project has been very encouraging.

By supporting The Conservancy, you are not only helping to protect the wildlife, habitat and communities within and around Soysambu, but you are helping to preserve one of the last remaining wildlife corridors through the Kenyan Rift Valley. Please consider making a donation to Soysambu Conservancy, no matter how big or small, your money will go directly to protecting and conserving this land.