The formation of Loisaba was the first of a series of wider private sector driven initiatives led by Conservation Capital principals.
This saw a number of Laikipia’s large-scale livestock ranches partially converted to wildlife and related high value ecotourism use in order to diversity revenue streams and mitigate commercial risks.
Our Role: Founded a for-profit limited liability company in which negotiated an 18-year lease over a 61,000-acre cattle ranch which was immediately rebranded as the Loisaba Wilderness – the local name for a small constellation of stars that often dominate the night sky above the Laikipia plateau. We raised US$ 1.2 million of debt ($300K) and equity (US$800K) to acquire the 1200-head livestock herd and develop a 14-bed lodge, creating an as asset base which was extended over time to include 4 other tourism facilities (collectively a further 30 beds) - Loisaba House, Loisaba Cottage, the Kiboko Starbed and the Koija Starbeds (the latter operated as a joint venture with the neighbouring local community).
Outcomes: Loisaba is now widely regarded as one of Kenya’s premier high-end tourism and integrated wildlife / livestock destinations – as well as serving as a pioneering example of how private sector conservation initiatives should enter into innovative and sustainable economic partnerships with neighbouring local communities - a key to underpinning its effectiveness and sustainability as a conservation area. It has developed annual commercial revenue streams of c. US$ 1.5 million per annum and in the 17 years since its creation never needed a single donor dollar. Loisaba was perhaps the first and leading example in East Africa of how to manage a large scale land area in a manner compatible with financial, social and conservation sustainability. In 2015 the land and operating company were purchased by the world’s largest conservation NGO, the Nature Conservancy, in a combined transaction worth c. US$ 10 million.