Virgin Group to Help Build New Migratory Corridor to Protect People and Elephants in Kenya

Travel News Asia Monday, 4 June 2007

The Virgin Group is to help create a vital new elephant corridor, north of Mount Kenya, which will provide a lifeline for local communities and the dwindling elephant population in the region.

Around 2,000 elephants, part of the Laikipia-Samburu elephant population, will benefit from the Virgin Mount Kenya Elephant Corridor, which will cost up to $1million dollars to build and maintain over the next ten years. Group founder Sir Richard Branson is donating $250,000 to the project. It will be created between the Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve and the Mount Kenya National Reserve, enabling elephants to benefit from the diverse resources offered by each habitat. Mount Kenya is a World Heritage site and one of the most impressive landscapes in Eastern Africa.

Sir Richard Branson said, Historically, the African elephant has roamed across the continent from South Africa to the Mediterranean coast but its population is under serious threat. We need to build safe elephant corridors to protect the species, as well as the villages, people and crops around them, and our wider environment. All of us at Virgin are pleased that we can create a vital lifeline for the entire animal and human population in the region.

Levi Wendo, the Chairman of the Bill Woodley Mount Kenya Trust, added, This is probably the last realistic opportunity we have to link the two major ecosystems in the region and enable the elephants to use their historic access routes, while at the same time reducing human/elephant conflict. The corridor will help prevent the damage that elephants can do to crop fields that are vital to livelihoods in the area and I am so pleased we can now proceed with this project to benefit the Mount Kenya region.

The Mount Kenya National Reserve is surrounded by a growing farming population and farmland, which over time has cut off the historical  elephant access routes.

Elephants have either been contained within the Reserve or forced to move out in search of mineral salts to supplement their diet. This not only  presents a threat to the elephant population and its habitat but has also increased human/elephant conflict in the region. Therefore the corridor is needed to prevent elephants from killing and injuring people and livestock, where there have been growing numbers of deaths in recent years, and from damaging crops and trampling through villages. A corridor would also protect conservation in the region, and cut down incidents such as poaching, logging, charcoal burning and illegal livestock grazing.

The selected access route for the Virgin Mount Kenya Elephant Corridor is the most viable option to link Mount Kenya with the north. It was designed after researchers used substantial GPS satellite data to track the elephants movements over time. The corridor, which will pass through the Marania River valley, will cross just two pieces of land privately owned by Kisima and Marania Farms and two roads the main Nanyuki Meru Road (A2) linking Cape Town with Cairo, and a rural access road (D481).

The Mount Kenya forest zone is the largest remaining in Kenya and its ecosystem plays a critical role in water catchment for two main rivers in  the country, the Tana and Ewaso Ngiro. Millions of Kenyans rely on these rivers for their livelihoods, with the Tana alone supplying over 55% of Kenyas power to the national grid.

The Virgin Mount Kenya Elephant Corridor is the brainchild of the Bill Woodley Mount Kenya Trust and is supported by Virgin Group, the telecoms company Safaricom, Kisima Farm, Marania Farm, The Ngare Ndare Forest Trust and Lewa Conservancy. Support has also been received from the Borana Conservancy and the Laikipia Wildlife Forum.

See other recent news regarding: Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Kenya

Subscribe to our Travel Industry News RSS Feed Travel Industry News RSS Feed from To do that in Outlook, right-click the RSS Feeds folder, select Add a New RSS Feed, enter the URL of our RSS Feed which is: and click Add. The feed can also be used to add the headlines to your website or channel via a customisable applet. Have questions? Please read our Travel News FAQ. Thank you.



Copyright © 1997-2022