The Mount Kenya Elephant Corridor (MKEC) reconnects a 14km traditional elephant migratory pathway between Laikipia and Samburu, dramatically reducing human-elephant conflict. It is a true conservation success story serving both wildlife and people.
Historically elephants have migrated between Mount Kenya and the Ngare Ndare Forest to reach the lower, drier Samburu country to the north and to browse the greener vegetation of the mountain to the south.
By allowing elephant access to their land these farms have effectively turned back the clock for elephant migration in the area. Communities in the area are better protected and the elephants are safer and free to migrate to other areas in search of food, minerals and mates as a result.
Countless wildlife species now benefit from the protection, safe passage and habitat of the Corridor. Last year, over 1,000 elephants used the underpass. Not only elephants but many other wildlife are frequently recorded including bushbuck, duicker, jackal, leopard, zebras, porcupine, reedbuck, serval cat, spotted hyena, warthog, wild dog. Even a lost rhino wandered in!
Each species is genetically and physically more robust if they are able to move freely and unharmed between protected areas and away from human interaction and conflict.
The Mount Kenya Trust has a team of fencers who check and maintain the corridor fences on a daily basis, working closely with the security teams on the two farms.
Global recognition of the project’s success was awarded when the UNESCO World Heritage Site for Mount Kenya National Park and Reserve was extended to include the Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve and the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, giving the functionality of the corridor huge global recognition and a boost to our important conservation work in the region. The Elephant Underpass was the first of its kind in East Africa. It traverses the busy A2 national highway with hundreds of vehicle passing every day (now 360 degree view on Google Earth!). A second underpass was constructed in 2017, in partnership with Kenya Rural Roads Authority, to ensure safe movement over the recently tarmacked D481 road.