Community & Conservation


Tortilis employs around 60% of its staff from the local community, training them from scratch to become professional guides, barman and waiters. With each employed individual in Kenya supporting an average of 8 dependants, our 40 local staff members potentially support between 300 and 400 members of the community.

Walking safaris with local Maasai guides are encouraged at Tortilis so that guests have the oppotunity to find out, first hand, about the intricacies of Maasai culture, stimulating a pride and desire among the community to preserve their traditions.

In 2010, Tortilis Camp donated KES 1,000,000 towards the building of Esiteti Primary School, which opened its doors with great ceremony in August 2011. Since the Cheli & Peacock Community Trust was launched in March 2011, Tortilis clients have donated nearly US$11,000 for sports equipment, books, stationary and construction work for Esiteti Primary School.


Without fences demarcating National Park boundaries, Kenya’s wildlife roam freely between protected areas and surrounding privately owned land where their security largely falls into the hands of the community. To promote wildlife protection and conservation among these communties, it is becoming increasingly recognised that they should receive tangible long term benefits from wildlife-based tourism.
In full partnership with the community, Tortilis Camp is one of two tourism operators paying fixed rent to local Maasai landowners to preserve the Kitirua Conservancy, a 30,000 acre wildlife corridor bridging Amboseli and Tanzania. In 2011 alone, Tortilis paid US$ 36,145 in fixed rent for the Conservancy, 70% of which was paid directly to the community, while the remaining 30% was allocated to funding conservancy management.

Conservancy fees of US$30 per person per day paid by most guests at Tortilis fund conservancy management, anti-poaching and wildlife protection within Kitirua Conservancy. To achieve our conservation goals, we are working in partnership with the Big Life Foundation, whose efforts are widespread across the 2 million acre Amboseli ecosystem and are crucial to securing a successful future for Amboseli’s wildlife.  We would like to encourage you to visit the Big Life Foundation website to find out more about their conservation efforts and additional operational funding requirements.
Prior to their involvement with Big Life, Tortilis supported the Amboseli Tsavo Game Scouts Association for many years, donating US$0.50 per person per night towards their community training and anti-poaching work. ATGSA recruits its Game Scouts from the local Maasai community, training them to provide wildlife security and conservation awareness within the vast Amboseli and Tsavo ecosystems.

If you would like to contribute further to the conservation of the greater Amboseli ecosystem by supporting Big Life’s efforts, you may make your donation via the Cheli & Peacock Community Trust. Contact us to find out how.

An African elephant is second only to man in changing its environment. During the 1970’s, poaching and drought encouraged elephants to seek refuge in unnatural numbers within the core of Amboseli National Park, devastating the woodlands.

Observing the rapid depletion of the elephant habitat, the internationally renowned African Conervation Centre, together with the Kenya Wildlife Service, have created fenced “elephant exclosures” to allow woodland wetlands to naturally rejuvinate in the absence of these immense mammals. In support of their efforts, Tortilis Camp rehabilitated and maintains the 2.2km squared Olengaiya Swamp elephant exclosure just 15 minutes from camp.

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The Olengaiya Swamp Enclosure

In the long-term, the ultimate objective is to install a series of exclosures within Amboseli to allow sufficient habitat rehabilitation in accordance with a sustainable rotational elephant grazing plan. However, we first need to verify whether those who travel far and wide to see the elephants of Amboseli will contribute to the restoration of Amboseli’s elephant habitat, ensuring elephant populations have a safe feeding ground for decades to come.

US$200-300 is sufficient to fund the maintenance of the fence for one month. If you are interested in helping us conserve this vital elephant habitat, please donate generously to the Elephant Habitat Conservation Project. Contact us to find out how.

Pack for a Purpose and the Esiteti Primary School

On your safari, through the Land & Life Foundation you can really make a difference to the communities you are travelling near by donating stationary, text books, uniforms, food and sports equipment in person, directly to the staff and pupils of a school. We work closely with the Committees of each school to make sure that each donation addresses a genuine need highlighted specifically by the school staff and parents.

Tortilis supports the Esiteti Primary School just 20 minutes’ drive from camp, where you have the opportunity to donate vital supplies directly to the school in person. Contact Chania Frost, CEO of Land & Life Foundation, to find out exactly what Esiteti Primary School currently requires and ensure that you provide a genuinely needed contribution and have a meaningful interaction with Kenyan communities during your safari.

If you are considering bringing donations from abroad, visit the Pack for a Purpose website for very specific advice on what is needed. Please do note that when flying within Kenya, the internal flight weight restriction is 15kg and may therefore limit what you can carry with you to the camps and donate to the rural communities in person. We can always, however, donate anything over and above your weight limit on your behalf at a later date.