Our Purpose Statement
To prevent extinction of wildlife species
To conserve wildlife species in Kenya with a keen focus on the critically endangered Mountain Bongo by maintaining sustainable captive breeding herds for reintroduction into the wild, promoting species research and providing education opportunities for future generations on the value of conserving wildlife and their habitats
Care for the small
Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy (MKWC) is a non-profit trust dedicated to preserving the environment and the wildlife within. The Conservancy is located in Nanyuki, at the foot of the scenic Mount Kenya forest ecosystem, a UN World Heritage Site, and an important and rich biodiverse area. It is home to 28 different animal species, a population of roughly 1,200 different animals. The Conservancy's three main programmes include a breeding and rewilding project for the critically endangered Mountain Bongo antelope, an animal orphanage, and a conservation education programme.
Two young Americans, film actor William (Bill) Holden and TV personality Don Hunt, met in Kenya beginning a lifelong friendship. The following year in 1965, Bill and Don joined forces with Julian Mckeand, a game warden, and Iris Holden, a German born enthusiast of Africa and art. As a group they followed a shared passion to protect and conserve some of Africa’s most beautiful wildlife.
1965 - 1967
The group of four found a pristine 1,216-acre farm at the foothills of Mount Kenya that they bought off Jim and Betty- Anne Nicholson, an elderly couple looking to retire. It is here that Mt Kenya Game Ranch was founded.
As illegal poaching increased, so followed the growing number of motherless orphaned animals. The Mount Kenya Game Range established a permanent home for these animals, the Mount Kenya Animal Orphanage.
In partnership with the Kenya Wildlife Services and scientists from the US, the Mount Kenya Game Ranch began to assist in capturing wildlife for restocking programmes ensuring the survival of species despite illegal poaching. One of these species was the Mountain Bongo. The team planned and organized the capture of a small group of Bongos which were sent to zoos in America to ensure the survival of the species in the event it were to go extinct on Mount Kenya.
With the sudden and tragic death of Bill Holden, Iris and Don work hard to create a unique and meaningful memorial. Following Bill’s desire to empower young Kenyans through education in conservation, The William Holden Wildlife Education Centre is established.
The Education Centre is built with support from Actress Stefanie Powers and people who valued Bill’s work. The Education Centre hosts over 17,000 local school children each year. With funding from the United Nations Foundation through the Mt. Kenya COMPACT Initiative, and supported by the GEF Small Grants Programme, the William Holden Wildlife Foundation and Education Centre developed and implemented a comprehensive Bongo conservation and awareness campaign focused on the protection of the Mountain Bongo and its habitat. The outreach program also educates the communities on the importance of Mount Kenya to biodiversity, tourism, employment, water availability, and as a World Heritage Site.
The Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy is formed as a Kenyan non-profit trust, with three pillars namely: The Animal Orphanage, the Mountain Bongo breeding and rewilding programme, and the Conservation Education programme.
The Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy is acquired by our patron, Mr. Humphrey Kariuki, who has had a lifelong passion for wildlife and has a long history of supporting conservation efforts in Kenya. As the principal benefactor of the Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy, he is investing in the protection and preservation of Africa’s diverse wildlife.