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

Our Objectives

Mountain Bongo

To be the centre of excellence for breeding of the critically endangered Mountain Bongo (as per IUCN). Breed rare and endangered species of wildlife to restore wild populations with focus on the Mountain Bongo. Preventing extinction by breeding endangered species for release back to their ancestral homes in the wild. Our Bongo breeding programme continues with great success.

Animal Orphanage

To care for animals with need at the Animal Orphanage, aiming at releasing them to the wild wherever possible. At the heart of MKWC is the Animal Orphanage, a facility that cares for the young, orphaned, abused, or injured animals that need care. This is done with view to putting them back in the wild.

Conservation Education

To provide conservation education to schools and organized groups. As MKWC stives to prevent extinction of wildlife species, its long-term goals must complement those of environmental conservation by instilling knowledge to the young budding conservationists and neighbouring communities.


Conduct conservation related research. The research programme complements the other objectives by offering better understanding of our ecological systems and the most effective approaches to conservation.

Care for the small

Care for the small, free ranging wildlife population. There is a population of about 1,200 animals compromising 26 different species ranging freely within the Conservancy. These serve our education program and a species gene pool.

Our History/Legacy

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.

  • 1964

    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.

  • Late 1960s

    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.

  • 1970s

    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.

  • 1981

    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.

  • 1982

    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.

  • 2004

    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.

  • 2013

    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.