It is an important elephant migration route as well as providing habitat for rhino, lions, and other species. From the 1980s, an expanding human population and farmland development around the forest has posed increasing problems from human wildlife conflict and over-exploitation of forest resources. Established in 2004, the Ngare Ndare Forest Trust (NNFT) manages the forest and works closely with surrounding communities as well as organizing ecotourism opportunities.
Ngare Ndare is one of the few forests in Kenya with an increasing canopy cover, due to the annual planting of over 50,000 indigenous trees from the NNFT tree nursery. In order to reduce firewood collection from the forest, the trust also supports 10 community nurseries providing trees for agro-forestry and firewood, as well as a local biogas project. The NNFT maintains the key roads within the forest which connect the surrounding villages, and it ensures that 70% of all ecotourism profits go to support community projects such as tree nurseries and bee keeping.
A grant from Tusk in 2013 was used to put up a 13.5km fence on the forest boundary, with very positive results for human wildlife conflict. Since then Tusk funds have been used to cover various operating expenses, enabling the NNFT to continue activities such as maintaining fences and holding the annual tree planting event, as well as covering staff salaries and equipment costs.
This beautiful forest provides a habitat for a rich array of wildlife and fulfils an important ecological role in the wider landscape. Ongoing support is needed to maintain and preserve it.