Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project

Ecological Detectives & Community Based Conservation 

Baboons are among the most versatile of primate, second only to humans in their ability to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Baboons are ecological detectives helping to predict the possible futures of other large African mammals.

The Uaso Ngiro Baboon Project, (UNBP – formerly the Gilgil Baboon Project) is located on the Eastern Laikipia Plateau between the Mukogodo Forest and Mt. Kenya. Its research focuses on the socio-ecology and cognition of wild baboons as they make the transition to the modern context of human dominated ecosystems. Dr. Shirley C. Strum (Professor of Anthropology, University of California, San Diego), the Director, began her baboon research in 1972.

UNBP has been involved in Community Based Conservation (CBC) for 28 years. It was the first primate research project to use local research assistants. Today, trained para-behaviorists and para-ecologists carry out the majority of the research. The project has hosted graduate students and interns from the United States, UK, Europe, and Kenya. View our community programs below.


Conservation Education

UNBP has worked with many other partners on education on conservation topics for children and adults. We have worked with the Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, and more recently started the Olcani art club at Il Polei school for children, working with artist Deborah Ross.


Twala Cultural Manyatta

Twala Cultural Manyatta is a community project initiated by local women to preserve the rich cultural and historic heritage of the local Maasai people. This ecotourism facility is constructed using local and traditional materials.

The mission of Twala Cultural Manyatta is to provide a unique and authentic experience for visitors while fostering respect and understanding of the local environment and culture.

Learn more about Uaso Ngiro's community based conservation efforts