Loita Community Forest is also called Entim e Naimina Enkiyio which means “the forest of the lost child.” The forest is estimated to cover 33,000 ha and has communities living inside and adjacent to it (Mbuvi et al., 2015). It is located in the Loita sub-county in Narok County (Figure 2). The elevation of the Loita area ranges from 2,000 m to 2,600 m above sea level with a mean annual temperature of 17 °C and a rainfall range of 600–1,200 mm (Riamit, 2010; Obare, 2003). The geographical position of Loita is within 10 30IS, along the Kenyan Tanzanian Border and 350 30IE to 360 E. The Loita Maasai (the Iloita or Loitans) were 22,873 people (GoK, 2010b) and lead a more traditional lifestyle than other Maasai groups in Kenya. Loitans have remained isolated (Karbolo, 2000; Kaunga and Karbolo, 2006; Saitabau, 2008; Riamit, 2010) and always believed that they own the forest (Schlager and Ostrom, 1992) and have since time immemorial, responsibly managed the forest as a whole and religiously conserved and preserved it through their traditions, culture and unwritten customary laws (Karanja et al., 2002; Riamit, 2010) with hardly any County or national government support.

Loita forest in Kenya.

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