Il Ngwesi is a fine example of a private conservation project linking wildlife conservation and community development, albeit on a smaller scale than seen elsewhere. The Maasai of Il Ngwesi (the name Il Ngwesi translates as ‘people of wildlife’), with help from the neighbouring Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, have transformed this undeveloped land, previously used for subsistence pastoralism, into a prime wildlife conservation area hosting white and black rhinos, waterbucks, giraffes and other plains animals.
The south is quite steeply contoured in places, but the highest point (Sanga, at 1907m) lies on Il Ngwesi's western boundary. The northern lowlands mostly consist of light woodland. Just outside the eastern border of Il Ngwesi, Maasai, Turkana and Samburu villages line the trackside.