Italian-born author, poet, conservationist and founder of the Gallmann Memorial Foundation (GMF), Kuki Gallmann moved to Kenya as a young woman and settled in Ol ari Nyiro in Laikipia, a 100,000-acre estate on the edge of the Great Rift Valley.
After the tragic loss of her husband (killed in a car accident when she was pregnant with their unborn daughter) and her 17-year old son, who died in her arms from the fatal bite of a snake, her family’s deep love for Africa and desire to protect it was transformed into a burning resolve to save its wilderness, wildlife and culture, through which she found her life’s purpose, becoming an environmental activist and writer/spokesperson for Africa’s environment.
In the aftermath of her tragedies, Gallmann dedicated herself to keeping Ol ari Nyiro and its dream alive. She trained herself in land management and conservation strategies, and raised her daughter, Sveva, to understand and respect traditional African culture and nature and the importance of service to the community.
As a living memorial to her husband and son, she established The Gallmann Memorial Foundation with the specific purpose to harmonise development and conservation. The Foundation aims to prove that Africa can survive out of the ecological, creative and sustainable use of its natural resources.
She transformed Ol ari Nyiro into a Nature conservancy. Ol ari Nyiro is a registered Black Rhino Sanctuary, supporting the largest known indigenous population of the endangered black rhino outside Kenya’s national parks, and a refuge for elephant, buffalo, zebra, cheetah, leopard, lion, waterbuck, impala, with the only protected indigenous forest remaining in the area.