Wildlife conservancies in Kenya have emerged as the more integrative arrangements for biodiversity conservation and community development in the rangelands. They have been promoted as a better model for integrating biodiversity or environmental conservation goals, restoring ecosystems and enhancing wellbeing among local communities in the country’s arid and semi-arid areas. For the conservancies to achieve these goals, they have been closely linked with market-based instruments where tourism fits well. For the most part, revenues generated through tourism provide the main economic incentives around which balanced, win-win conservation and development goals are achieved. In this sense, the conservancy has been seen as an emerging form of payment for ecosystems services (PES) scheme. The Maasai Mara ecosystem is one among the many pastoralist areas in Kenya where the wildlife conservancy model has successfully been started. This paper provides a synthesized understanding of the central role that ecotourism in the conservancies is playing to support biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration, provision of ecosystem services and contributing to community benefits. It is noted that some of the ecosystem services provided in the conservancies include grass pastures for wildlife and livestock, improved breeds of livestock, meat and milk products from the cattle, aesthetic values, research values and ecotourism itself as a cultural ecosystem service. It also emerges that members of the conservancies enjoy development benefits that range from land lease fees, school bursaries, support for health and education infrastructure, and capacity building of women through training in entrepreneurship, among other things. Lastly, it is also noted that tourism and especially the ecotourism type is closely linked with both provisioning and cultural ecosystem goods and services as well as other community benefits resulting from paying for wildlife conservation.