Makaweli Meat Company

Niihau Ranch



Seldom in contact with people, the Niihau sheep graze from the island’s coastal sand dunes to the grassy plains and high ridges. This varied, wild diet gives Niihau lamb an exceptional flavor that’s unparalleled.

The original sheep brought to Niihau were some of the finest New Zealand stock available. The Robinson’s continued to import breeds over the years, including White Romeldales and Rambouillet, and continued to refine both the size and flavor of their meat. The descendants of these sheep are now free roaming over the extremely diverse range over the 72 square mile island. Niihau lamb are truly free-range with only the ocean as it’s fence.

Wild Harvest Eland

Eland are the largest of the antelope family. Native to the dry African deserts, eland thrive on the arid island of Niihau. Originally brought to the island for trophy hunting, the superior qualities of eland meat were soon discovered and now in high demand as a premium and delicious commercial protein.

Eland is fully sustainable and delicious, having been raised on pristine Niihau forage. The meat is over 95% lean and has half the calories of beef. It’s also rich in various nutrients and very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Makaweli is the only company in the world that can source USDA certified, wild harvest Eland.

Niihau Ranch livestock is 100% free range, all natural and produces a sustainable meat product that is raised on pristine Niihau forage. Our livestock are raised without antibiotics, growth hormones or steroids and is processed in our USDA certified abattoir. Download the Niihau Ranch brochure here

Our Story

Niihau ranch is located on the privately owned island of Niihau, 17 miles west of Kauai and is the westernmost ranch in the United States. The 72 square mile island was purchased by Eliza Sinclair from King Kamehameha IV in 1864. Niihau has been passed down through five generations to its present owners, Keith & Bruce Robinson.

Known also as the “Forbidden Island” due to limited access, Niihau is home to a closely knit community of native Hawaiians who are descendants of the original families who lived there during ancient times. Referred to by one writer as “A Shoal in Time”, the residents live in a balance between modern ways and ancient traditional culture. A unique Niihau dialect of the Hawaiian language is spoken.

Niihau is where the owners and residents live the old Hawaiian lifestyle, the last remnant of old Hawaii. Niihau Ranch is dedicated to providing the economy to support this last Hawaiian island.

Niihau Island

Eland are the largest of the antelope family. Native to the dry African deserts, eland thrive on the Desert Island of Niihau. Brought from Molokai Ranch by the Niihau Ranch landing craft in December 1998, they are a mixture of the Common Eland and the Lord Derby Eland.

Originally brought to Niihau for trophy hunting, the superior qualities of eland meat was soon discovered and has since expanded as a premium commercial meat, which will give a needed boost to the Niihau economy.

Eland meat has six times less fat than cattle, half the calories of beef and delicious flavor all combining to make eland a dining delight. Eland is rich in various nutrients and is low in saturated fat. Studies show that eland meat helps retard the risk of osteoarthritis by as much as half. The meat has a very low amount of cholesterol, even lower than chicken breast, making it the perfect option for those who are vulnerable to heart disease.

Niihau Life

The Niihau lifestyle is simple and busy. With no utilities and no stores on the island, each household must provide all of its needs. Staples and dry goods come by Niihau Ranch boat from Kauai, but all fresh food must be caught by the residents. The traditional food is seafood; however, when the Sinclairs bought the island they brought sheep to Niihau and started a sheep ranch. The descendants of these sheep are a delicious modern addition to the Niihau cuisine.

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