Northern Kenya, Laikipia County is rated as one of the best safari viewing areas on the continent - with few crowds. An area the size of Wales is filled with wildlife, gorgeous family-owned and run lodges, and unique and rare species, the beautiful Grevy Zebra, the odd-looking gerenuk, and the reticulated giraffe. Stretching out on the edge of the Northern Kenyan Frontier, from the slopes of Mount Kenya to the rim of the Great Rift Valley and the Northern deserts, is the Laikipia Plateau. If you think Kenya is busy, visit Lewa, Samburu, or the private reserves and think again!
The area is steeped in history from the colonial days of Kenya and is just magnificent from a safari and conservation perspective. Former farmers have opened their lands, including Ellie corridors, breeding rhinos and assisting and bringing in the local communities to promote, value, and benefit from the incredible wildlife. This area has modern eco-conservation at its best.
The plateau is fast becoming the premium safari destination in Kenya, rivalling the Maasai Mara for density and variety of wildlife. The abundant wildlife viewing is due primarily to forward-thinking conservation policies. These policies focus on opening formally individually owned ranches that have removed fencing, allowing nature to roam and elephants to migrate along their traditional and ancient 'corridors.'
The land has been given over to wildlife, with the conservation of the land and its game and a mutually beneficial ethos of understanding and protecting wildlife, empowering the local communities. Local initiatives include micro-credit schemes, water projects, and education and healthcare projects to aid community development.
A beautiful stretch of pure wilderness speckled with stunning ranches and lodges. Here you will get a taste of traditional Kenyan hospitality. Where many of the lodges are family owned and give you a 'hosted,' part of the family feel. This adds hugely to your experience by allowing you to hear the stories of the wildlife and conservation firsthand and get a glimpse of real Kenya.
"Always leave room for wildlife." ~ALEC DOUGLAS, founder of Lewa wilderness lodge|
The area has the same fantastic game you may see in the Mara, plus much more. The rarer species to be seen are rhino and those particular to the region; reticulated giraffe, the gerenuk, and the beautiful Grevy's zebra. What you won't see, though, is lots of people. While much of the Laikipia conservancies are managed areas, many rarer species, such as the black rhino, are often radio-collared, tracked, and monitored by wildlife rangers. This management has accomplished an enormous improvement in conservation, including with local communities, and increased human understanding of species and movements. There is also a real added advantage of guests' opportunities to see the operations and be involved in and learn about wildlife conservation activities.
There are a variety of ranches and conservancies, and many are still family-owned and hosted, that can be visited depending on your particular interest. The area includes Lewa Downs, Borana, and Solio, a protective haven for the endangered rhino, and includes community and adventure activities such as horseback riding, camel, and walking safaris. It is also a perfect base to explore the wilder north (such as Sarara and Samburu) and the great lakes of Kenya. All the properties we use here are beautiful and unique, so, again, contact us so we can match you to your perfect destination.
Here are a few of our favourite places to stay in Laikipia to give you a taste of what the area has to offer! From the super exclusive private villa experiences like Arijiji Retreat is considered the most beautiful house in Africa by Peter Browne in Conde Nast, and Segera Retreat to family-friendly establishments Sirikoi, Lewa House, Lewa Safari Camp and Lewa Wilderness Lodge in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
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