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Remote, rugged and relaxing Laikipia.
Laikipia is an area of remote and scenic landscapes that nudges Kenya’s wild Northern Frontier.
The Laikipia Plateau is the name given the eastern escarpment of the Great Rift Valley which, although it has no national parks, is the only place in Africa where the numbers of wildlife are on the increase. The land has very diverse features of open savannah, acacia woodlands, basalt hills and rugged kopjes and its eco system successfully supports a wide range of wildlife in fact the plateau is home to more endangered species than anywhere else in East Africa. The Ewaso Nyiro and Ewaso Narok rivers irrigate the plateau and support the abundant wildlife.
The land is divided into a patchwork of enormous ranches which in partnership and co-operation of their owners have created game conservancies that enjoy thriving game and some of the most exclusive luxury safari camps and lodges in Kenya. The cattle ranches are managed by local communities and this creates an interesting mix of local culture working in partnership with conservation and tourism. However, it is a tough existence for the Maasai herders who know their precious cattle are easy prey for the big cats.
The Big Five – lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant – always at the top of the game viewing poll are thriving and indeed the plateau is one of the last refuges of the endangered Black Rhino. The elephant population is Kenya’s largest outside of the national parks and reserves. In addition there are rich populations of Grevy’s Zebra, eland and established packs of wild dog, one of Africa’s most elusive and rare creatures.
Ol Pejeta, a 100,000 acre game conservancy, is situated at the foot of Mount Kenya and is home to East Africa’s largest and most important rhino sanctuary with its research credited as being at the forefront of rhino conservation. Guests staying at Ol Pejeta Bush Camp, a small intimate camp set on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River can experience wildlife conservation first hand and enrich their safari experience with interactive activities. In addition to the rhino projects the conservancy is also home to a Chimpanzee sanctuary.
The magical ingredients of a safari spent on the wide Laikipia plateau are on many wish lists and include the amazing breadth of game viewing, exceptional scenery, peaceful remoteness and total solitude together with the exclusiveness of the accommodation. The terrain lends itself to a variety of activities in addition to the game drives which occur both day and night, horse riding, mountain biking and walking safari’s accompanied by a Maasai guide. A unique activity is to spend a night on the Kiboko or Koija Star beds – wooden platforms overlooking the Ewaso Nyiro River or a waterhole and although partially thatched overhead in the main it is the African sky that provides the roof.
Because all the superb accommodation in Laikipia is on private land guests enjoy a uniquely personal safari experience. The luxury tented camps, small attractive lodges and private house accommodation have exceptional comforts, wonderful views and situated in such a way as to enhance the feeling of remoteness and exclusivity.