This spectacular region is considered the gateway to Kenya’swild Northern frontier country. Wild and sparsely populated, much ofLaikipia is covered by large privately owned ranches.
On most ranchescattle share the land with free ranging wildlife. Inrecent years this wildlife has become a valuable asset, with manyranches now establishing guest houses, homestays and private campswithin their boundaries.
This has proven a great success, and manyranches now rely on a thriving tourist trade. Importantly, community ranches have also formed.
Conserving more than just wildlife, but also away of life.
These are sanctuariescreated by local communities, who have combined small scale farms andgrazing land into large group ranches.
Once again, the tourist trade hasproved infinitely more profitable than agriculture or herding, and thisallows them to use their traditional lands in a way that is sustainableand productive.
Significantly, they are conserving more than just wildlife, but also away of life.
These ranches have bolstered a sense of local identity and strengthenedcommunity ties. These community ranches are the best place in Kenya tolearn more about traditional cultures and their role in modern world.
The result is an area of beautiful wilderness, where protected game roams freely and safely.
Centred around the original Laikipia National Reserve, this area has become a sanctuary for Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, and a wealth of plains game, including many endemic Northern species.
Laikipia has become a focus for many conservation efforts, and some ranches have become breeding sanctuaries for Rhinoceros.
Running in the Wild
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is a protected, 55,000 acre wildlifesanctuary and is home to over 80 rhino, herds of elephant and a vastassortment of game, including the eland, zebra, giraffe, buffalo just toname a few.
Lewa Downs, a private ranch and rhino conservation area, hosts an annual marathon through the property. This race is run over a bush course that winds its way across open plains, through forest and hills.
The Lewa marathon is a race with a difference, often watched form the roadside by many of the species it has been set up to protect.
Rugged, fun and breathtaking it is an enticing experience which has continued to inspire long distance runners and athletic fans alike. With Mount Kenya to the south and Samburu and Mount Lololokwe to the north, this backdrop adds to the whole Lewa experience.
On Ol Pejeta, a refuge for Chimpanzees rescued from the pet and bush meat trade has been established.
Visiting a private ranch in this region is an ideal way of exploring the Kenyan wilderness while getting off the well beaten paths of the National Parks. The real attraction of Laikipia is a wonderful sense of freedom. Not just the freedom of wide open spaces, but freedom of choice.
Staying on a private ranch gives a wide range of options for both activities and relaxation. Game viewing tends to be more intimate and adventurous.
The emphasis here is on personal services, backed up by excellent local knowledge and guiding. As a personal guest, you will have the chance to set your own schedules, explore at your own pace, and discover the wild in your own way.