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Laikipia is one of Africa’s most exciting wilderness safari and wildlife tourism destinations. With its abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery, visitors can experience a classic safari, largely free of the constraints that apply in national parks and reserves. Night game drives, guided nature walks, riding, cycling, yoga, painting and drawing, fishing as well as special family activities are just a few of the exhilarating options on offer. High levels of community involvement allow visitors privileged access to the cultures, customs and community projects of the Mukogodo Maasai, Samburu, Pokot and other peoples.
To Do List
- Game drives
- Horse riding
- Camel riding
- Kids activities
- Cultural visits
Premises in Laikipia offer you a wide array of options for activities, relaxation as well as stylish and unique accommodation. Game viewing tends to be more intimate and adventurous then in the popular National Parks in other regions of Kenya. 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. This exclusivity has its price, though.
Situated adjacent to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy on a 35,000 acre working cattle ranch, Borana is a wildlife rich destination. Activities range from day and night game drives, walking and horseback riding to mountain biking. Borana can accommodate 16 guests in 8 luxurious ensuite cottages.
El Karama Eco Lodge
El Karama is a 15,000 acre family owned cattle and wildlife ranch. Just an hour’s drive northwest of Nanyuki, the bandas consist of 4 double semi tented rooms, a family cottage, and a spacious rondavel, situated on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River.
Il N’gwesi Lodge
Il N’gwesi is one of Kenya’s landmark community owned eco-lodges. This small piece of paradise possesses a magic which cannot fail to touch anyone who is lucky enough to experience it. Constructed from local materials, Il N’gwesi can accommodate up to 16 people in 6 open plan cottages.
Koija & Kiboko Star Beds
Situated on Koija group ranch, adjacent to Loisaba, on the Ewaso Nyiro river. Kiboko is located within rock kopjes overlooking the Kiboko water hole. This is a unique and delightful concept of sleeping under the stars in extreme comfort. Both Koija and Kiboko can sleep 3 couples on 3 decks.
Lolldaiga Farm House
Lolldaiga has the most beautiful & varied landscapes of all Kenya’s ranches. This stunning cattle ranch demonstrates the optimal coexistence of people, livestock and wildlife. The Lolldaiga Farm House is a traditional cedar building, with 2 double ensuite bedrooms, and an additional outside cottage.
Ol Pejeta House
One of Laikipia’s best kept secrets and originally the home of famed multimillionaire, Adnan Khashoggi, Ol Pejeta House is a beautiful private house set within the pristine calm of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Furnished with original and unique paintings and artefacts, it offers exclusivity for 12 guests in 6 luxury suites.
Located on Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the 3 bedroomed thatched upcountry cottage is available on a self catering basis. An ideal family destination for weekend or short breaks with access to the many activities offered within the Conservancy. Comfortably accommodates 10 people.
Sandai Homestay & Cottages
In the vicinity of the Aberdares National Park is the place of Petra Allmendinger and her family. Live and experience the real Africa in stunning landscape that frames Sandai's comfortable farm house and guest cottages. Each cottage can accommodate up to 6 people. Camping is also available.
Ol Pejeta Bush Camp
Situated on the 90,000 acre Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The camp offers an insight into modern wildlife conservation and great game viewing opportunities. This is a traditional, extremely comfortable bushcamp with 6 double tents, each ensuite with a flush toilet and safaristyle bucket shower.
Porini Rhino Camp
Hidden in a secluded valley on Ol Pejeta Conservancy and set amongst acacia trees on the banks of a seasonal river, Porini offers the perfect opportunity to get close to nature. With an astounding variety of wildlife around, this classic safari camp has 6 spacious tents, accommodating 12 guests.
Sarara Tented Camp
At the foot of Warges Mountain with sweeping views of the Mathews range, lies Sarara Camp, in the 185,000 acre Namunyak Wildlife Conservation Trust - a venture dedicated to both wildlife conservation and community development. A 6 tented luxury camp with 6 open air showers and private verandahs.
Sweetwaters Tented Camp
A sheltered oasis, clustered around a waterhole and set in Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Sweetwaters Tented Camp offers a charming blend of under-canvas ambiance and safari luxury. The camp features thirty-nine luxury tents, each with its own private veranda overlooking the water hole.
Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club
The Mount Kenya Safari Club is situated on the foothills of Mt. Kenya, bordering the Mt. Kenya National Park, 10 kms from Nanyuki town. There are 120 luxurious hotel rooms set in landscaped gardens offering comfort, relaxation and adventure, including 12 William Holden cottages.
Less than 2 km North from Nanyuki town, Kongoni is nestled in indigenous forest. Originally built as a barn in the early 1960’s, it still maintains its original character. There are 16 regular rooms and 5 thatched roundavels that sleep 2 -3 people. A fully serviced campsite is available.
Sportsmans Arms Hotel
Located within Nanyuki town with magnificent view of Mt Kenya, the hotel is an ideal base for visitors traveling for pleasure or business. It has a contemporary ambiance and offers 172 beds that range in pricing and style from deluxe self-contained rooms, complete with satellite television to luxurious 1-2 bed roomed cottages.
Thompson’s Falls Lodge
Situated at the fringes of Nyahururu at the world famous Thomson’s Falls discovered in 1883 by Joseph Thomson - a Scottish geologist and naturalist. An ideal stop for travelers moving between Samburu and the Great Rift Valley. The lodge has 32 single, double and triple rooms with open log fire places, a campsite and cottages.
Bandas & Camping
Situated on Ol Maisor, a working family ranch north of Rumuruti, on a small escarpment over looking the Ewaso Narok swamps and the Laikipia plains. An ideal destination for educational, adventure and family holidays, and a base for camel safaris. Aside from camping space, 3 bandas are available.
Located in eastern Laikipia, Mukogodo Forest Reserve constitutes over 70,000 acres of natural indigenous forest with 170 identified vegetation species, including podocarpus, African olive and cedar. The forest and its adjacent rangelands are a haven for birds, butterflies and wildlife. Three identified campsites are available.
Ngare Ndare Forest
The 5,300 ha indigenous Ngare Ndare Forest is a paradise for monkeys, birds, butterflies and mammals. Crystal clear mountain streams and waterfalls make it a perfect getaway for visitors who enjoy walking, picnics, camping and swimming. A forest platform and a canopy walk allow for a birds-eye view of the forest.
Kurikuri Group Ranch
The 6,000 acre Kurikuri group ranch neighbours the Mukogodo forest. Spectacular views over northern Kenya, grassy glades and large shady trees provide unmatched camping sites for adventure and family groups. Guided walks into the forest are offered to learn how the Mukogodo people lived 100 years ago.
A small up market safari outfitter founded over 30 years ago, offering personalised luxury safaris throughout East Africa under the finest canvas camps and lodges.
Robin Hurt Safaris
A family run firm, operating private luxury tented safaris in East Africa for over 25 years. Days in the bush and nights under canvas – how a real safari should be.
Rift Valley Adventures
Kenya’s leading adventure company for adult, corporate and student groups. Unique tailor made trips encompass cultural, community and adventure activities in true wilderness. Trips can include river rafting and canoeing, mountain biking, rock and mountain climbing, and trekking.
Camel Riding Safaris
Nanyuki River Camel Camp
This camp is inspired by the lifestyle of nomads living in the remotest regions of Northern Kenya. The traditional nomadic houses accommodate up to 14 people. Opportunities to learn about the lives of nomads and their camels, eat traditional food and drink camel’s milk.
Northern Frontier Ventures
Camel assisted walking safaris based at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and operating in northern community conservation areas following old elephant migration routes. An adventure of a lifetime, NFV offers unique tailor made safaris for the adventurous spirit, from 4 -14 days.
Ol Maisor Camels
Bobong & Ol Maisor Camels offers camel assisted walking safaris for individuals, families or groups. Starting on Ol Maisor ranch, north of Rumuruti, guests have the opportunity to travel as far north as Lake Turkana, enjoy shorter day trips, or stay out overnight with the camels.
Guided walking safaris with camels through some of Kenya’s best wildlife viewing habitats. Guests experience the diversity of flora and fauna and gain insight into Maasai culture. Trips are 3 to 5 days, for 8 guests or less, with fly camps set up under the stars.
Horse Riding Safaris
Offers horse riding safaris for small groups from luxury mobile tented camps in remote areas including Laikipia. Offbeat has thoroughbred and thoroughbredcross horses, all trained for polo. These professionally guided safaris are supported by Landrovers.
By horseback is one of the best ways to explore Borana and neighbouring ranches. Borana’s well schooled horses are a mix of Somali, Ethiopian, Arab and thoroughbred. Safaris with Riding Wild range from 1 night to a week, with fly camps set up in ideal spots.
Ecologically friendly walking safaris in association with local communities, combining game viewing in national parks. Operated throughout Kenya for over 15 years.
Karisia Walking Safaris
Specialists in luxury walking safaris from the base camp on the stunning 3,000 acre Tumaren Ranch, dedicated exclusively to conservation and ecologically sustainable tourism. Tumaren is blessed with healthy numbers of game and predators. Accommodation is in classic safari tents.
Tailor made walking safaris on Mt. Kenya for small groups, led by an experienced team. Africa’s second highest mountain has some of the finest walking routes, off the beaten track, suited for the intrepid adventurer. Accommodation in mountain tents equipped with lanterns and Thermarest Prolites.
Adventure tailor-made walking safaris around the scenic and unexplored Mathews and Ndoto Mountain ranges of northern Kenya, assisted by camels. Travel between campsites varies from 8 to 20 kms a day. Camp is set up in natural locations.
Nanyuki, approximately 190 km north of Nairobi on the A2 motorway, is the gateway to Laikipia for visitors traveling from the Kenyan capital. The drive, on good tarmacked roads all the way, takes roughly three to four hours via Sagana, Karatina and Naro Moru. If you come from the Rift Valley, you enter Laikipia at Nyahururu, which is at its westernmost boundaries. The drive from Nakuru to Nanyuki is about 160 km and takes approximately three hours. A third access on tarmac is the Mt. Kenya ring road from Meru and Isiolo.
If you depend on public means of transport, there is a large fleet of matatus serving the routes between Nanyuki, and Nairobi, Nyahururu, Nakuru, Meru and Isiolo respectively.
Air Kenya, Safarilink and FlySax all offer scheduled flights from the capital's Wilson Airport direct into Nanyuki airfield and after a stopover, to Lewa, Loisaba and Samburu airstrips. The carriers also operate flights to the Masai Mara National Reserve from Nanyuki, Loisaba and Samburu. Many ranches and sanctuaries have their own airstrips, which can be used by charter aircraft. Private air charters using small fixed wing planes, caravans and helicopters can be arranged for in Nanyuki. Tropic Air Kenya (www.tropicairkenya.com) operates a fleet of charter planes and helicopters from its base at Nanyuki airfield within Laikipia and beyond.
To move around Laikipia, you will either have to have your own 4WD or make arrangements with your accommodations and/or the conservancies for an all-terrain vehicle. Most ranches will be happy to arrange for transfers of their guests directly by air or road from Nairobi or any other destination as part of their service. Public means of transport are only available on the few major roads of Laikipia.
The Laikipia experience comes largely free of constraints and prohibitions that apply in most National Parks and Reserves. However, as much as Laikipia is one of the top attractions of Kenya, it is important to remember that many of the ranches and the roads therein are privately owned. Some ranches allow day visitors with their own transport, others do not. In any case, visitors should always make enquiries in advance. If you are visiting a ranch with your own private transport, ask for directions and preferably a map in order not to get lost.
To drive travel around Laikipia, a 4WD is obligatory for most regions. Although most premises offer walking safaris or even bicycling, make sure you never go into the wild without a knowledgeable guide as wild animals can be extremely dangerous.
Best travel time:
The best time to visit and get around Laikipia is in June or July, after the long rains when it is lush, green and the landscape is bursting with life, or at the end of the dry season in October. At this time, the wild animals tend to congregate more around the watercourses, making them easier to spot. It is also easier to navigate around the region by road when it is not raining. Weather conditions can be quite cold from July to August.
Further reading on Laikipia:
The Laikipia Wildlife Forum has published an excellent tourist map; there is a recommendable nature guide and a magnificent photographic coffee table book, all available at the LWF's offices at the Nanyuki airfield. The following websites are equally valuable information hubs: www.laikipiatourism.com, www.laikipia.org