The Laikipia Plateau is a patchwork of conservancies run by vast safari ranches; the private concessions which make up this diverse and exciting area of Kenya. The privacy means you can enjoy a wealth of activities. The atmosphere is relaxed, spontaneous and harks back to a bygone era of safari magic which only Kenya, and specifically Laikipia, can harness. The two best concessions are Lewa and Borana.
The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is situated about 15km southwest of Isiolo and offers dramatic views of snow-capped Mt Kenya to the south, and the arid lands of Tassia and Il Ngwesi to the north. Lewa showcases a range of wild habitats from highland forests, wide-open grasslands, melt-water mountain springs and acacia woodland. It is one of Kenya’s major private concession successes and has been the Craig family home since 1924 when the Craig grandparents came from England and began ranching cattle here.
The Borana Conservancy is a private wildlife conservancy located within the vast area of the Ewaso ecosystem, 17 miles north of the equator and 6000ft above sea level, making it free from the malarial mosquito. The days are hot but the nights are cool; a perfect and comfortable climate. The Borana Conservancy is a non-profit conservation organisation dedicated to the conservation of critical habitat and wildlife, providing a sustainable ecosystem, in partnership with Borana’s neighbours and community.
www.lewa.org registered as a rhino conservancy in 1983 and the Lewa Conservancy is famous for its successful breeding of two endangered species: rhino and Grevy zebra. The whole conservancy is fenced, and the conservancy employs over 150 rangers. There is a small private army to protect the rhino. Tens of thousands of rhinos once thrived in Africa’s landscape. Since the beginning of the 20th century, humans have pushed the species to the brink of extinction. In the 1960s, Kenya was home to an estimated 20,000 black rhinos, but just two decades later poaching had reduced the population to less than 300. As a result of conservation efforts, the black rhino population is steadily recovering and there are now over 600 black rhinos in Kenya.
The collaboration between Lewa and neighbouring Borana Conservancy to merge two separate land areas has created 93,000 acres of contiguous rhino rangeland. This expanded landscape is home to a growing rhino population; 14% of Kenya’s entire rhino population.
With fewer than 3,000 Grevy zebra remaining worldwide, Lewa represents the single largest population of Grevy zebra in the world with over 20% of these beautiful animals residing here. The conservancy, in addition to The Big Five, is also a sanctuary for a diverse array of wildlife. It supports a myriad of plains game species all perfectly adapted for the semi desert environment and the Reticulated Giraffe are common.
In addition, the lance-like horned Beisa Oryx and the rare Greater Kudu are seasonal visitors and the Guenther’s Dikdik, the giraffe-necked Gerenuk and the beautiful blue-legged Somali Ostrich are resident all year round. Birdlife is equally rich with numerous species of Bustard, Plover, Coursers and birds of prey. At night, leopard are frequently encountered along with bush-babies, aardvarks, bat-eared foxes, caracal and various mongooses, genets and civets.
As this is a private wildlife area and so all game viewing activities here are private to the guests of the lodges.
The activities to be enjoyed in the private concessions of Laikipia are truly endless.
Choose from quad-biking, trekking, horse riding, night drives, helicopter rides or just hop on a camel safari. For intrepid honeymooners or adventurous families, there really is nowhere more diverse than this spectacular region of Kenya.
Kenya has a touch of safari magic which is difficult to replicate anywhere else on the continent. The people are welcoming, the wildlife is exhilarating and the atmosphere electric. With so much to see and do, you could spend weeks getting lost in Kenya’s charming embrace; and many people do, keeping them returning year after year.
Kenya has a touch of safari magic which is difficult to replicate anywhere else on the continent. The people are welcoming, the wildlife is exhilarating and the atmosphere electric.
The Masai Mara National Reserve is an extension of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, a small part of the Serengeti ecosystem covering some 40,000 sq kms between the Rift Valley and Lake Victoria.
Ol Donyo Wuas (the best lodge in the region) in Masai means ‘The Spotted Hills’ and is the name given by the Masai to the Chyulu range between Tsavo & Amboseli National Parks.