Massive golden terrains stretching from the Snow caped Mt. Kenya and hitting the rugged foothills of the Aberdare Ranges, Equatorial tropical weather, free ranging wild animals trying to survive in between rapidly rising human developments and interference to Livestock wildlife integration. Laikipia is “the land of milk and honey” as the local communities call it. Nanyuki is the Centre piece of these wildlife corridors and as a town it thrives in eco-tourism, hosting numerous hotels and get away destinations yet still a stone throw away, acres of land boom in wheat production and beef ranching.
PLAINS thriving in WILDLIFE Conservation.
I have fond memories of Laikipia, ones I hold down so closely to my heart. Having been the place I discovered myself in more wild ways, discovered my Love for conservation, wildlife and adventure but most importantly got to be the only place I really came to appreciate my profession for the first time and it became the beginning of the Love for what I was meant to do. I could tell endless stories of how I stumbled to the ground more than three times on a bush walk chasing gravy zebras while trying to act all cool in boots, or how a black rhino unleashed its anger on our van giving it a big hole on the driver’s door, or the amazement of finding a day old Lion cubs hidden in a thicket after hours of driving in muddy trenches in search of the collared Lioness. Not to forget the hectic elephant transfers between Lewa, Olpejeta and Meru, my Laikipia memories are just endless.
I stayed down in Laikipia for almost 3 months and in that time not having to worry about makeup and what clothes to wear was not enough, but rather just being out there in the bushes running over muddy trenches, driving into thickets while chasing collared lions and monitoring rhinos was more than rewarding.
Laikipia is one of the most magnificent plains in Kenya. Full of endless rolling golden brown wheat farms, a handful of massive ranches on some rugged terrains priding in Wildlife livestock integration and conservation and a rich cultural heritage to show off.
LEWA CONSERVANCY (Breeding Black Rhinos)
Greatly known for the infamous Lewa Marathon, Lewa conservancy has managed to be a great success story of human wildlife co-existence. The Marathon was established in 2000 to outsource funds for conservation and this has yearly established a forum to discuss the underlying issues of conservation, its importance and its economic benefits. Conservation and ecotourism has seen Lewa pride in Luxurious camps, magnificent scenery, best wildlife safari activities over the years and even maintain its statute as a holiday get away for Prince William.
OLPEJETTA CONSERVANCY (Home of Chimpanzees)
It’s a rhino affair in Olpejeta and any visit here must entail the last standing Northern white rhino which is a major deal worldwide. Having gone to great heights to ensure conservation and preservation of some of the most endangered and almost extinct species, Olpejeta has dedicated its efforts in Rhino conservation, Gravy zebra, and the hartebeest and has built a home for chimpanzees. With a thriving population of the Big Five , Chimpanzee Sanctuary and great wildlife stories this place is a must visit for tourists planning on hitting Laikipia. It also has some of the best Camp sites, ranch meat and even human wildlife interactions. Remember to visit and feed Baraka; a blind Black rhino and to adopt a chimpanzee when you visit. Read More on Olpejeta Rhinos and Human Chimpanzees
LAIKIPIA NATURE CONSERVANCY (Ol Ari Ngiro)
This is the largest conservancy in Laikipia sitting at approximately 100,000 acres. From luxurious eco-lodges sitting on hills overlooking the quiet massive Laikipia plains to diverse free roaming wildlife species, breathtaking sunset views over bushes, game drives, bush walks, bush breakfast and some wandering into the neighboring Maasai manyattas, the thrill of adventure here is quite endless.
OL JOGI Wildlife Conservancy
Located on the Northern side of Nanyuki town about 67,000 acres of tuft golden grass sits a home to black rhinos and a variety of other wildlife species. Specializing in cattle ranching, it has embraced conservation of the free ranging endangered wildlife species.
Some of the other ranches in Laikipia include: Segero, Borana, Karama and Losiaba.
While co-existence is Key for conservation, joined by wildlife corridors these private conservancies and community ranches have embraced eco-tourism and wildlife livestock integration to reduce human wildlife conflicts, transform these desolate arid lands into worldwide tourism destinations and pride in conservation as the foundation of their success story.
Whether its the camouflaging cat family or the enraged rhinos, Laikipia is the Real Maasai Mara 🙂 🙂 Prince William and Usain Bolt acknowledged it.