The beautiful Laikipia plateau straddling the equator is a mosaic of private and community-owned reserves, conservancies and game ranches, commercial and small-scale farms, and rangelands traversed by the herds of Laikipia Masai and Samburu pastoralists.

This is a game-viewing mecca all through the year. Its 9 500km2 of dramatic landscapes – endless plains, spectacular gorges and indigenous forests – host the biggest game densities in Kenya outside the Masai Mara, including the Big Five, the vulnerable reticulated giraffe and endangered African wild dog and Grevy’s zebra.

Rhino sanctuaries in Lewa, Solio, Borana, Ol Pejeta and Ol Jogi conservancies are at the forefront in protecting white rhino and the critically endangered black rhino. Laikipia is home to nearly half of Kenya’s critically endangered black rhino and 70% of its white rhino. One of the Big Five (the others are lion, elephant, leopard and Cape buffalo), rhinos are threatened by poaching. Ol Pejeta keeps the last three northern white rhinos in the world under round-the-clock armed guard.

Although chimps are not native to Kenya, the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established by the Jane Goodall Institute, the KWS and Ol Pejeta after civil war forced the closure of a sanctuary in Burundi in 1993. It shelters orphaned and abused chimpanzees from western and central Africa. These severely traumatized great apes can never return to their native habitats but live in huge natural enclosures.

Laikipia lies at the foot of Mount Kenya – Africa’s second-highest mountain rises abruptly and splendidly from the high savannah of Kenya’s interior and is a sacred place for indigenous communities. It is one of Kenya’s most important water towers, and two of the country’s major rivers, the Tana and the Ewaso Ng’iro, originate here. The Mount Kenya National Park and the encircling forest reserve together form a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The indigenous forests clothing Mount Kenya’s foothills are an important habitat for elephant and other wildlife.

Subways for elephants? Yes, they exist! Under the highway stretching northward from Nairobi, wide underpasses have been built to allow safe passage from Mount Kenya to the Marmanet Forest for the giants of the wild.

Laikipia Plateau

Things to do in Laikipia Plateau

Cultural visits

Scenic flights

Nature walks

Horseback safaris

Camel safaris

Game-viewing drives

Accommodation in Laikipia Plateau

Lewa Wilderness

Lewa Downs, the home of the Craig family since the 1920s, has gradually morphed from a family farm to an award-winning and exclusive wildlife conservancy. Set in breathtaking scenery in northern Laikipia, Mount Kenya dominates the views to the south while the stunning northern Kenya drylands stretch north to the Mathews Range. Plentiful African game dots the landscape in both directions. One fifth of all Grevy’s zebra are found on Lewa. Lewa Wilderness is more than a lodge, it is a home. Three garden cottages were built near the family house to host the first guests in 1972. The six…

Read More
Accommodation in Laikipia Plateau

Loisaba Tented Camp

Thanks to a recent refurbishment, Loisaba Tented Camp is arguably the most stylish cliffside retreat in the massive Loisaba Conservancy. Its remote position (two to three hours by road or a short flight from Nanyuki) adds a special pioneering element to the experience – once you have checked in, it’s easy to feel as though you’re the only people in Africa! Loisaba’s concerned commitment to conservation has raised substantially the wildlife population in the region – guests wanting to tick off the likes of elephant (more than 800 pachyderms call the conservancy home), giraffe, lion, buffalo and zebra have come…

Read More
Loisaba Tented Camp
Accommodation in Laikipia Plateau

Sabuk Lodge

Mount Kenya is visible across the Laikipia plains while the Mathews Range and the Karissia Hills dream to the north. Endangered African wild dogs inhabit Sabuk alongside elephants, lions, buffaloes and a host of other African mammals. The abundant birdlife rivals the game for beauty and diversity. Sabuk is co-owned and managed by Verity Williams, a professional safari guide with many years’ experience, who lives here with her family. The lodge melds exotic adventure and exclusivity with all the comforts of home, without sacrificing environmental sustainability. Guests may never want to leave the luxurious open-fronted cottages crafted from local driftwood,…

Read More

Related Itineraries

Create your own itinerary

Bring your wildest dreams to life – contact Ashworth Africa to start creating your bespoke safari vacation.

Enquire now