Laikipia – A Destination Guide

Laikipia County is one of the 47 counties in the Republic of Kenya. The name Laikipia means ‘treeless plain’ in the Maasai language. It is the home of extraordinary experiences like camel-back safaris, week-long walking safaris, sleep-outs beneath the stars and horseback safaris.

Just north of Mount Kenya lies the rhino sanctuary of Lewa, with Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs just a little further north.


Best Time to Visit

You can go on safari at Laikipia Plateau year-round. But in terms of the weather, the Dry season (June to September) – along with a period of diminished rainfall at the end/beginning of the year (December to February) – is the best time to visit. Regarding the drier months, animals are easier to spot in the absence of long grass, and the roads are in better condition.


Some Best Places to Visit in Laikipia

Ol Pejeta Conservancy

It is the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa and home to two of the world’s last remaining northern white rhino.

Thomson’s Falls

It is a scenic 74 meters waterfall situated about 3 kilometers from Nyahururu town. Upstream from the falls is one of the highest hippo pools in Kenya.


Ngare Ndare Forest

A lush indigenous forest at the foothills of Mt. Kenya. Azure pools glistening at the bottom of waterfalls and 200 year old trees stretch into the canopy supporting a rich variety of bird and animal life.


Loisaba Conservancy

It is a 57,000 acre wildlife conservancy, established to protect and enhance critical wildlife diversity and habitat. It is a haven for over 200 species of birds, elephants, buffalos, Grevy’s zebra, giraffes, lions, leopards & cheetahs.


Mugie Conservancy

It is a private wildlife conservancy a home to over 100 bird species, animals such as buffalos, elephants, Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, Jackson’s hartebeest and storks.


Ol Lentille Conservancy

The private conservancy is home to the endangered African wild dog, elephants, Grevy’s and Burchell’s zebra, greater kudu, leopards, cheetah, striped and spotted hyenas.


Mount Kenya Wildlife Conservancy

It is one of the few animal orphanages to have successfully bred the rare mountain bongo antelopes. There are many endangered species and wild animals such as the colorful colobus monkeys, zebras, giraffes, cheetah and leopards that you can view at the conservancy.


What to Do

Game Drives
Game drives are the classic safari experience. Taking in wildlife by road never grows old as mother nature always has something new each day.  The privately managed conservancies are haven for wildlife and offer intimate game driving experiences. Laikipia is known for unusual species such as the endangered Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe, beisa oryx, gerenuk antelopes, stripped hyenas, rare wild dogs and the nocturnal aardwolf.

For some soft adventure and up-close experience of nature, try a bush walk, an activity not  possible in the state parks. Many of the recommended bush camps offer guided walks with a local naturalist. They have amazing indigenous knowledge of wildlife, landscapes, plants and their traditional uses.

Horse Riding
Experience the breathtaking landscapes of Laikipia from the back of a horse. Riding alongside giraffes and other open-plains game, and traversing territory not reached by vehicles. A bush breakfast or sundowners might be waiting at the end off your exhilarating excursion.  Experienced riders can book multi-day horseback safaris on well-schooled horses and led by professional guides.

Ngare Ndare Forest
In the northern foothills of Mt Kenya is the Ngare Ndare Forest, a 14,000 hectare remnant of a larger ecosystem. Waterbuck, monkeys, buffalo, warthogs and other wildlife live here. Deep inside the woods are natural pools under cascading waterfalls. You can take a guide forest walk and go up into the tree canopy on a suspended bridge. Bird enthusiasts will enjoy spotting the many forest species found here.

Camel Safari
Hop out of the car and onto a camel for a leisurely trek through the savanna. Led by experienced local herders, camel riding gives you different and much closer perspective of nature. Extend your excursion with overnight camping in the bush.

Cultural Visits
Numerous Kenyan communities live in Laikipia County, some of whom still maintain a traditional way of life. Safari camps and bush homes can organise visits to an authentic village. Here you get to interact local people, observe some of their daily activities and understand their rich way of life.


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