Laikipia is a vast expanse of wild and rugged country in the central highlands of Kenya - running from the foot of Mt Kenya in the East to the rim of the Rift Valley in the west. Laikipia itself lies outside the jurisdiction of National Parks, and so Laikipia holidays offer the chance to get out of a vehicle and embrace a completely different kind of safari. Laikipia is home to some of the most exclusive lodges in the country, in some of the most amazing privately owned conservancies the country has to offer. East of the Great Rift Valley, the plateau is home to thousands of resident animals, with
rhinos being the most notable common residents of the area. The backdrop of the Aberdare Mountains and Mount Kenya itself set the scene for one of Africa's most diverse areas. The towering kopjes, huge cedar forests, and vast plains combine to make a truly amazing destination, all seen from the privacy of your exclusive safari camp. The area also allows for amazing cultural experiences with the Maasai tribes, the Samburu, Tukana and Pokot peoples.
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What you can find in Laikipia that you won't find anywhere else?
The eastern escarpment of the Rift Valley, known as the Laikipia Plateau, is divided into a patchwork of enormous ranches and small subsistence farms. Over the years, and with cooperation from their owners, these farms have been transformed into game reserves and now contain some of the most exclusive and luxurious lodges in this remote and still relatively untouched part of Kenya. Many of the lodges are owner-run by families who have grown up in the area and transformed their beautiful homes into boutique lodges to welcome guests, thus providing a real 'home from home' kind of stay.
The Laikipia terrain is wonderfully varied, with the escarpment giving way to wooded acacia gorges, tangled riverine thickets, cedar forests and kopjes. These plains have historically been used for low intensity cattle grazing, and so remain the perfect habitat for big game as well. In fact, overall Laikipia now has the second highest wildlife density of any region in the country bar the Masai Mara. The plateau itself has a considerable animal population and is one of the last refuges of the endangered black rhino. As well as having the largest elephant population outside of Kenya's national parks and reserves you can also see Grevy zebras, impala, gazelle, lion, leopard, buffalo, and wild dog.
What is there to do in Laikipia?
There are activities galore in Laikipia, from traditional game drives or tracking game on foot to horse or camel riding safaris accessing remote areas that vehicles cannot get to. In addition, there are quad bikes, mountain bikes, inflatable tubes for drifting down rivers, and fly camping. Visiting local Samburu markets and manyattas (local farm areas) and getting involved with the local culture is also highly recommended.