Unique amongst Kenya’s wildlife regions in that it has no national parks, Laikipia is a well-kept secret. With several wildlife sanctuaries, countless conservation enterprises and the highest number of endangered species in Kenya, the region is a conservationist’s haven.
The eight rhino sanctuaries in the area together hold over half of Kenya’s black rhinos. Laikipia is also home to high numbers of the endangered Grevy’s zebra, reticulated giraffe and Lelwel hartebeest, and has a significant population of elephants. All the big predators are found here, including the rare African wild dog. Many ranches and sanctuaries in the area have both domestic and wild animals, and fuse sustainable tourism with the conservation of wildlife, the preservation of land and the protection of local peoples.
The region is known as Kenya’s high country for its striking escarpments, soaring peaks and the rivers gushing down the slopes. The Laikipia plateau rises to an altitude of over 2,000m, and includes semi-arid land, grassland, savannah, open woodland and seven protected forest reserves.
The tribes who inhabit this region are diverse and include the Maasai, Samburu, Pokot, Turkana, Il Dorobo and Meru. Cultural visits to villages here provide a wealth of information about the range of traditions performed here.
Activities in the region are extraordinarily varied and numerous. Here you can ride camels, horses or mountain bikes. You can view the game from a land cruiser, quad bike or river raft. You can go fishing, do yoga or climb a rock face. You can fly in a paraglider, small aircraft or helicopter. Annual events include the SAX 10-4 bike race down Mt Kenya, the Safaricom Lewa Marathon and the Laikipia Highland Games.