As a Tourist Destination, Laikpia’s offers something for everyone
The Laikipika plateau is situated in Central Kenya and it is one of the seventy one districts of Kenya. The district has large privately owned ranches that cover many types of terrain and is rich in wildlife.
The Laikipia Plateau is often called the last stronghold of romantic East Africa. It features vast open ranches, with the snow-capped Mount Kenya in the background. The district houses ethnically diverse communities including the Mukogodo Masai and Samburu. These indigenous tribal people have partnered with the settlers and ranchers to create a two million acres (800,000 hectares) wild savannah conservation and wildlife haven.
The land of Laikipia is fed by the Ewaso Nyiro and Ewaso Narok rivers, Laikipia’s abundant plains have long nurtured exceptional diversity. Even today traditional resources remain the mainstay of the community- The main occupations being wheat farming and livestock ranching to wildlife conservation and now tourism.
As a tourist destination, Laikipia’s offers something for everyone. You can choose between a wildlife conservation activity holidays, to simply taking a break from your routine life.
The more active tourist or visitor can participate in the annual Lewa Downs Cross-Country Marathon. This is one of the most spectacular runs at an altitude of around 3000 metres. It is considered one amongst the most gruelling challenges for runners from all over the world.
The district is an ideal location for catching The “Big Five” in their natural habitat. (rhino, elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo). Laikipia is also home to the largest number of endangered mammals in Kenya.
The conservancy protects half of Kenya’s black rhino population in the Solio, Lewa, Ol Jogi, Ol Pejeta and Ol Ari Nyiro Sanctuaries. Kenya’s second largest herds of elephant (over 3,200 at last count) outside the Tsavo National Park reside here and this is the last refuge of the endangered Jackson’s Hartebeest.
Other animals in the conservancy include the Wild dog, leopard, lion, cheetah and other predators that hunt the plentiful plains game viz., impala, gazelle, reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, Somali ostrich, Beisa oryx and gerenuk.
Laikipia offers diverse scenery from the peaks of Mount Kenya to the boundaries of the Great Rift Valley. The views comprise of dusty plains and green grasslands, interspersed with rocky hills, rivers, and waterholes.
The Laikipia ecosystem is an experiment in ecotourism. Here the local residents and the administration demonstrate the viability and sustainability of wildlife tourism as an economic resource.
The conservancy is home to world class community owned tourism projects such as IL Ngwesi, Tassia, Koija, Loisaba amongst others.