Laikipia covers a vast 9,500km² plateau in central Kenya, north of the Aberdares and stretching from the slopes of Mt Kenya in the south east to the edge of the Great Rift Valley in the west. The striking escarpments descend into the surrounding arid land with arms of the Ewaso Nyiro River cutting across the vast open plains. The habitats range from dry savannah and open woodlands to spectacular canyons and low forested valleys.
Made up of extensive community owned ranches, private farms and wildlife conservancies, Laikipia supports the second highest density of wildlife in Kenya, and is the only place in Africa where wildlife and habitat numbers are on the increase. It is one of Kenya’s most exciting wilderness areas with spectacular scenery and an abundance of wildlife, including the Big 5 as well as many endangered species, such as Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Lelwel’s Hartebeest and the Patas Monkey – Laikipia is also one of the best places to see Wild Dog.
Spanning 62,000 acres, the world famous Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is part of the Laikipia ecosystem, supporting over 440 bird species and more than 70 different mammals which roam the open grasslands at the foot of Mt Kenya. Its rhino population has grown steadily, not only restoring local numbers but enabling black rhino reintroduction in regions where they had long been absent. The conservancy currently holds over 10% of Kenya’s black and 15% of Kenya’s white rhino population as well as the largest single population of the critically endangered Grevy’s zebra in the world. With corridors open to the north, elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah and giraffe, to name but a few species, move freely in and out of this protected area and the greater Laikipia ecosystem.