A Guide to the Laikipia Conservancies in Kenya

The Laikipia Conservancy in Kenya is among the few safari destinations in Kenya with a high concentration of wildlife. It is comparable to the Masai Mara Game Reserve, which is arguably the leading game-watching destination in Kenya. The situation in Laikipia Conservancy is, however, different from that in the Masai Mara Game Reserve. Human-wildlife interaction in Laikipia - Kenya is kept at a minimal level. A good example is seen in the few accommodation facilities available over the private and community-owned ranches. The entire land area covered by the private and community-owned ranches measures approximately 50,000 km2. 



The Ranches which make-up Laikipia include the following: 

  1. Mugie Conservancy 
  2. Lewa Conservancy 
  3. Sweet waters Ranch 
  4. El Karama Ranch 
  5. Tassia 
  6. Ilngwesi Group Ranch 
  7. Borana Ranch 
  8. Segera Ranch 
  9. Ol Malo Ranch 
  10. Ol Pejeta Conservancy 
  11. Lekurruki Group Ranch 
  12. Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy 
  13. Loisaba wilderness
  • Mugie Conservancy

The Mugie conservatory is located to the northern-most part of the greater Laikipia conservancy. Mugie conservatory is maintained as a privately managed conservancy, with the Hahn family credited with its establishment more than almost half a decade ago. The management at Mugie conservatory is concerned with improving the lives of the local communities, as well as preservation of endangered wildlife species. The Mugie Conservatory management gives back to the local community through promotion of education (Mugie Primary School) and medical services and employment opportunities for the local communities.Conservation efforts are thus the primary reason behing Mugie's existence. Local communities found in the area include the Pokot, Turkana, Samburu and Il Dorobo. The local community's participation in wildlife conservation efforts has proved effective in the preservation of endangered animal species. The wildlife at Mugie conservatory includes Buffalo, Zebra (Burshell's and Grevy's), Hartebeest, Hyena, wild dog, Eland, Impala, Dik Dik, Oryx, Waterbuck, Lion, Cheetah, Elephants and the Serval cat. The conservatory is also home to numerous bird species, with approximately 250 different bird species recorded in the area. Accommodation is mainly at Mutamaiyu house, with the possibility of temporary camping accommodation at designated areas in the conservancy. 
At Mugie conservatory, you will have the opportunity to embark on guided bush-walks, an activity that is not allowed in National Parks and reserves.
Accommodation at Mugie Conservatory | Laikipia Kenya Safaris
  • Lewa Conservancy


The Lewa conservancy has over the decades had primary focus on the conservation of wildlife. Such concern led to the establishment of Craig's family ranch into what is today known as the Lewa wildlife conservancy. The involvement of the local communities in the conservation efforts was crucial to the success of Lewa as a wildlife conservancy.
As the result of an agreement between the Lewa management and local communities, boundaries dividing the ranch and the surrounding communal lands were pulled down. Animals thus once again had the freedom of movement across traditional migratory roots, which had been blocked using communal land fencing. In the current state of wildlife conservation at Lewa conservancy, animal species once considered endangered and their numbers dwindling are now up for relocation to other destinations in Kenya due to over-population in the ranch. The conservation efforts at Lewa have showed significant success not only in boosting wildlife numbers but also in the improvement of local communities' welfare. The proceeds from tourism activity in the Lewa conservancy are used for the improvement of the local community's welfare.

Some of the animal species you will have the opportunity to see during your visit to the Lewa conservancy include the Eland, Impala, Oryx, Waterbuck, Lions, Reticulated giraffe, Hyenas, Elephants, Leopard, Rhino, and the Grevy's Zebra. Lewa conservancy is also home to numerous resident as well as migratory bird species.

You have several accommodation facilities to choose from during your visit at Lewa conservancy.

Accommodation at Lewa Conservatory | Laikipia Kenya Safaris
  • Sweet waters Ranch

The Sweet-waters ranch is part of the larger Laikipia conservancy, and boasts of a high concentration of wildlife. Perhaps, it is the only privately managed safari destination in Kenya that can rival the state-managed parks and reserves in the country in terms of wildlife numbers. Sweet waters ranch covers 24,000km2, an area which includes a 200-acre Chimpanzee sanctuary. The Jane Goodall Institute, Kenya Wildlife Service, and the Lonrho Institute partnered for the establishment of the Chimpanzee sanctuary for the protection of orphaned and vulnerable Chimpanzees. Chimpanzee numbers in the sanctuary have increased to more than twenty (20). The rest of the Ranch area is home to animals such as Lions, Elephants, Buffalos, Leopard, and Rhinoceros. Apart from the Big-five animals, other species found in the ranch include Rhinos and warthogs. The wildlife conservation efforts at sweet waters ranch involves the participation of the local community. Giving back to such communities involves investment in education, health and employment opportunities. You can request for participation in community development projects as funded by the ranch's management. 

On your visit to the Sweet waters ranch, you will have the opportunity to explore the wild while ridding on camel-back, or take a boat ride among the Chimps. These activities are aimed at raising awareness of the importance of wildlife conservation efforts in the area.


Accommodation at Sweet Waters Ranch | Laikipia Kenya Safaris
  • El Karama Ranch

Your visit to El Karama Ranch is set to be a fulfilling and exciting one. With the primary focus on your privacy and exposure to the wild, you have opportunity to have your safari tailored according to your needs.The El Karama Eco lodge gives this private ranch its name. The ranch sits on an area of 15,000km2, which is used for normal ranching activities as well as wildlife conservation efforts. The El Karama lodge is a certified Eco-friendly accommodation facility, giving opportunity for bookings one visitor as a time. Your visit to El Karama lodge is thus guaranteed of privacy and undisturbed views of wildlife. Activities such as agriculture and cattle rearing take place in the ranch, with the protection of wildlife receiving equal attention. El Karama offers some of the luxuries exclusive to privately managed conservatories. Horse-back safaris, guided bush-walks, and night game-drives are but few of the interesting activities you can engage in during your visit to the El Karama Ranch. El Karama Ranch is home to the Big-five animals, and over 400 different bird species. Lions, elephants, Buffalo, Cheetah, and Leopard can be seen at the ranch. Other animals you can sight at El Karama include the Hartebeest, Reticulated giraffe, Wild Dogs, and Grevy's Zebra.
 

Accommodation at El Karama | Laikipia Kenya Safaris
  • Tassia (see Lekurruki Group Ranch)

The Tassia Lodge is located in an overlapping area of the Lekurruki, Il Ngwesi and Borana Ranches. The conservation efforts around the lodge are not only iamed at preservation of the region's pristine landscape and wildlife, but also improvement of the local community's welfare. The mention of Tassia brings into consideration the associated groups of ranches around it.

Accommodation at Tassia | Laikipia Kenya Safaris

  • Il Ngwesi Group Ranch

The Il Ngwesi Group Ranch is owned by members of the Laikipiak Masai community. The local's participation in conservation efforts have proved a success in the preservation of wildlife as well as improvement of their lifestyle. The community has come up with ways of carrying-out their livelihood activities, while ensuring a safe and conducive environment for the wildlife found in the 9,470 conservancy area. The local community receives support in education, health and economic empowerment through employment opportunities in exchange for their participation in wildlife conservation efforts. Their appreciation of conservation efforts is evident in their willingness to participate in anti-poaching activities within the community-owned ranch. As the Il Ngwesi ranch borders the Lewa Conservancy, wildlife conservation efforts have been adopted for use in the Il Ngwesi Ranch.
Animal species found in the ranch include wild dog, Grevy's Zebra, Eland and elephant. The introduction of rhinos to the ranch was met by the poaching menace, which left the newly introduced animals dead. Future directions in the preservation of wildlife at Il Ngwesi will focus on up-scaled fight against poaching activities. Your visit to Il Ngwesi will focus on the Il Ngwesi lodge, from where you can choose from Camel safaris, visit members of the massai community in their traditional homesteads, guided bush-walks, and camping safaris.

Accommodation at Il Ngwesi Group Ranch | Laikipia Kenya Safaris
  • Borana Ranch

The Borana Ranch in Laikipia is named after the Borana cattle, which are widely reared in the area. Conservation efforts at the ranch involve the ranch owners, as well as the local community. The Dyer family own this ranch, and involves the surrounding communities in the conservation of wildlife. The family focuses on cattle rearing, while trying to ensure that the wild animals at the ranch co-exist with their cattle. However, the family continues to loose a considerable number of wildlife every year to predators.
On your visit to the Borana ranch, you will have the opportunity to see animals such as Lions, large elephant herds, Hyenas an Jackals. Hunting activity between predators and prey forms a wild spectacle at the ranch, which is well endowed with wildlife. You as the visitor to Borana Ranch will have the opportunity to participate in extra activities such as exploring the wild through horse-riding, guided bush-walks, and mountain bike riding.
Mount Kenya presents breathtaking views as seen from the ranches' southern direction.
 
Accommodation at Borana Ranch | Laikipia Safaris
  • Segera Ranch

Segera Ranch is part of the larger Ewaso ecosystem. It is located on an area of extensive grasslands. It is considered second only to the Masai Mara Game reserve in terms of wildlife population density. The ranch is easily accessible from the Mount Kenya National Park, through which you can access the remaining of the ranches in the Laikipia conservancy. The management at Segera Ranch is committed to the conservation of wildlife, through partnership with the local communities. in exchange for the commitment through co-existence with wildlife, the local community receives support in educational projects and support for the preservation of the local culture. Such preservation of African culture is easily visible in the artwork and design of the Segera Retreat center. 
The Segera Ranch is home to some of the rare and endangered wildlife species in Kenya. You will have the opportunity to see animals such as elephants, giraffes, lions, zebras, Cheetah, Leopard, Beisa Oryx, and Eland. Some of the endangered and rare animal species you can see at Segera Ranch include the Patas monkey and Grevy's zebra. Segera ranch is also a birdwatchers' paradise, with about 350 different bird species recorded in the area.
Visiting Segera ranch will give you the opportunity to experience some exclusive services and activities. Day and night game drives, guided bush-walks, Cultural tours, Sleep-outs, and sun-downers & picnics at the Segera Retreat.

Accommodation at Segera Ranch | Laikipia Safaris
  • Ol Malo Ranch

Ol Malo Ranch is located on the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River. From an escarpment overlooking the Laikipia plateau, one has a break-taking view of the expansive plateau. The Francombe family owns the ranch, and has partnership with the surrounding Samburu community for the conservation of wildlife in and around the Ol Malo Ranch. The area is home to the Greater Kudu, after which the accommodation facility and the area is named. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the exclusives that come with private ranches in Laikipia. Such activities include guided bush-walks, game-drives, Camping, Cultural tours (among the Samburu people), and Sun-downers.

You will also have the opportunity to enjoy the great bio-diversity at the ranch. Ol Malo ranch is rated as an eco-friendly facility, with sustainable support for the diverse life forms present in the area. Ol Malo is a wildlife haven. Animals you will have the opportunity to see on your visit to Ol Malo ranch include Lions, Elephants, Leopard, Greater Kudu, Warthog, Hyena (Spotted and Stripped), Cheetah, and Hartebeest. In additional to the great number of animal species inhabiting the ranch, you will have the opportunity to see 330 different bird species identified in the ranch.

Extra activities available to you on a visit to Ol Malo ranch include sundowner, guided bushwalks, cultural visit to Samburu traditional village, Bush-breakfast, and Game-drives.


Accommodation at Ol Malo Ranch | Laikipia Safaris
  • Ol Pejeta Conservancy

The Ol Pejeta conservancy is part of the larger laikipia conservancy. It is located between the Aberdares and Mount Kenya National Park,from where it extends to the West side of Nanyuki. Ol pejeta is renowned for wildlife conservation efforts, where numerous different species of animals have a home in the conservancy. The Ol Pejeta management team has partnered with the local communities for the preservation of wildlife and protection of endangered species. Perhaps Ol Pejeta is the only location in Kenya where conservation efforts have taken such a heightened approach. The presence of an electrified perimeter fence around the conservancy area has proved invaluable in the protection of animals against poaching, and reduction of human-wildlife conflict.

The participation of local communities in conservation efforts at the Ol Pejeta conservancy has had significant effect on the success of such activities. Additional approaches used for the protection and preservation of the endangered animal species at Ol Pejeta include, Air monitoring, Rangers, and Community participation. The Ol Pejeta gives you the opportunity to see the big five animals. In addition, you will see endangered species such as the Grevy's zebra, Jackson's Hartebeest, Black and white Rhino, and elephants. In addition to the conservation of these species, the Ol Pejeta conservancy is an important part of research efforts on wildlife found in the country, and how such wildlife is part of the larger Kenyan wild ecosystem.Communal participation in wildlife conservation is based on mutual benefit realised in the process. Communities receive educational opportunities, medical attention, and employment opportunities in the conservancy.


Accommodation at Ol Pejeta Conservancy | Laikipia Kenya Safaris
  • LeKurruki Group Ranch

The Lekurruki group ranch is managed by the communities found in the area. It forms an important crossing area for animals migrating from the northern lands of Samburu National Reserve and Buffalo Springs National reserve to the Il Ngwesi Ranches and Lewa conservancy. The participation of the local community in conservation efforts has played a considerable role in the preservation of wildlife in the area. The major concern at lekurruki group ranch is the sustainable existence of humans, livestock and wildlife in the ranch. Where the animals as well as local community depend on the available water and land resources for their survival, the need for conservation efforts features prominently. The management body at Lekurruki group ranch has partnered with government entities such as the Kenya Wildlife Service and Northern Rangelands trust for the trainning of scouts.
Your visit at the Lekurruki group ranch will be marked by numerous animal and bird species. The conservation efforts made at the Lekurruki ranch have born fruit so far, and animal species are enjoying the security and conducive environment. On your visit to the ranch, you will see animals such as Buffalo, Elephants, and Giraffe. The Lekurruki group ranch is also home to more than 200 different birds species, and 100 different species of butterfly.
The future of Lekurruki group ranch is headed for non-for-profit conservation of wildlife, and protection of such species from poaching. Joining up with Il Ngwesi group ranch and Lewa conservancy is set to result in a larger conservation area for wildlife, and hence enhance conservation activities.
 
Accommodation at Lekurruki Group Ranch | Laikipia Kenya Safaris
  • Ol Ari Nyiro Ranch

The Ol Ari Nyiro ranch is well renowned as a conservation area. During its former days, Ol Ari Nyiro functioned as a cattle ranch, but was later turned into a conservancy. The motivation behind the establishment of the conservation ranch was the need for sustainable existence between the wild animals and humans. The Gallman Memorial Foundation manages the conservancy, and rallies ahead of other organizations in funding conservation activities in the area. The Ol Ari nyiro conservancy is found on the western side of the Laikipia, and forms one of the most breathtaking scenery in the region.
The conservation practices at Ol Ari Nyiro have given room for the improvement of wildlife in the conservancy. On your visit to the area, you will have the opportunity to see animals such as large buffalo herds, giraffes, elephants, antelopes, zebras, cheetah, leopard and lions. The increased conservation efforts takes into the preservation of large as well as small animals in the conservancy. The Ol Ari Nyiro conservancy is also home to approximately 400 bird species. Some of the bird found in the area are endangered species.In the efforts aimed at protection of the environment, the participation of local communities in such efforts is crucial for success. The conservancy management contributes to the local community through giving opportunity in education, health services, and community service.
Activities of interest during your visit to the Ol Ari Nyiro conservancy include camel and horse riding, guided bush-walks, cultural visits to Samburu villages, and day and night game-drives.
 
Accommodation at Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy | Laikipia Safaris
  • Loisaba Wilderness

Loisaba wilderness is located to the north of the larger Laikipia conservancy. Loisaba wilderness is home to numerous bird and wildlife species. Conservation efforts at Loisaba involve the local communities as well as management at the conservancy. The Samburu and Laikipiak masai inhabit the surrounding regions at Loisaba. Their involvement in conservation efforts is matched with commitment to improvement of their welfare. The management team at Loisaba is involved in the development of educational programs, health information and services, and economic empowerment through enterprise solutions.
During your visit to Loisaba, you will have the opportunity to see animals such as elephants, buffalo, and grevy's zebra. Loisaba is also home to more than 250 different bird species. Nature conservation efforts at the conservancy are directed to the preservation of endangered wildlife species.
Activities of interest on your visit to Loisaba include horse and camel back riding, game-drives at the conservancy, rafting, and guided bush-walks.
 
Accommodation at Loisaba Wilderness | Laikipia Kenya Safaris