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Laikipia National Reserve

The Laikipia plateau in central Kenya is the last stronghold of romantic East Africa: vast open ranches, shadowed by snow-capped Mount Kenya, are home to ethnically diverse communities including the Mukogodo Maasai and Samburu. These indigenous tribes' people have joined together in partnership with the settlers and ranchers to create a conservation and wildlife haven that spans two million acres (800,000 hectares) of wild savannah.

Rhino (Picture: Michael Nikolai)
Rhino (Picture: Michael Nikolai)
Despite being a non-protected area, wildlife in Laikipia is abundant and total numbers are higher than any of Kenya's protected areas except the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Laikipia hosts the highest diversity of large mammals in Kenya, including significant populations of major predators and the "Big 5". It also hosts more endangered species than anywhere else in Kenya. The abundant plains are physically diverse and scenically spectacular, fed by the Ewaso Nyiro and Ewaso Narok rivers.

There are nearly 40 places to stay ranging from 3 to 230 beds, with prices from US$25 to US$ 690 per person per night. And an incredible 56 different activities are offered by the collective tourism facilities in Laikipia. Here a sense of exclusivity will always prevail, because of the size of Laikipia and the wider Ewaso ecosystem. The typical facility in Laikipia has just 13 beds and nearly all have less than 30 beds.

The Laikipia region of Kenya is a world leader in conservation and local community based eco-tourism. All tourism operations that are active here, are members of the Laikipia Wildlife Forum, a dynamic membership driven organization - the first institution of its kind to develop a significant capacity to foster development and conservation goals on a district wide level in Kenya.