6 conservancies in Kenya that will win your heart
As the famous quote by Marty Rubin says “Travel doesn’t become adventure until you leave yourself behind”
While many of us may have heard of the famous Masai Mara Game Reserve and others visited places like Lake Nakuru National Park & the Amboseli National Park, there are also other gems that may be are unheard of and these are the different wildlife conservancies in the Kenya. While we love to travel, conservation should also be part of us. Most of the wild animals that we travel far and wide to see are becoming endangered and some of them extinct. The government of Kenya in partnership with different organisations have therefore come up with measures to protect these wildlife species through setting up of wildlife conservancies in the different parts of the country. Some of the animals found in these conservancies are the white and black Rhino’s , Lions, Elephants, the endangered Rothschild Giraffe just to mention a few. By visiting these conservancies you have the opportunity to learn more about conservation while interacting with some of these animals at a close range.
Here are some of the must visit wildlife conservancies in Kenya
- The Ol pejeta Conservancy
Covering an area of 110,000 acres, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy is located at the foothills of the aberdares and the highest mountain in Kenya, the magnificent snow – capped Mount Kenya. It is one of the only four wildlife conservancies in Kenya and home to the only Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Kenya and the largest Black Rhino Sanctuary in East Africa. Just like the masai mara, it has one of the richest diversity of wildlife in Kenya. This includes wild animals, birds and vegetation. It is home to all members of the big five ( rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants and buffalo) and other animal species like the black-backed jackal and caracal.
At the Ol pejeta you have the opportunity to interact at close range with the adopted Chimpanzee from different parts of the world; this is at the Chimpanzee sanctuary. You will also interact with the Rhino’s at close range at the Rhino Sanctuary. There is also the opportunity go for a game drive within the sanctuary and/or rest in one of the luxurious camps in kenya; the Sweet Waters Serena and the Ol pejeta House
- Lewa Conservancy
Lewa Conservancy is located in the Northern part of Kenya at the South of Isiolo town and North of Mount Kenya. It is situated within a 62,000 acre ranch and wildlife sanctuary and is home to over 10% of Kenya’s entire black rhino population and 14% of their white rhino population, making it the perfect choice for your next safari if you want to catch the big 5, namely rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants and buffalo all of which make their home at Lewa. The Lewa conservancy has an outstanding scenery and of the best game viewing in Kenya, making it a very popular spot for tourists. Other wild animals species found at the Lewa conservancy include; Grevy’s Zebras, Sitatungas’, reticulated Giraffe,Beisa Oryx and the rare Greater Kudu just to mention a few.
At the Lewa conservancies, activities that you can undertake are a game drives, bird watching, bush walks, bush meals and sun downers just to mention a few. You can also chose to visit a Maasai Cultural Village, take a visit to Lake Rutundu on Mt. Kenya for a fly-fishing excursion or even choose to do a wilderness trail on an a chartered plane across the Lewa
For birders, Lewa conservancy is home to diversity of bird life including Bustard, Plover, Coursers and birds of prey.
Interesting to note is that the Lewa ranch was once a home to David Craig who was a close ally to Prince William. It is in this place that Prince William proposed to his then girlfriend Kate Middleton. Prince William is one of the main and keen conservationist to this area.
- Solio Ranch Conservancy
Founded in the 1970, the Solio Ranch was established as a breeding ground for the endangered white and black rhino’s. The Ranch covers an areas of 45,000 acres with the conservancy which is located inside the ranch covering an area of 19,000 acres. It is located in a valley between the magnificent snow -capped Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Mountains thus giving one a stunning view of this highest mountain in Kenya,(Mt. Kenya). Inside the ranch is one of the most luxurious lodges in Kenya, the Solio Lodge.
Apart from the conservancy hosting the Rhino’s, it is also home to other wildlife species like the Zebra, Buffalos, Giraffes and other several antelope species. A visit to the Solio Ranch will offer you an intense and exclusive wildlife experience.
In Solio Ranch you can undertake a game drive at close ranges with wild animals, birding, nature walks, horse riding and cycling. Inside the ranch there is also the Solio Lodge one of the luxurious lodges in the country. Here you can choose to have your night rest and enjoy your lunches
- David Sheldrick Elephant Trust
Located in Nairobi city, The David Sheldrick Elephant Trust was founded in 1977, shortly after the death of David Sheldrick who was the head of the anti poaching unit at Tsavo National Park. The Trust is a haven to orphaned elephants, a few Rhinos and other animal species. It is the world’s most successful orphan rescue and rehabilitation program and one of the first wildlife conservation projects in East Africa.
Here you have the opportunity to interact with the elephants at close range and also get to appreciate conservation efforts through your contribution.
- Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy
Founded in 1980, the Ol Jogi conservancy is located at the shadow of Mt. Kenya and covers an area of 60,000 acres.
It is one of the oldest conservancies in laikipia and a strong hold for the Eastern black Rhino. Being a home to 85% of Eastern black Rhinos in Kenya and one of the most successful breeding programmes for Rhinos in Kenya, It is also a home to different species of wildlife including the Big Five,the African Dog, rare wildlife species like the Grevy’s zebra and the reticulated giraffe. Inside the ranch is the Ol jogi home, a very beautiful and luxurious private safari home.
One can never be short of the activities that they can undertake in the ranch. You can have Game drives in the conservancy, go for nature walks and horse riding, visit the veterinary clinic and the wildlife rescue center and bird watching just to mention a few. For the lovers of eco/ethical tourism Ol jogi wildlife conservancy is the place to visit.
- The Giraffe Center
Located in Nairobi, the Giraffe Center was founded in 1979 by Jock Leslie Melville. It protects the highly endangered Rothschild Giraffe which is only found in the grasslands of East Africa. Species of warthogs can also be found in this center and roam freely alongside the giraffes. The main attraction for visitors in this place is the opportunity to feed the Giraffes from a raised observation platform and interact with them at close ranges