Overview – Ol Pejeta
Ol Pejeta is one of the prime sanctuaries of Laikipia Plateau and all of the Big Five are present. Its highlights include the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa; a population of southern white rhino; a refuge for the last three northern white rhino left in the world; and Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, housing orphaned and abandoned chimpanzees. It’s the only Laikipia reserve where day visits are possible. A range of activities is available, including night drives, lion tracking and guided bush walks.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent wildlife viewing including the Big Five
- Great sightings of black and white rhino
- Ol Pejeta is part of a bigger eco-system, ‘Laikipia Plateau’
- Many activities including night drives, lion tracking and walking
- Stunning views of Mount Kenya
- Day visits possible
- The active ranch with cattle and fences take away some of the wilderness appeal
- There is only a small animal-viewing circuit
Ol Pejeta Conservancy offers excellent wildlife-viewing opportunities. All of the Big Five are here and sightings of both black rhino and white rhino are common. It has some of the highest predator densities in the region, and aside from the big cats, there is a chance of seeing wild dogs. Other endangered species here include the Beisa oryx, Jackson's hartebeest and Grevy's zebra.
Ol Pejeta Conservancy is located between the foothills of the Aberdares and the magnificent, snow-capped Mount Kenya. Habitats here include semi-arid grassland, woodland, riverine forest and wetland. The conservancy flanks the scenic Ewaso Nyiro River.
Weather & Climate
Average daytime temperatures at Ol Pejeta don’t deviate much from 24°C/75°F, thanks to the nearness of the equator. That said, the park’s altitude lends it a distinct coolness, especially felt on early-morning game drives. There’s always the chance of rain during the Dry season (June to September). But this is guaranteed in the Wet season (October to May), particularly in the twin rainfall peaks of April and November.
Best Time to Visit
Tracking wildlife in Ol Pejeta is not difficult in the drier months (June to September, and December to February), when the roads are dependable and the undergrowth is much thinner than it is in the rainy months. The only downside is that the conservancy can get flooded with visitors at these times. Also, up until September, the dry landscape lacks the striking lushness of the Wet season (October to May).
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Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
Laikipia’s main tourist focus
This is the busiest conservancy in Laikipia, but also one of the largest, with most tourist activity concentrated in the eastern third, site of the main lodge, but there are also a couple of more low-key wilderness camps in the western...
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