Overview – Ol Pejeta

Anthony Ham
By Anthony Ham

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the guide to Kenya.

Anthony is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

Anthony is the author of the Lonely Planet guide to Kenya.

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 two northern white rhino left in the world; and Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, housing orphaned and abandoned chimpanzees.

Best Time to Go June to September (Dry season)
High Season June to October and December to March
Size 364km² / 141mi²
Altitude 1,748-2,033m / 5,735-6,670ft

Pros & 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
  • Only reserve in Laikipia allowing day visits
  • The active ranch with cattle reduce the wilderness appeal
  • There is only a small animal-viewing circuit

Ol Pejeta Safari Reviews

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  • Wildlife
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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).

Want to Visit Ol Pejeta?

Ol Pejeta Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
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...

Latest User Review
Lee Cooper  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Sep 10, 2019

As well as the protected compounds for Rhinos and Chimpanzees the animals in the wider area are diverse and plentiful.
And the scenery with views of Mt Kenya in the background are stunning

Full Review