Expert Reviews – Solio Ranch

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Rhino overload
Overall rating
3/5

This is the most southerly conservancy in Laikipia, easily accessed from the towns of Nyeri or Nanyuki, and one of the few that actively encourages private day visits (the first lodge opened on the property as recently as 2011). Since 1970 it has functioned as a key breeding centre for introduced founder populations of 23 black and 16 white rhino, and there truly is no better place in Kenya to see these endangered creatures – we must have seen more than 50 white and ten black rhinos in the course of an overnight stay. We also had great sightings of lion and cheetah, along with large numbers of buffalo, zebra, giraffe, eland and Beisa oryx, and were impressed at the condition of the pristine fever tree forest that follows the main waterway through the reserve (a result of elephant being excluded from the property). The one negative about this reserve is that it is very small and the concentrations of rhino and other grazers seem somewhat artificial. Still, the rhino viewing alone is superb, and the newly opened lodge is easily one of the most stylish bush retreats in Kenya.

Flocks of rhino in Solio Ranch
Overall rating
4/5

Solio Game Ranch is one of the many private ranches on Laikipia Plateau. A lot of the ranches in Laikipia offer good black and white rhino viewing, but this is something else. Rhinos dot the plains in flocks here. This place has one of the most successful breeding programs of rhino in Africa, but to me there seems something slightly disturbing about so many rhinos in such a small area. Aside from an unnatural high density of rhino, these local populations have some of the biggest horns I’ve ever seen.

Aside from the rhinos, other wildlife is abundant as well. I saw cheetah, lion, buffalo, lots of antelopes and about 100 rhino on a morning drive. Solio has been around for a while, but Solio Lodge is a new addition and I would say it is one of the finest lodges in Kenya. The décor is stunning and the service and food is world-class.

Average Expert Rating

  • 3.5/5
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

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