Overview – Solio Ranch

Anthony Ham
Expert
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.

The sanctuary on Solio Ranch (also Solio Game Reserve) on Laikipia Plateau was founded in 1970 as a breeding ground for white and black rhinos. This has been extremely successful, and many rhino have been translocated to other parks and reserves. The small park is literally full of rhino and both species seem to mingle quite happily in a way that doesn’t feel very natural. A variety of other safari animals have been introduced as well.

Best Time to Go June to September (Dry season)
High Season July to October (High season rates apply)
Size 77km² / 30mi²
Altitude 1,890-2,035m / 6,201-6,677ft

Pros & Cons

  • A chance to support a successful rhino breeding program
  • Excellent photo opportunities of black and white rhino with impressive horns
  • Stunning views of Mount Kenya
  • One of the most luxurious lodges in Kenya
  • The active ranch with cattle and fences takes away some of the wilderness appeal
  • Very small reserve with small game-drive circuit
  • Unnatural number of rhinos
  • Most wildlife has been re-introduced, meaning the reserve can lack authenticity

Solio Ranch Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding

Wildlife

Solio Ranch supports a big population of black rhino and white rhino – the breeding program has been so successful that many individuals have been translocated out of Solio. The reserve also protects zebra, buffalo, giraffe and several antelope species. All the usual predators including the big cats are also present.

Scenery

Solio Ranch is located in the valley between the dramatic, snow-capped peak of Mount Kenya and the Aberdare Mountains. Most of the terrain consists of grassy plains, and the acacia-lined Moyo River traverses the entire reserve.

Weather & Climate

Throughout the year, there’s little change in temperature because of Solio’s proximity to the equator. But it gets significantly cooler when the sun dives – worth remembering when you’re dressing for an early-morning game drive. The Dry season (June to September) is generally sunny, but rain can fall at any time. The Wet season (October to May) starts with the ‘short rains’ and ends with the ‘long rains’, with a drier period in between.

Best Time to Visit

November, near the start of the Wet season (October to May), sees the closure of the ranch thanks to that month’s characteristic downpours. You can track animals at other times in that season, but inaccessible roads and scattered wildlife need to be factored in. The drier months are more reliable for watching animals. Even though these coincide with the local high season, the lodge hardly ever gets booked out.

Want to Visit Solio Ranch?

Solio Ranch Safari Reviews

  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
  • Wildlife
  • Scenery
  • Bush Vibe
  • Birding
Most Helpful Expert Review
Expert
Philip Briggs  –  
South Africa ZA

Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.

Rhino overload
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...

Full Review

Latest User Review
NSStone  –  
Australia AU
Reviewed: Apr 3, 2016
5/5

Beautiful! Lots of rhinos, beautiful views, scenery can change quite a bit with views of Mt Kenya. Baboons, monkeys, lions, Impala, vultures, etc...

Full Review