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Monday, 15 April 2013

Laikipia wilderness safari and tourism

By Joseph Nderitu
Laikipia, one of the 47 counties in Kenya is one of the world’s most exciting wilderness safari and wildlife tourism destination. It is located in the former Rift-Valley province one of the largest provinces in Kenya. It stretches from the slopes of Mt Kenya to the Great Rift Valley thus becoming the largest of all Kenya’s national parks and reserves after the Tsavo. Its magnificent escarpment descends into the arid lands and semi deserts of northern Kenya.

Laikipia wildlife sanctuary consist a wide variety of mammal species; they include rhino, elephant, lion, leopard, zebra and other African game. All the big-5 mammals occur in Laikipia and half of all endangered black rhinos in Kenya today are in Laikipia.

It is not just the rare and the endangered animals that make Laikipia so special, it also plays home to a great diversity of life, from the smallest insects to vast herds of impala, buffalo and zebra. It is also renowned for the richness of its bird life. Other tourist attraction sites in Laikipia is the amazing Thomson’s Falls, Laikipia plateau and Ole Pejeta conservancy.
 Cottage in Ol Lentille Sanctuary

A well developed tourism infrastructure complete with high levels of community involvement and participation gives the visitors privileged access to the cultures and customs. The region is well endowed with cultural communities that include Maasai, Samburu, Turkana, Pokot and other peoples.

Investment and conservation are the key factors practiced by people of Laikipia County. Hundred of thousands of acres were set aside over years for conservation and eco-tourism developments. Both locals and white ranchers here own ventures in form of lodges or tented camps. These include Tassia and the sanctuary at Ol Lentille. They also have tourism facilities. They include small lodges, tent camps, ranch houses, community lodges and resorts based in natural wildlife areas.

There is need to conserve Laikipia wildlife and ecosystem to improve the lives of its people by bringing its societies together to conserve and sustainably use the wealth of these natural resources.
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