Ol pejeta is a 140 Square mile non-profit wildlife conservancy located in Laikipia, Central Kenya between the Aberdare ranges and Mt Kenya. It was established to conserve wildlife, provide a sanctuary for great Apes and to generate income through wildlife tourism and complimentary enterprises for re-investment in conservation and community development.
It is at the forefront of wildlife conservation with it being the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa and home to the last two remaining Northern white rhino. Other endangered species found in the conservancy include grevy’s zebra, oryx, hartebeest, wild dogs and bat-eared fox.
The Ol pejeta conservancy hosts a large population of wildlife including all the ‘big five’ i.e., lions, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos and leopards. Other wildlife you are likely to come across are giraffes, hippos, hyenas, jackals and antelopes.
Furthermore, it is the only place in Kenya where you can find Chimpanzees, providing a haven for orphaned, abandoned and rescued chimpanzees.
Within the conservancy is a Cattle ranch with a herd of about 6,000 beef cattle. The purebred Boran cattle produce high quality beef which helps the conservancy generate income.
Ol pejeta conservancy participates in various community development activities to help the surrounding community. These areas include education, healthcare and infrastructure.
There are various spots you can visit while at the conservancy, including:
- Morani Information Centre & Sanctuary: This place offers an opportunity for visitors to learn about the different wildlife species that live on Ol Pejeta; from anatomy to behavior to habitat. It also offers an insight into how the Conservancy carry out their day-to-day activities regrading wildlife conservation. It is open from 9am to 5pm everyday and is free to visit. While here you can visit “Baraka” a blind black rhino who is under 24 hour surveillance by his keepers.
Also the last 2 remaining Nothern white rhinos Najin & Fatu roam here freely as Scientists and researchers try to fertilize them to save the species from extinction.
- Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary: It is home to chimpanzees rescued from traumatic conditions all across Africa. After they are nursed back to health they are introduced to the large group at the sanctuary where you will find them exploring, climbing and socializing.
- Rhino Memorial: This memorial located in the conservancy honors the lives of all the Ol pejeta rhinos that have been killed in the poaching epidemic.
- Equator sign: The northern and the southern hemisphere meet in Ol pejeta conservancy and the equator is marked on the eastern sector of the conservancy near Rongai gate.
- Scott’s hide: This is a permanent hide overlooking a waterhole where you can observe wildlife closely at a hidden shelter without disturbing them. The best viewing times are between 4:30pm and 6:30pm when majority of wildlife come to drink.
- Morani’s Restaurant: Here you can enjoy your meal from a wide variety of their food menu ranging from gluten-free, vegan, kids, coffee to the main menu. It was named one of the top 20 places in Kenya to eat. You can enjoy your early diner as you watch the sundowner.
Some of the activities you can engage in while at the conservancy include: Guided bush walks, lion tracking, dog tracking, community visit, cycling safaris, night game drives, gym in the wild and running in the wild. Most of these activities are charged separately from the conservancy entry fee.
Ol Pejeta has an all budget and taste accommodation options with nine lodges and camps located in the conservancy namely; Kicheche Laikipia Camp, Mutara Camp, Ol Pejeta Bush Camp, Ol Pejeta House, Ol Pejeta Safari Cottages, Pelican House, Porini Rhino Camp, Sweetwaters Serena Camp and The Stables.
Getting to Ol Pejeta Conservancy
By road: Ol Pejeta is 207km from Nairobi and takes approximately three hours.
By air: If you choose to fly you will land in Nanyuki airstrip which is a 45 min drive from the conservancy.