Located to the north-west of snow-capped Mount Kenya, Laikipia County is richly endowed with wildlife half of Kenya’s 600-odd black rhinos. The county forms the arid and semi-arid highlands west and northwest of the mountain. In fact on most ranches, cattle share the land with free-ranging wildlife. Laikipia County has the greatest number of wildlife outside of the gazetted protected areas in the country. The major wildlife species are the Lion, Giraffe, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and the Rhinoceros. The rarer species like the Grevy’s Zebra and Wild dogs are also found here.
Covering an average of 9,462km2, Laikipia is one of smallest counties in Kenya with a population of a little less than half a million. The county is multi-ethnic with the Kikuyus and Maasai communities forming the largest portion of its residents. Laikipia experiences a cool temperate climate, with mean annual temperatures of between 16°C and 26°C. The county also receives an average of 400mm and 750mm rainfall annually with areas considered to be farming zones receiving considerably higher amounts than average.
Today, Laikipia has developed into one of the most luxurious places to stay in Kenya. Most people visit on specialist tailor-made safaris which offer a growing wealth of activities and game-watching experiences. When you reach your lodge, there may be a choice of whether to sleep out in a star bed or to simply relax into what are often exceptionally beautiful surroundings. This vast semi-arid and existing region has something almost for everyone.
- Laikipia County hosts some of the rarest wildlife species in Africa including half of Kenya’s 600-odd black rhinos.
- Laikipia County has the greatest number of wildlife outside of the gazetted protected areas in Kenya.
- The largest single population of Grevy’s zebras in the World is found in Laikipia which accounts for about 70% of the world’s population of the same.
- Laikipia has the greatest diversity of large mammals than any other park or reserve in Kenya and the second highest population of elephants in Kenya are found in Laikipia.
- Laikipia is nestled around six counties, Meru and Nyeri to the south, Nyandarua to the southwest, Samburu to the north, Isiolo to the northeast and Baringo to the west.
- Notable points of interest in Laikipia include Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Yaaku museum, Beautiful Mt. Kenya peaks’ view, Unique Maasai culture, Eco-tourism sites, and the famous Lewa Marathon is held in Laikipia.
- Nanyuki is Laikipia County’s capital and main economic activities of the region include tourism and agriculture, ranching and greenhouse horticulture.
- The name Laikipia which means “treeless plain” in Maasai language. This vast plain is where different kinds of wildlife, including the big five, roam freely on the rangelands of Laikipia.
- The New York Times suggested Laikipia as one of top six must-visit destinations in Africa.