Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya
Kicheche Laikipia expertly balances simplicity and luxury, offering just a small number of spacious tents nestled beside a waterhole that’s popular with birdlife, buffalo and plains game. Each tent is set among bushes and trees for privacy, with outdoor seating and a hammock allowing you to lie back and enjoy your surroundings and watch animals come to drink. Inside is a large en suite bathroom and dressing area, a small sitting area and twin or double beds.
The communal area, set under canvas, includes an open-plan library, lounge and dining space decorated with African artwork and textiles. Comfortable sofas are positioned around a large open fireplace. Outside, you can relax on the deck with a drink or enjoy lunch alfresco beneath the shady trees.
Lunches and dinners are usually served communally around a big table, giving you a chance to swap stories with other guests. Then, gather around the campfire under a canopy of stars.
During your stay, you can embark on day and night game drives, bush walks and other activities offered in the wider conservancy, from lion tracking by vehicle to visiting the endangered species enclosure.
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Peaceful, attractive and intimate, Kicheche Lakipia marries the atmosphere of an authentic safari camp with just the right amount of luxury. We find the staff are exceptionally welcoming, and the guides have a wealth of knowledge on the natural world.
The six large canvas tents, each named after the peaks of Mount Kenya, overlook the waterhole and the wide expanse of open bushland. You can open up the front of your tent to extend the feeling of being out in the bush. They each feature a furnished outdoor deck where you can sit and look out for passing wildlife or simply enjoy the view over a drink.
Inside, cushions and throws brighten up dark-wood furniture, giving the tents a traditional African theme. You have a large en suite bathroom and dressing area, a small sitting area and either a double or twin beds. There’s one family tent comprising two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The camp is situated in the heart of the Ol Peteja Conservancy, a large area of bushland wilderness in Kenya’s Laikipia region that supports a wide variety of wildlife, including the country’s largest population of black rhino. Nanyuki airstrip is a 30-minute drive from the conservancy and, on clear days, you can enjoy impressive views of Mount Kenya from the camp.
Food and drink
- Food is of a high standard at camp, with all the vegetables and meat sourced from local farms.
- Breakfast and lunch are usually taken alfresco, and evening meals within the atmospheric dining tent with its open fireplace.
- Picnic breakfasts and lunches can also be arranged if you’re setting off on a longer game drive, and sundowner drinks and snacks will conclude your afternoon activity.
- Children are welcome and the camp is fenced, though young children should still be accompanied at all times.
- The family tent provides ample space, and while the camp itself doesn’t have any child-specific activities or facilities, the conservancy runs a Junior Ranger Program for children aged 4 to 12. This involves filling out an activity booklet as you explore the conservancy and, on completion, you’re sworn in as a junior ranger, receiving a hat, certificate and pin badge.
Facilities and activities
The camp has its own two-person canoe for use on the dam in front of the property, and you can stretch your legs after a game drive by following the walking trail that loops around the property. Wi-Fi is available in the main communal area.
Activities include day and night drives, bush walks with professional guides, mountain biking and horse riding. You can also arrange to go fly camping for a night or two in the Lolldaiga Hills for a true wilderness experience.
The wider conservancy offers the chance to participate in lion tracking by vehicle, visit the endangered species enclosure where the last two northern white rhino on the planet are protected, and take a behind-the-scenes visit of the nearby chimpanzee sanctuary.
Environmental and social responsibility
The camp has a ‘gold’ eco-rating and uses solar power. Part of the profits from your stay go toward community and conservation projects, and many of the staff are local to the area.
Tour ideas in Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Our itineraries are there to spark ideas for how you could include a stay at Kicheche Laikipia as part of your trip. Treat them simply as suggestions, because every aspect of the trip we create for you will be yours to define.
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Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.