Ins and outs
Laikipia Plateau has only recently been recognized as a wildlife area in its own right, and this spectacular region is considered the gateway to Kenya's wild northern frontier country. The plateau covers an area of 9723 sq km - roughly half the size of Wales in the UK. Altitudes range from 1700 to 2600 m above sea level. Wild and sparsely populated, much of Laikipia is covered by large privately owned ranches. These ranches cover a wide range of landscapes, and the plateau is dominated by acacia bushland with large areas of open grasslands to the north and south of the district, and dense olive and cedar forests to the east. It is, without doubt, Kenya's greatest conservation success story over the last 15 years or so; an area of beautiful wilderness, where protected game roams freely and safely, while preserving traditional farming methods and ways of life.
This area of wilderness is a sprawling, rather loosely defined area, accessible by road from Nanyuki, Baringo, Eldoret or Isiolo. The main roads that cross this region are the C76, which connects Nanyuki with Nyaharuru, the C77, which runs between Nyaharuru and Maralal, and the C78, which joins Maralal with Isiolo. It is important to remember that many of the ranches, and the roads therein, are privately owned. Some ranches allow day visitors with their own transport, others do not. Visitors should always make enquiries in advance. If you are visiting a ranch with your own private transport, and it is essential to have a 4WD, ask for directions and preferably a map, in advance. Many ranches and sanctuaries have their own airstrips, which can be used by charter aircraft. Between them,
run scheduled services from Nairobi to Samburu, Nanyuki, and Lewa Downs.
based at Nanyuki offers a charter service directly to the lodges. Most ranches will arrange to transfer guests directly by air or road from Nairobi or any other destination, as part of their
service. Nanyuki serves as the supply centre for ranchers on the Laikipia Plateau. Many of the ranches and game reserves work closely with the Kenya Wildlife Service in conservation and poaching control. Consequently there is often an additional conservation fee on top of the accommodation rates.
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