Ol Pejeta Conservancy
Ol Pejeta Conservancy has the largest rhino population in Kenya, and is home to the last two remaining northern white rhinos in the world. Ol Pejeta is also home to the Big Five, and has the largest portfolio of activities of any park in Kenya.
Ol Pejeta at a glance
Ol Pejeta is a protected land in the Laikipia district in central Kenya. Established in 1988, originally as a cattle farm, Ol Pejeta has developed into a wildlife sanctuary and is an important conservancy protecting endangered species.
Ol Pejeta is the best place to see rhinos in Kenya, and has the most activities available of all the parks and conservancies in Kenya, including game drives, mountain biking, horse riding, lion tracking, running with rangers, cycling and community visits.
Ol Pejeta run a community development program, and support local communities with funding for education, water provisions and infrastructure.
The conservancy is home to the Big Five, as well as endangered species like the African wild dog, cheetah and oryx, Grevy’s zebra, beisa oryx, and Jackson’s hartebeest.
Alongside these you’ll find giraffes, baboons, hippos and hyenas.
Night drives are also possible at Ol Pejeta, allowing the opportunity to spot the nocturnal creatures that roam these grasslands.
Endangered species enclosure
The endangered species enclosure is the only area of the park that is fenced off for the animals. Here you’ll find white and black rhinos that have to be monitored around the clock to protect them from poaching.
The enclosure is home to the last two remaining northern white rhinos in the world (both female).
The Grevy’s zebra and Jackson’s wildebeest are also kept in the endangered species enclosure. Poaching and loss of habitat has massively reduced their numbers, and they now need urgent protection.
Ol Pejeta has fitted a few lions with tracking collars to help rangers establish the prides’ location.
The lions can wander around the entire 360km² range. To ensure their safety, trackers have been installed to help the rangers keep them safe from poachers.
You can join a ranger to find the lions between 06:30-08:30 and 15:30-17:30.
Most visits to Ol Pejeta will include lion tracking and the endangered species enclosure together on the first day – one in the morning, one in the afternoon.
Take a walk down the Ewaso Nyiro river, patiently waiting and adorned in camouflage, you’ll soon spot the hippos that come to the surface for sunshine.
The walk down to the hide is a scenic nature route, meandering through various indigenous plants that are used by the local communities for cooking and medicine.
The hide is open between 07:00-18:30 every day.
A walking safari in the Ol Pejeta plains offers unrestricted views of the park – be brave and walk alongside park rangers, learn about their daily lives as you explore the park in search of wildlife.
Walking safaris can be arranged in the mornings or afternoons – either between 06:30-09:30 or 15:30-18:30.
Visit the chimpanzee sanctuary
Open daily between 10:00 to 15:30, the Sweetwater’s chimpanzee sanctuary has been home to orphaned chimpanzees since 1993 and has provided a natural environment to the non-indigenous species within an island on the park.
Chimpanzees that arrive at the sanctuary are nursed to health and released into the conservancy – and Ol Pejeta is the only place in Kenya where you can find these animals.
When is the best time to visit Ol Pejeta?
June to October are the best months to visit Ol Pejeta. This is the dry season, and generally the further into the dry season you are, the better the game viewing.
In November and December there is a short rainy season, but this is a very pretty time to visit as plants are in bloom, and it’s a good time to see migratory birds.
From January to March there is another dry season, and the flowers will be in bloom following the rains – this time of year makes for great photographs!
Where should I stay at Ol Pejeta?
Ol Pejeta Bush Camp
Ol Pejeta bush Camp is one of the best accommodation options in the conservancy. Located along the banks of the Ewaso Ngiro River, accommodation is in fully furnished tented camps, complete with en-suites bathrooms. This is our first choice of accommodation at Ol Pejeta.
Sweetwaters Serena Camp
Sweetwaters Serena Camp is one of the biggest camps in Ol Peteja. The site is located on the eastern side of the conservancy and has 50 beautifully designed tents offering views of the mountains, watering holes and wildlife.
Ol Pejeta House
The property is located in a private and tranquil area of the conservancy. There are only a few rooms available, along with two private swimming pools.
Kicheche Laikipia Camp
This luxurious camp has won various awards for its conservation efforts, donating 25% of their turnover to conservation and community projects.
Porini Rhino Camp
Hidden behind a small forest of acacia trees sits the isolated Porini Rhino Camp. The camp is eco-friendly, nestled into a pretty valley – it is a secluded and peaceful retreat.