While the remote Laikipia Plateau, located on the eastern escarpment of Kenya’s Rift Valley, is not officially protected by the Kenyan government, its collective of cooperating private ranches and farms has created a functioning game reserve, complete with exclusive lodges. Laikipia Wildlife Forum, founded in 1992 with a mandate to conserve, sustain and manage the area’s ecosystem and wildlife, seeks a “healthy and productive natural environment for people and wildlife for the future of Laikipia and Kenya,” including ethical trade and commercial relationships with the area’s residents.
Pastoralists, farmers, local communities and wild game coexist in the area’s grasslands, hills and forests, which extend from Mount Kenya to the Rift Valley. The isolated area is beginning to be known for its luxurious private accommodations and its wild wilds—black rhino, Grevy zebra, wild dog, reticulated giraffe, gazelle, lion, leopard, cheetah and buffalo all make their home in this infrequently visited wilderness.
Warm and dry, July to October are the best, most pleasant months for visiting the Laikipia Plateau and viewing game; January to March are dry but hot, and rains characterize April to June and November and December.