One of the luxury safaris you can go on during your Safari in Kenya is to Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy located in the Western part of Laikipia County. In fact, some sections of this Conservancy touch the border of Baringo County with some sections also bordering Kaptuiya Community Conservancy.
Below is a snippet of this Conservancy’s map that I got from Google Maps;
About Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy:
We came across this conservancy in search of land to set up our campsites and I really couldn’t place Ol Ari Nyiro on the map before today. My call with our real estate agent was long-winded but it was helpful when he mentioned Laikipia Nature Conservancy closer to Baringo or closer to the Rift Valley Escarpment.
I was able to find some info online but most of the top searches regarding this conservancy share details about accommodation options – which are honestly very limited. I was, however, able to get some helpful info from the International Conservancy Fund of Canada which has dedicated an entire page about this Conservancy as one of its projects. See the ICFC page here.
The Conservancy houses a wider variety of plant and animal species than any other area in the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot. This makes it an invaluable piece of land for both research and conservation purposes. The Laikipia Plateau was once blanketed with this diverse array of flora and fauna, but now only remnants remain.
This area covering 36,500 hectares, an equivalent of 365 km2(or 141 square miles) has the goal of protecting, conserving and restoring wildlife in the Laikipia Plateau. It is the main catchment area for both Lake Baringo and Lake Bogoria.
How to Get to Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy:
If you are on a fly-in safari, you can charter your own plane or book a seat on the scheduled flights. The most popular airports to fly in to Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) and to take a 30-minute taxi to the Wilson Airport (WIL) where you can fly to the Englelesha airstrip. The foundation has indicated that the scheduled air service – daily flights to & from the Maasai Mara or Nairobi to Loisaba airstrip. For helicopters, take note of the altitude – 1764m and these coordinates to get you here; N00°36.741” E 036°22.200”
You can also access Ol Ari Nyiro conservancy by road and will take you approximately 4 hours from Nairobi or about 2.5 hours from Nakuru. You can rent our self-drive 4×4 vehicles but may need to arrange in advance if you want to go camping our our campervans.
What makes this conservancy interesting?
Safe haven for Wildlife:
Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy is home to many species of wildlife, such as elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras and wildebeests. The conservancy also protects cheetahs, leopards and lions which are usually hunted due to their endangered status in some parts of Kenya.
Critically endangered African wild dogs, cheetahs, reticulated giraffes, greater kudus, African elephants and a large population of lions all inhabit the reserve. Furthermore, the reserve is home to 14 amphibian species, 55 reptiles 477 birds and more than 800 vascular plants. Finally, 755 macro-invertebrates can also be found on the property.
Of note are two endemic species – a plant (Aloe francombei) and an invertebrate (Aslauga gallmannae). There is also one frog that, until now, was unknown to science (Tomopterna gallmanni). Because there is a large remote section of the Conservancy that has not been explored yet, it is anticipated that the species list will grow. The Conservancy provides essential migration and wintering habitat to multiple species and has thus been designated as an Important Bird Area and Key Biodiversity Area.
The Conservancy is home to some of the most breathtaking and diverse landscapes. From rolling plains to mountains, marshlands and acacia forests, this Conservancy is incredibly beautiful. Here you can find plenty of photogenic spots for incredible photos that show off Kenya’s unique terrain.
The topography of the area, with elevations ranging from 1260 to 2400 m, supports a variety of vegetation types, from dry marginal forests to semi-arid bushland.
About Gallman Memorial Foundation managing Laikipia Nature Conservancy:
The Conservancy is managed by the Gallman Memorial Foundation, which was founded in 1980 with a mission to conserve and protect ecosystems, wildlife and culture in Laikipia Plateau. The GMF enables landowners to connect land users with conservation communities, giving them access to better services such as infrastructure development and conflict resolution.
What animals will you be able to see at Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy:
Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy is home to a wide variety of wildlife, like elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras and wildebeests. The area also protects endangered species such as cheetahs, leopards and lions. Additionally, it houses endemic species such as the African Wild Dog and Reticulated Giraffe, Greater Kudus and African Elephants. Finally, it is home to 14 amphibian species, 55 reptiles, 477 birds and 800 vascular plants.
Who owns Laikipia Nature Conservancy?
Kuki Gallmann, a renowned conservationist is the owner of Ol Ari Nyiro wildlife sanctuary which is Kenya’s largest private reserve. The conservancy was bought early in the 1970s by Kuki and her husband Paolo Gallmann, and it is now home to substantial populations of elephants, buffaloes, zebras, cheetahs waterbucks and lions.
What activities are available at Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy:
At the conservancy, there’s something for everyone! This includes a variety of guided activities such as game drives, guided walks and bird watching. Additionally, visitors can explore the area on 4×4 safaris, horseback rides and even hot air balloon safaris! Finally, those looking for a more relaxed experience can take a open vehicle rid around the conservancy or enjoy sundowners atop one of Sosian Lodge’s stunning vantage points.
What are the best times to visit Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy?
The conservancy is open year-round, but there are certain times of the year that offer the best wildlife viewing experiences. Dry season from July to October and again from January to March are the best times to visit for game viewing as animals tend to congregate near water sources. Birdwatchers should visit in November and December when the reserve is at its most vibrant.
Mukutan Retreat Resort:
There are two accommodations within the conservancy, the first is the Mukutan Retreat Resort. It’s a luxury camp located on the edge of an acacia forest, which provides guests with stunning views of Mount Kenya and the Laikipia plateau. There are only 3 cottages in this Resort and goes for around Kes. 155,000.
These three large Cottages offer guests private verandas from which toview the birds, baboons, and game. Each has a huge central fireplace that goes into boththe bedroom and bathroom. The bathrooms are open front with large tubs; its ideal for a long soak while enjoying the spectacular views. Warmed cedar floors, large beds carved from wild olive wood, and sumptuous areas make it hard to get you leave your new home.
- Swimming Pool
- Indoor Fireplace
- Restaurant on Premises
- Parking on Premises
Other things that make this place unique;
- Pure wilderness and exclusivity – almost guaranteed not to see any other tourist vehicles
- The spectacular and unusual Mukutan Gorge
- Breathtaking views and walks
- Interesting conservancy activities
- Location for Kuki Gallmann’s Best Selling Book and Film “I Dreamed of Africa”
- Visit the Pokot Tribe and our very own Pokot Youth peace Team Acrobatics group comprising some reformed poachers
MAKENA’S HILLS Tented Camps:
The second accommodation option within the conservancy is Makena’s Hill Tented Camps. It offers guests a luxurious and tranquil stay with stunning views of Mount Kenya, the Laikipia Plateau and Ol Ari Nyiro River. The tents are all equipped with full bathrooms, hot showers, king-sized beds and verandas to enjoy the view.
Below are some activities at this resort:
- Private Yoga tuition on request
- Exceptional guided walks
- Explore the Englesha Forest or the Mukutan Gorge
- Wildlife hides overlooking the dam perfect for a picnic whilst waiting for game
- Sundowners, bush breakfasts or dinners
- Exceptional birding
- Bass, Tilapia Crayfish mn Fishing
- Adventures: Join in one of the Conservancy’s projects or meet the communities • Join our ecologist for the day and explore the subtleties of nature
- Music and Arts Events
- Longer walking safaris with a fly camp into little-explored areas and to visit the remote
How much does it cost to visit Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy?
I tried finding rates fees or rates to get into Ol Ari Nyiro Conservancy and realized that you need to be a guest in their exclusive luxury resort which costs Kes, 155,000 per day(price may change) or Makena Hills camp to gain access. However, visitors will be able to enjoy the breathtaking scenery and local wildlife without paying for any kind of entrance fee.