Loisaba Conservancy, in Kenya’s Northern Laikipia, is a striking swathe of wilderness and a pioneer of sustainable community-integrated conservation. It’s already a world-class wildlife-watching destination – and is about to get even better.
Perched on a breathtaking plateau, in the shadow of Mount Kenya, the conservancy is part of the vast and vital Ewaso Ecosystem – and is chockfull of animals: more than 260 bird and 50 mammal species have been recorded here, including huge herds of buffalo, migrating elephants and many endangered and vulnerable species such as Grevy’s zebra, beisa oryx and reticulated giraffes. African wild dog, previously believed to be extinct in the area, are now sighted regularly.
Big cats have been stealing headlines of late. Loisaba’s populations are thriving and it’s fast becoming one of THE places for scoring a ‘cat-trick’ – spotting lion, leopard and cheetah. Researchers have confirmed that there are least six extremely rare black leopards in the region too, including a cub.
But in the coming months the focus will shift to rhino. Kenya’s black rhino population plummeted by 98% from 1970 to 1990. Now, 50 years after the critically endangered species disappeared from the Laikipia area – largely due to poaching – Loisaba will join the mission to get numbers back up. Loisaba has approval to reintroduce Eastern Black Rhino to the conservancy ; with 50km of fencing now erected to create a safe sanctuary, which will be policed by a highly trained security team. Once rhino return, Loisaba will offer the Big Five.
You can witness Loisaba’s fierce dedication to conservation up-close on a tour of the conservancy HQ – here, you can meet the remarkable sniffer dogs, talk to the anti-poaching team and watch them in action. It’s just one of the extraordinary extras that make Loisaba so much more than ‘just’ a safari destination.
This diverse and dramatic landscape of rolling hills, lush valleys, rocky outcrops and acacia-dotted plains can be explored by 4WD but also mountain-bike, on foot, horse or camel. Indeed, the breadth of activities makes it ideal for families, especially restless teens.
Each night you can retire to one of the most magnificent lodgings in Northern Kenya. There are three spots to choose from, each offering a unique take on the wilderness.
Sophisticated Loisaba Tented Camp sits poised on the escarpment edge, its infinity pool falling away to a waterhole busy with game, views to Mount Kenya beyond. Ultra-exclusive Loisaba Lodo Springs has only eight sumptuous tented rooms, each with its own dedicated guide and vehicle, each with its own expansive veranda and matchless panorama. Or opt for the fairytale suites at Loisaba Star Beds, where you can roll your rustic four-poster out onto the terrace and drift off under sparkling skies, lulled to sleep by the call of the wild.