Kicheche Laikipia Camp
Kicheche Laikipia Camp: Our View
We love the Kicheche camps as they manage to combine an authentic, bush camp style with understated luxury, superb guiding, a real focus on the safari experience, and excellent service and food. Kicheche Laikipia Camp, located in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, is no exception.
Ol Pejeta is one of the biggest conservancies in Laikipia and the largest Black Rhino sanctuary in East Africa. It is also the busiest of all the Laikipia reserves. This is partly due to the number of camps in the conservancy but also due to the fact that access is not limited to guests staying at these camps. Unlike other Laikipia reserves, people are allowed to visit Ol Pejeta on daytrips and it is very accessible as it is located close to Nanyuki, the main town and airport in the region. Of course, it should be remembered that the other reserves in Laikipia are very exclusive and totally uncrowded. So, whilst Ol Pejeta may seem busy compared to these, it is still not that busy! It has nothing like the crowds you will find in the Masai Mara or Amboseli, and a safari in Ol Pejeta is still a very peaceful experience indeed! Kicheche Laikipia Camp is also located in a relatively remote section of the conservancy which means that there will be fewer vehicles in the area around the camp.
With just 6 rooms, Kicheche Laikipia Camp is very intimate and personal and has a gorgeous location in the bush, overlooking a small dam. The camp is probably the most luxurious of all the camps in Ol Pejeta and our favourite option in this conservancy. Considering the high quality of this camp, it is well priced and offers good value, especially in peak season when its prices are similar to those of other lower quality camps. Kicheche also has camps in the Masai Mara region. This could be an advantage for clients who want to combine The Mara with Laikipia as there are often special offers and discounts for multi night stays making the Kicheche camps even better value. Kicheche Laikipia is also one of the few camps in Kenya to be awarded a Gold Level Eco Certificate from the Kenya Tourism Board in recognition of its superb conservation and community work.
Kicheche Laikipia Camp: Quick Facts
- 6 tented rooms including 1 family room with en-suite bathroom with shower
- Located in a secluded part of the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, one of the biggest rhino sanctuaries in Africa
- Activities offered include game drives, walking safaris and canoeing on the dam near the camp
- Children of all ages welcome although more suited for children 6 years and over
- Wi-Fi available in main area and small curio shop
- Access is usually by scheduled flight into Nanyuki airstrip
- Camp is enclosed by a low electric fence but bigger game can get past this so wild animals will still be roaming through the camp
Kicheche Laikipia Camp: The Details
The 6 tented rooms at Kicheche Laikipia Camp combine a rustic and genuine, classic safari ambience, with real elegance and comfort. These tented rooms are all situated on low wooden decks and are located on the edge of a woodland with lovely views over the waterhole/dam. The rooms are very spacious and are furnished with a handcrafted wooden bed with Persian rugs on the floor. Small armchairs in the room provide a place to relax and there is also a covered verandah with additional armchairs. The en-suite bathrooms are attractive, with ceramic twin wash basins set on a wooden cabinet, and an indoor shower.
Five of the tented rooms are twin/double rooms and one is a family tented room which is especially luxurious. The family tented room has 2 separate bedrooms which both have an en-suite bathroom with an interconnecting lounge. This allows for plenty of privacy and space but there is still the security of having children in the same unit as the parents. The central dining and lounge tent enjoys scenic views over the dam. The dining section has a large dark wooden table for communal dining and the adjoining lounge area is furnished with sofas and rugs in earthy colours. Both areas have a fireplace which will be appreciated as it can get quite cold in Lakipia. This leads to a cosy and relaxed ambience.
We were impressed with the game viewing in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy on our last visit there. Like all the reserves in Laikipia, this was originally a cattle farm, and cattle farming is still an important part of the activities here - the area has one of the biggest herds of prized Boran cattle in Africa. This combination of cattle farming and wild animals in the same reserve has proved to be another huge conservation success story. The grazing of the cattle is carefully controlled so that areas are not overgrazed - in fact, the cattle actually contribute to the growth of new nutrient rich grass which benefits the wildlife. The cattle are constantly watched during the day and herded into enclosures at night to minimise losses to predators. Human/wildlife conflict is now a major issue in Africa but the Ol Pejeta Conservancy is valuable proof that cattle can be farmed in areas with large numbers of predators, including lions. The diverse terrain in Ol Pejeta includes grass plains, open bush land, and dense bush and woodland, all of which supports an abundance of wildlife. Rhino are the highlight here with large numbers of both black and white rhino. Predators include lion, cheetah, leopard, jackal, and hyena, as well as plentiful plains game. Buffalo and elephant also frequent this area.
Activities at Kicheche Laikipia Camp focus on morning and afternoon game drives as well as night drives. It is also possible to do walking safaris, which are always accompanied by an armed guide. The guides are knowledgeable and experienced, and most of them have at least a Silver guide qualification. A more unusual activity is the option of being able to take a canoe out on the small dam near the camp. Ol Pejeta is also home to a fenced in Rhino Sanctuary where the last two Northern White Rhinos in the world are kept. In addition, there is a Chimpanzee Sanctuary, the only place in Kenya where you can see Chimpanzees. Visits can be arranged to both sanctuaries although there is a small entrance fee to pay. The latter sanctuary is home to rescued Chimpanzees that were orphaned as babies and would have died in the wild had they not been rescued. Their enclosure is spacious, and they are well looked after. Were we to mention a negative here it would be that the Chimpanzee Sanctuary does feel a bit like a zoo, so it may not be for everyone.