The Laikipia plateau is a loosely defined sprawling region that covers some 3,670 sq mi/9,500 sq km north from Nanyuki near Mount Kenya to Kenya's northern frontier district. Wild, arid and sparsely populated, the plateau features acacia bushland and the upper basin of the Ewaso Ng'iro River. There, former cattle ranches have taken down their fences and created a massive privately-owned wildlife area, which is home to the Big Five and significant populations of the major predators, among numerous other species of animals. (An estimated 6,000 elephants migrate through the region each year, and it's famous as a successful sanctuary for the endangered black and white rhinos.)
Many of these ranches have lodges, tented camps and guest houses—some very luxurious—and they offer a number of game-watching activities, such as drives, walks and horse riding. Most ranches will arrange to transfer guests directly by air or road from Nairobi. We think that a visit to a private wildlife ranch in this region is an ideal way of exploring the Kenyan wilderness, while getting off the well-beaten paths of the national parks.
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