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Laikipia
Laikipia
Laikipia
Laikipia

Spotting radar-eared, fine-striped Grevy’s zebras...

...or wild dogs is almost a certainty.

Experienced riders can also do game-watching rides...

Laikipia

Laikipia

You won’t need to escape from the crowds here. Almost the size of Wales, Laikipia has plenty of room for a few safari visitors.

To the north-east of the Great Rift Valley, and north-west of snow-capped Mount Kenya, the high plains of Laikipia are increasingly recognised as one of Kenya’s best safari regions, challenging the Maasai Mara for overall safari experience, if not for raw numbers of animals.

Between Mount Kenya and the northern deserts, these high rangelands spread out between north-flowing streams and rivers, which flow throughout most of the year into the Ewaso Nyiro, northern Kenya’s greatest river.

Formerly a patchwork of huge ranches, and still an important livestock district, Laikipia is now where some of Kenya’s most encouraging conservation success stories are unfolding. The environment here is managed to protect the wildlife, to promote a personal and small-scale approach to adventurous and often luxurious safari tourism, and to generate an income for the local Samburu and Ilaikipiak and Mokogodo Maasai communities.

Laikipia

Laikipia: in detail

Safaris visiting Laikipia

Just ideas, we'll always tailor-make a trip for you


Map

Hamerkop Fly-In Safari

8 days • 2 locations • 1 country
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Different wildlife, contrasting camps and a whole host of activities, this is a safari for those wanting to get out and about and not just sit in a vehicle.

Visiting Laikipia, Mara Conservancies

US$5,500 - US$8,280 per person

Read more about the Hamerkop Fly-In Safari

Map

Golden Jackal Fly-in Safari

8 days • 2 locations • 1 country
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

A contrasting safari of a lodge and a tented camp, action-packed activities in Laikipia and wildlife-filled game drives in the Maasai Mara, yet overall a consistently high quality experience.

Visiting Laikipia, Maasai Mara

US$8,050 - US$10,300 per person

Read more about the Golden Jackal Fly-in Safari

Map

Big Cat Fly-in Safari

8 days • 2 locations • 1 country
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Combining two of Kenya’s best wildlife viewing areas, this slow-paced safari to the Lewa Conservancy and Maasai Mara guarantees iconic wildlife. The long established, well-rated camps are great value too.

Visiting Maasai Mara, Laikipia

US$5,060 - US$7,460 per person

Read more about the Big Cat Fly-in Safari

Map

Purple Grenadier Fly-In Safari

6 days • 2 locations • 1 country
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Fantastic guiding from intimate, well-run mid-range tented camps, in superb conservancy locations: this safari is all about making the most of the incredible wildlife in Laikipia and the Maasai Mara.

Visiting Laikipia, Mara Conservancies

US$5,680 - US$6,750 per person

Read more about the Purple Grenadier Fly-In Safari

Map

African Finfoot Fly-in Safari

7 days • 3 locations • 1 country
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

A unique start to the safari in Nairobi National Park, then classic, luxurious camps combine for a high end and exclusive safari in fantastic wildlife destinations.

Visiting Nairobi, Laikipia and 1 other area

US$8,180 - US$12,640 per person

Read more about the African Finfoot Fly-in Safari

Map

African Hawk-Eagle Fly-in Safari

7 days • 2 locations • 1 country
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Two luxurious camps provide quieter game-viewing within Laikipia and the Mara ecosystem. Situated on private conservancies, Lewa Wilderness and Naboisho offer the chance to sight all of the ‘big 5’ and enjoy a range of safari activities.

Visiting Laikipia, Mara Conservancies

US$6,440 - US$10,070 per person

Read more about the African Hawk-Eagle Fly-in Safari

Map

Rothschild Giraffe Safari

8 days • 3 locations • 1 country
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

A example of a luxury Kenyan safari, starting at the iconic Giraffe Manor before fabulous stays on the spectacular Solio Reserve and Sala’s Camp in a remote corner of the Maasai Mara.

Visiting Nairobi, Maasai Mara and 1 other area

US$9,200 - US$12,650 per person

Read more about the Rothschild Giraffe Safari

Map

Greater Kudu Fly-In Safari

7 days • 2 locations • 1 country
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

On this safari you experience a truly authentic bush experience, at two classic tented camps in Laikipia and the Maasai Mara. These are some of the best places to spot wild dogs and big cats.

Visiting Laikipia, Maasai Mara

US$6,370 - US$7,140 per person

Read more about the Greater Kudu Fly-In Safari

Map

Gabar Goshawk Fly-in Safari

10 days • 4 locations • 1 country
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

Experience Amboseli, the Maasai Mara ecosystem and Laikipia during this economically priced safari. Two simple camps offer adventure before a stopover in Nairobi and a final stay in the charming, wildlife-rich Il Ngwesi Eco-Lodge.

Visiting Laikipia, Nairobi and 2 other areas

US$4,790 - US$4,790 per person

Read more about the Gabar Goshawk Fly-in Safari

Map

Wahlberg's Eagle Fly-in Safari

6 days • 2 locations • 1 country
NAIROBI AIRPORT TO NAIROBI AIRPORT

A great value safari in Laikipia and the Maasai Mara that provides an immersive, authentic bush camp experience with activities for families of all ages.

Visiting Laikipia, Mara Conservancies

US$4,220 - US$4,990 per person

Read more about the Wahlberg's Eagle Fly-in Safari

Inspire me

Need inspiration?

Let our trip chooser narrow down the options for you

Inspire me

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings in Laikipia

This is their success for sightings in Laikipia.
Click on a species for more detail. How we work this out.


White Rhino

100% success

Elephant

95% success

Giraffe

93% success

Zebra

93% success

Black Rhino

93% success

Buffalo

88% success

Spotted Hyena

71% success

Eland

63% success

Lion

62% success

Hippo

40% success

Cheetah

30% success

Leopard

28% success

Wild dog

23% success

Striped Hyena

11% success

Aardvark

3% success

Pangolin

0% success

Map of Laikipia

Choices for where to stay in Laikipia


Reference map

Most recent reviews of our safaris to Laikipia

Click below to browse all 122 reviews from Laikipia.
All from our travellers; all are in full & unedited.


100%
122 reviews since August 2007
Excellent
122
Good
3
Average
0
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Ms E. from New York

Arrived 1 Nov 2020, 11 nights

"My Nov 2020 trip"

"A wonderful experience...I felt very protected by Richard every step of the way …" Read Ms E.’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Miss P from London

Arrived 26 Sep 2020, 14 nights

"Great trip to Kenya"

"a massive success... at the moment - the ultimate "socially distanced" holiday. …" Read Miss P’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Muz from Colchester

Arrived 11 Feb 2020, 23 nights

"A wonderful safari and beach experience"

"One of our best holidays ever...Expert Africa have come up trumps again. …" Read Muz’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr & Mrs C from Bristol

Arrived 21 Feb 2020, 8 nights

"Laikipia and Mara North Safari"

"The whole trip was very enjoyable [...] It met all our hopes and expectations …" Read Mr & Mrs C’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr &Mrs W from Bamford

Arrived 20 Dec 2019, 16 nights

"My Dec 2019 trip"

"Amazing family holiday. So pleased with Richard's recommendations for us. …" Read Mr &Mrs W’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr D from Surrey

Arrived 10 Feb 2020, 10 nights

"Enjoyable trip to Kikeche Laikipia and Lewa House"

"A thoroughly enjoyable trip to Laikipia and Lewa Downs …" Read Mr D’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Steve H from Leeds

Arrived 27 Jan 2020, 22 nights

"My January 2020 safari"

"Fantastic service consistently provided by Expert Africa over many years. …" Read Steve H’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr D. from Penrith

Arrived 27 Jan 2020, 22 nights

"Safari trip"

"Excellent. Great experience. My first visit after 48 years! …" Read Mr D.’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Mr RT from Sutton

Arrived 17 Jan 2020, 17 nights

"Kenya - Jan 2020"

"A great trip; truly a holiday of a lifetime! …" Read Mr RT’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Excellent

Ms M. from London

Arrived 4 Jan 2020, 12 nights

"Another good holiday, despite the rain!"

"Another good holiday, despite the rain! …" Read Ms M.’s full holiday review

Overall rating: Good

See all Laikipia reviews

When to go to Laikipia

Our month by month guide: What it's like to visit Laikipia in Kenya


Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Kenya in January

Clear, hot days and warm nights make this high season a popular time for safaris and it’s also good for diving and snorkelling as water clarity is excellent and gets better as the dry season progresses. Most lodges and tented camps treat January after the New Year week is over, as mid-season, making it a good compromise in terms of value for money with reasonably reliable, dry weather and some greenery left in the landscape. Expert Africa bases its description of climate and weather in January, like the other months of the year, on the climate records of roughly the last 100 years, and it's fair to say that the weather and seasons since the beginning of this century have been highly irregular and unpredictable.

  • On average, January is the second driest month of the year
  • Elephants dig waterholes in the dry riverbed in the Samburu reserve.
  • Wildebeest and many antelope have their calving season, to February.
  • Migrant birds are seen in huge numbers, especially in the Rift Valley.
  • Sea water clarity around the coral reefs generally good.

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in January

Kenya in February

With the long dry season well established, the grass grazed down and wildlife gathering close to water points, this is still a good time for a safari. Good water clarity in the Indian Ocean's coastal waters makes for excellent diving and snorkelling conditions. Expert Africa bases its description of climate and weather in February, like the other months of the year, on the climate records of roughly the last 100 years, and it's fair to say that the weather and seasons since the beginning of this century have been highly irregular and unpredictable.

  • On average, February is the driest month of the year.
  • It’s sometimes possible to swim with whale sharks at Diani Beach.
  • Migrant birds are still seen everywhere, especially near water.
  • This is usually peak calving season for wildebeest and many antelopes.
  • This month is often the hottest of the year, especially on the coast.

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in February

Kenya in March

Hot, increasingly humid weather – with good diving and snorkelling conditions at the start of the month – gives way to rains and lower accommodation costs. Expert Africa bases its description of climate and weather in March, like the other months of the year, on the climate records of roughly the last 100 years, and predicting the seasons since the beginning of this century has been difficult. March is the month when – traditionally – intensely hot conditions build up until a cloudburst finally happens at the end of the month or in early April, to relieve the humidity. As ever, regional variations across the country can greatly impact on visitors' experiences.

  • Sea-water clarity is best for diving before the long rains start.
  • Visitor numbers are low, though the Easter holidays can be busier.
  • Night skies can be scintillatingly clear in early March.
  • Cropped down savannah grasses can make it easier to see the wildlife.
  • Temperartures climb high, especially at lower elevations.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in March

Kenya in April

April sees the full onset of the southeast monsoon wind or kusi, which heralds the long rains. Temperatures drop soon after the rains are established and you’ll often have facilities largely to yourself in this more affordable low season, sometimes known as the "green season". The bush quickly springs to life, with greenery sprouting almost before your eyes. While you're likely to get a fair number of heavy showers, the breaks in the rain can yield sparklingly clear conditions. With the dust settled and bright sun piercing the clouds, conditions can be sublime for photography, especially first thing in the morning or in the late afternoon with another storm brewing. You may be lucky, or you may find conditions very wet and muddy.

  • A wet month, the coast often gets more than 300mm (12in) of rain.
  • Sunny spells can provide great light for photography.
  • Buffalo and zebra calving season often happens in this month.
  • Baby crocodiles hatch, for example on Central Island in Lake Turkana.
  • Palearctic migrant birds gather to fly north to breeding grounds.

Our view

A time to avoid if possible

Weather in April

Kenya in May

While game viewing can be trickier as vegetation runs riot, between the cloudbursts the colours and light are great for photography at this time of year. Expert Africa bases its description of climate and weather in May, like the other months of the year, on the climate records of roughly the last 100 years, and while it's reasonable to expect heavy rains in many parts during this month, especially on the coast, the rains don't always come evenly or in some areas come at all. In an El Niño year, the so-called long rains that normally are established across much of the country by May can be meagre, to the despair of farmers. On the other hand in a La Niña year, the long rains can bring floods. On the coast, the monsoon winds make the climate much more predictable, with heavy rains common from throughout this month.

  • Frogs breed in the ponds in the Arabuko Sokoke Forest near Watamu.
  • Wildebeest, impala and other grazers are in rut (the breeding season).
  • Kilimanjaro looks its best as heavy rain falls as snow on the summit.
  • There's a sharp peek of rainfall on the coast with many rainy days.
  • Accommodation prices are uniformly low, while some camps close.

Our view

A time to avoid if possible

Weather in May

Kenya in June

The rains give way to cloudy, cooler weather, often making for comfortable conditions by the end of the month, especially in the highlands. Starting from mid-June or the beginning of July and running until the end of October, this is the high season, and accordingly has higher accommodation rates and – at least until early September – higher numbers of visitors. While the early part of June can often be rainy on the coast, it can be a great time to go on safari, with fresh greenery, many young animals and good photographic conditions with clear air.

  • The Taru Desert, inland from the coast, is carpeted with flowers.
  • The Lake Turkana Cultural Festival is held in Loiyangalani.
  • Madaraka Day (commemorating self rule) is 1 June.
  • The annual Lewa marathon runs a course through the wildlife.
  • The Diani Rules "sports" event rips up the rulebook at Diani Beach.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in June

Kenya in July

Kenya’s “winter" season sets in (winter is a misnomer but locals feel the change), and the highlands can be rather grey. Skies are often cloudy and the days can be surprisingly cool, with an average daytime high in many highland safari areas of 15-20°C and night-time temperatures dropping below 10°C in Nairobi and the highlands. Lower parts of the country and the coast are usually warm and dry, typically reaching highs of around 25°C with lows in the high teens. As this is the start of the high season, coinciding with the usual arrival of the wildebeest migration in the Maasai Mara, July is a busy month. Ask your Expert Africa specialist to advise on how to avoid the crowds, which is not that difficult to do.

  • The wildebeest migration usually reaches the Maasai Mara in July.
  • Simbi Lake (Kisumu) and Crater Lake (Naivasha) can attract flamingoes.
  • Watersports start to pick up and some surfing is possible at Malindi.
  • Afternoon thunderstorms are a common feature in the Maasai Mara.
  • The sea can be choppy along the coast, making diving difficult.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in July

Kenya in August

The Great Migration fills the plains of the Maasai Mara, and school’s out, so the park roads are full of tourists – ask your Expert Africa specialist for advice on crowd avoidance tactics. Choose a private conservancy rather than a public national park or national reseve for quieter conditions. Like July, August is generally mild and relatively dry in the safari areas, but it can be very chilly in the highlands, even in the middle of the day, and hail occasionally falls above altitudes of around 2,400m (8,000ft). Nairobi can be disappointingly overcast, with low cloud.

  • Apart from Christmas holidays, this is the busiest month of the year.
  • Late August sees peak wildebeest drama at the Mara River crossings.
  • Coastal winds are good for kite- and wind-surfing.
  • Few mosquitoes are around at this generally dry time of year.
  • The annual Camel Derby takes place in the Samburu capital, Maralal.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in August

Kenya in September

The skies clearing of cloud signals the start of hot, dry weather with little chance of rain – and, after the first few days of the month, far fewer visitors – making the latter part of September a good time for a quieter safari. While early September is often good for dramatic migration crossings along the Mara River, you might consider deliberately postponing your trip until later in the month, when the migration can still be very impressive and visitor numbers fewer. If tourist surges are somewhat predictable, however, the patterns of the wildebeest migration are more volatile, and like all of Expert Africa's climate and weather assessments, they are based on accumulated years of experience rather than guaranteed certainty.

  • This is still high season, with prices to match.
  • Many river crossings take place on the Mara river in both directions.
  • Natural bush fires flush out insects and small animals for predators.
  • The Rift Valley Music Festival takes place by Lake Naivasha.
  • With school holidays over by early September, late-month is quieter.

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in September

Kenya in October

Still hot, mostly dry and not too busy, this is many people’s preferred month for a safari, and it’s also good for diving and snorkelling. The wildebeest and zebra herds of the great migration are often still to be seen, though in dwindling numbers. The swamps of Amboseli attract thirsty wildlife including large herds of elephants. While we wouldn't expect much rain across most of the country this month, the climate has become so unpredictable that you can never say never, and the possibiity of the short rains – usually associated with November to mid-December, starting early, can't be discounted.

  • This month sees the tail end of the great migration in the Mara.
  • Palearctic migrant birds start to arrive, staying until March.
  • Turtle nests hatch at Watamu, until November.
  • Amboseli elephants focus on the swamps for their daily water.
  • The Indian Ocean monsoon winds turn from southeast to northeast.

Our view

A very good time to visit

Weather in October

Kenya in November

The northeast monsoon wind or kaskazi heralds the start of the “short rains", usually some time in the second half of the month. From November to mid-December, this is the low season, and accordingly has lower accommodation rates and lower visitor numbers. Across most of the country you can expect warm, somewhat cloudy weather, with occasional heavy showers and localised flooding. Expert Africa bases its description of the climate in November, like the other months of the year, on the records of roughly the last 100 years, and it's fair to say that the seasons since the beginning of this century have been highly irregular and unpredictable: some years the short rains don't come at all, or don't reach every part of the country. In an El Niño year, the November short rains can be very heavy, but in a La Niña year, they can fail completely.

  • Swimming with dolphins in Lamu can be done from now until April.
  • Birders gather at Ngulia in Tsavo West to ring Palearctic migrants.
  • The Lamu Cultural Festival takes over the town and Lamu Creek.
  • Agricultural shows often take place regional market towns.
  • This is low season, so camps can be great value, with special offers.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in November

Kenya in December

In a typical December, the rains usually finish by middle of the month, leaving the landscape looking its best, under clear blue skies, and heralding the start of the second peak tourist season from around 20 December to the first week of January. Our assessment of the likely weather in December, like the other months of the year, is based on climate records, and it's fair to say that the seasons since the beginning of this century have been highly irregular and unpredictable. Christmas can sometimes be wet, but most years the rains have finished a week or two earlier, with the festive season ushering in the perfect combination of clear skies and sunshine by day and starry nights.

  • Christmas and New Year are busy, with the lodges and camps full.
  • Rates are highest after 24 Dec, with supplements on public holidays.
  • Republic Day and Independence day are celebrated on 12 December.
  • Good kite- and wind-surfing restarts, with strong northeasterly winds.
  • Mango season begins, providing excitement for primates and elephants.

Our view

A good time to visit, with pros & cons

Weather in December

Kenya fact file

Useful information and advice to help you prepare for a trip including Laikipia.


Excursions in Laikipia

Optional extra day-drips and excursions possible whilst your staying within Laikipia. Talk to us: these are usually best arranged before you go.


Northern White Rhinos visit

Northern White Rhinos visit

One hour, usually as part of your drive

Visit the Endangered Species Enclosure at Ol Pejeta Conservancy for a close encounter with the last two remaining northern white rhinos. You can visit either by game drive vehicle or visit on horseback if you're an experienced rider. Other rare species include Jackson's hartebeests and Grevy's zebras.

More about Northern White Rhinos
Scenic Biplane Flight on Lewa Conservancy

Scenic Biplane Flight on Lewa Conservancy

30 or 60 minute flights

Soar high and fly low over the rolling hills and plains of Laikipia’s famed Lewa Conservancy, on a scenic biplane flight. Offering you the chance to spot wildlife from the air, this flight takes place in an open-cockpit WACO biplane – a truly unique excursion in Kenya.

More about Scenic Bi-plane Flight

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