Laikipia in Northern Kenya is so often overlooked in favour of the more famous Masai Mara – Laikipia has so much more to offer – here the safari experience is made up of vast open spaces with no people, a variety of activities from riding safaris to quad bike safaris, amazing game viewing and some of the most extraordinary luxury lodges in Africa. Laikipia is off the radar and off the beaten track, and is exceptionally safe, friendly and wild. Here you will have a proper luxury safari with all the freedom one should experience when not being curtailed by authorities, which run busier areas such as the Mara. Laikipia has beautiful views of Mount Kenya and you really feel as if you’re in real Africa. In no particular order here are our top ten luxury Laikipia lodges:
Sirikoi sits in the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and is run by famous safari guides Willie and Sue Roberts, both born and bred Kenyans. They are the life and soul of this amazing camp, which has lovely views of a water hole which is popular with elephant and other species of wildlife. Sirikoi itself has luxury tents with roll top baths, huge showers and private verandahs, or a cottage and extremely luxurious house if you fancy being a little more secluded. The best thing about this heavenly Laikipia safari option is the private guides for everyone and the Gold Eco Rating. When staying at Sirikoi one of the best things one can do is head off with Willie in a helicopter or plane to some of Kenya’s most remote and beautiful areas. What a place!
2 Tassia Safari Lodge
Tassia is also like something out of a dream and is certainly one of Kenya’s most unique safari lodges, and certainly one of the most extraordinary Laikipia has to offer. The lodge sits at the same height as birds soar and has vast open views of the bushveld below, which often has elephant and other game species within it. Here every room maximises the views and the emphasis is on getting out into the bush on your feet, not just sitting in a vehicle. The freedom one experiences at this Laikipia lodge is second to none.
Sosian has horses, day and night drives, fishing, tennis, wild dog tracking – this ranch is made for those that want to get active, alternatively the pool area is exceptionally relaxing for those who want to remain chilled. Sosian is very comfortable but not over the top, this luxury lodge has a homely feeling and you could easily stay here for a week or longer, just soaking in the old colonial style and vast array of activities.
Enasoit is taken on exclusive use and has some of the most dramatic and exquisite scenery in Laikipia. This luxury Laikipia offering is half luxury tented camp half luxury lodge and is done with such style and taste that you’ll find yourself wanting to move out to Kenya and literally live there. The reserve has plentiful game, much of which comes to drink at the water hole in front of camp.
Loisaba was one of the most popular luxury Laikipia lodges until it very sadly burnt down in a fire, leaving only their private cottage and famous star beds. The lodge is being rebuilt and promises to be better then before – it is the Loisaba conservancy which is really special, and again this luxury Laikipia lodge has much on offer including quad bikes, the afore mentioned star beds, and riding safaris, as well as an excellent authentic cultural experience.
6 Ol Malo
Ol Malo Lodge is owner run and you really feel the warmth of this as soon as you arrive, this is your home from home in Laikipia – it just happens to have some of the most breathtaking views in the world. Here the emphasis is on culture, riding, walking and having fun with the Ol Malo helicopter, which is now on site at all times. A wonderful way to spend a night whilst on safari at this luxury lodge is to be dropped in the bush by the helicopter, with your own guide either for a walking safari, riding safari or camel safari – you then end up at a romantic and comfortable fly camp for one or two nights before walking home to the comfort of this luxury lodge.
Solio is an extremely luxurious lodge which offers amazing rhino viewing. Here one can expect to see them practically on the lawn and enjoy enormous suite-like rooms which will leave you feeling very spoilt indeed. The food at Solio is out of tthis world and this will be a relaxing safari, as well as one with some very rewarding game viewing.
This quirky and unique lodge offers the most heavenly walking safaris, and a stay in somewhere which feels truly African. Here you will be regaled with tall tales about the family who own it over dinner, and will spend heavenly days feeling like you truly are at the ends of the earth.
Lewa Wilderness is located on Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and offers another home from home with 40 horses at your disposal, and brand new rooms with views of the gorge you will never want to leave. Game viewing from here is also exceptional and the comfy and inviting sitting room is the ideal place to relax before dinner or read a book. The family dogs roam and lawn, and the pool has wonderful views.
10 Segera Retreat
Segera was opened up to the public quite recently, and is one of the most luxurious properties in Kenya, this luxury lodge is located in an area without much game, but as a result the walking and freedom to explore here is better. Segera also have numerous community and conservation projects that will certainly leave you with a warm glow as you head off to the Mara or back home.