Kent’s Kenya Trip Update #3 – Matthews Range & Laikipia

October 28, 2010  By: Africa Adventure Consultants

The further north you go into Kenya, the drier and harsher the landscape becomes. But it is also home to great wildlife and interesting cultures like the Samburu, Boran, and Turkana.

 

From Samburu, we traveled to the Matthews Range in Northern Kenya. From Nairobi, Kitich Camp is a few hours flight or an all-day very arduous drive; there are no scheduled flights. This simple but comfortable camp has six tents with al fresco safari showers and long-drop toilets. It is set in a valley along a bubbling brown stream. The camp is in a lush forest but the landscape driving in is desolate and dotted with very poor Samburu villages…it feels like the end of the Earth. The only activity is hiking in the forest where you can see birds and elephants. It’s definitely not for everyone but is most appropriate for walkers, birders and those looking to get way off the beaten path.

Loisaba, my next stop, is in the Laikipia area. There is not always so much game here, but it’s pretty country and there are lots of activities to choose from including gentle rafting (water levels permitting), horseback and camelback rides, ATV ($100 per hour), walks, mountain biking and more.

Although I am not a big horse person, I really enjoyed my sunset ride yesterday. The horses are well looked after and gentle. They do 1-3 hour rides. We saw zebras, oryx, hartebeest, giraffes and more. Guides say they see lions with frequency. Overall, Loisaba is a good choice for anyone wanting a break from vehicle-based game viewing. They are also doing quite a bit with local communities.

Loisaba Main Lodge has fantastic views toward Mt Kenya and is colonial in style. It has seven rooms, a great pool, plus a tennis court, gift shop, etc. Two “sky bed” locations offer guests the opportunity to sleep under the stars (and a mosquito net) on beds that roll out onto verandas. The wheels are crucial, as I discovered last night when it rained! They are treehouse-style platforms with very steep ladder stairs to get up. They have safari showers and flush toilets. Loisaba Cottages are very nice, with a great pool and nice view. It’s booked on a sole-use basis only and sleeps ten or more but I would say 6-8 comfortably in three chalets plus a loft in the main house.

Next up: The world-famous Masai Mara.

Photos courtesy Kitich Camp, Kent Redding, and Loisaba Lodge