Long time no travel post!!
Call everyone, tell them we finally got to travel! July was chaotic which is funny because I was too happy when it started then towards the end things changed but as they always say Kazi ya Mungu haina makosa right? I came across mimitimes status about this offer Ol Pejeta conservancy has and all I texted her was ‘we are going’. That is how we ended up doing a getaway to wrap up July and to tell you the truth, your girl here totally needed it.
We departed to Nanyuki on Friday morning and three hours later we were in Nanyuki had our lunch and went to check-in at Anka Resort which was our home for the weekend. I was in awe when I saw our room and since words wouldn’t do the place justice kindly check them out.
The whole point of spending in Nanyuki was to leave the resort early and do morning game drive which I would recommend and considering the times we are living in currently the place will be less crowded. As you drive towards Nanyuki town you will see a huge Ol Pejeta signboard on your left. From the signboard to Rongai Gate it is approximately 13 kilometers which are tarmacked all through but the tarmac road ends few kilometers to the gate but it is still accessible.
Ol Pejeta is a 364sq Km private conservancy located in Laikipia County, southwest of the equator in between the foothills of Aberdares and Mount Kenya. As much as it is a private conservancy, the animals still belong to the government. This conservancy that also houses the sweet waters chimpanzee sanctuary operates from 7 am to 7 pm and no one is allowed into the conservancy after 7 pm unless you have an authorized conservancy vehicle. This is a home for the largest growing rhino population and is also home for the last two northern rhinos.
So, we got to the gate and we are met by friendly staff from the conservancy and just as the norm has been, we are directed to wash our hands, temperature checks, then we headed to pay for our tickets. In case you did not know, currently, Ol Pejeta has a 50% discount on their park entry fees which is running till the end of year and 20% at the stables till the end of this month. At the gate, you are issued with a conservancy map so that means there is no way you will gate lost but just in case you do, there is a number on the brochure that you can call.
We drove to Morani Gate where we met Jeremy our guide. He’s a patient guide and I would recommend him. He answered all our questions and then led us to Morani Information center but before that, we washed our hands and off, we went. At this center, you will get information overload about what happens at the conservancy and the animals you are likely to see in the conservancy. Jeremy first took us to meet and feed Baraka who is a 25-year-old black rhino and blind at the same time. He lost one of his eyes defending himself and the other one due to cataract. He is the first rhino to be born in the conservancy hence his name which is a Swahili word meaning blessing. Despite all these, he is still able to move around his enclosed habitat and take his mud baths which I understand do make him happy.
After we started our game drive and we got to see Ol Pejeta beauty. It is a sight to behold as you will get a chance to drive past the dam and if you are lucky you will see some animals drinking water. We didn’t see any at the dam though so we went on. Also, Ol Pejeta being the home of so many rhinos they have a memorial point to remember all the rhinos lost. On this day we did not get to visit the sweetwaters which was closed by then due to COVID restrictions. I wish we did though but then there’s always a next time, right? While here we managed to see buffalo, elephants, warthog among other birds that I don’t know their names. The king of the jungle decided not to appear so we didn’t see any not even the lioness.
Things to know before you visit Ol Pejeta
- All payments are done online so that means, you cannot pay in cash. Use mpesa, visa, etc while at it make sure you have your ID.
- It is not a must you use a land cruiser/tour van for a game drive. You can come in your car and still enjoy the conservancy’s beauty.
- Safari by vehicle is not the only option, you can do game walks of course accompanied by guides, horse and Camel rides too are available.
- Just like most parks, the plastic ban is serious here no plastics are allowed into the conservancy.
- There is accommodation available at the conservancy from budget camps to high-end accommodation so depending on your budget you will find a place to stay. Check their website for booking details.
- Also, this place is child friendly therefore it is perfect for a family weekend getaway.
- Perfect times for game drives are early morning and in the evening. During the day, the animals tend to hide so you will miss them.
- This is a home for the big 5. You won’t get enough of the rhinos here since the conservancy is doing a great job at protecting these endangered species. It has the last two northern white rhinos after the death of Sudan the last male in 2018.
- The comfortable dressing will be perfect for this trip.
- You can do a game drive without the guide since you have the map which makes movement within the conservancy easy.
- There are few people here so be assured to do more of animal watching rather than people watching since it is still an undiscovered gem.
- Animals always have right of way.
I would still go back to Ol Pejeta one for the night game drive, experience the skyline at night, watch sunset from their campsite and obviously sunrise. You should to.
Thank you so much mimitimes for giving me that back left seat, I can’t wait to tag along more ha ha ha.
Till next time; just live.