The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a 360 km2 (140 sq mi) not-for-profit wildlife conservancy in Central Kenya’s Laikipia County. Situated on the equator west of Nanyuki between the foothills of the Aberdares and Mount Kenya, the Ol Pejeta Conservancy works to conserve wildlife, provide a sanctuary for great apes and to generate income through wildlife tourism and complementary enterprises for re-investment in conservation and community development.
The Conservancy boasts the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa and in 2013 reached a population milestone of 100 black rhino. It also houses the two remaining northern white rhino in the world, who were moved here from Dvůr Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic. The Sweetwater’s Chimpanzee Sanctuary is situated here, and provides a haven for orphaned, abandoned and rescued chimpanzees. It is the only place in Kenya where these great apes can be seen. The Conservancy is host to the “Big five game” among a large selection of other African animals, which makes it a popular safari destination. It also operates a successful livestock program, which serves to benefit local pastoralists and wildlife. Through the conservancy’s community development programmed, Ol Pejeta provides funding to surrounding communities to aid health, education, and water and infrastructure projects. They also support the provision of agriculture and livestock extension services and the development of community based conservation tourism ventures.
Best time to visit Ol Pejeta
Ol Pejeta Conservancy offers good wildlife viewing throughout the year, although heavy downpours in the peaks of the Wet season can disrupt planned excursions. A 4×4 vehicle is essential if visiting during the rainy season from October to May.
Weather and climate in Ol Pejeta
Due to the high altitude, Ol Pejeta experiences a mild climate. Temperatures are fairly constant all year daytime temperatures are in the mid twenties, while nights are cooler. Warm clothes for game drives are essential. The main Wet season (the long rains) is from March to May while there is a shorter wet period (the short rains), which peaks in November.
The Dry season June to September has mostly sunny days, although rainfall is possible at any time. Temperatures of around 24°C/75°F are common. At 10°C/50°F nighttime and early mornings are cold. Even though the Wet season is between October and May, a drier period from December to February separates the ‘short rains’ and ‘long rains’. Overcast days are not unusual.
How to get to Ol Pejeta
The drive to Ol Pejeta Conservancy from Nairobi takes about three to four hours. The last 13km to Ol Pejeta is dirt, and 4×4 vehicles are essential in the rainy season. The easiest way to get to Ol Pejeta is to take one of the daily scheduled flights from Nairobi to Nanyuki airstrip, which is a 45-minute drive away. It is also possible to charter a flight from any other park to Ol Pejeta’s airstrip (currently only open to charter flights).
Nairobi is one of the biggest transport hubs on the continent. International flights arrive in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), 15km/9mi southeast of Nairobi.