A recent Kenya Tourism Board webinar shone a spotlight on alternative safari options in the Laikipia Region of Kenya – ranging from camel-supported walking tours to vintage Land Rover safaris.
Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau is an area of pristine wilderness, situated north of Nairobi and Mount Kenya. This up and coming game-viewing destination is growing in popularity due its diversity of game, and sightings of large mammals, as well as wide range of endangered species are common. Multiple ethnic communities also live in the area with the Kikuyu and the Maasai forming the largest portion of its residents.
Walking safaris supported by camels
Karisia Walking Safaris specialises in walking tours supported by camels. The walking safaris are individually tailored to the guest’s interests and abilities. Guests can choose a centre-based trip where they will be accommodated at Tumaren Camp, within the lodge’s private conservation area in Laikipia, or they can opt for a mobile walking safari option.
Should they choose to be based in one of the six sleeping tents at Tumaren Camp, guests will have the option of going out on daily walks, camel rides, game drives, mountain biking or rock climbing excursions. The camp can also organise outings to the nearby market, the camel crèche, the nearby baboon research centre or set up trips to visit nearby schools and communities.
Guests who choose the mobile walking safari option will be allowed to enter into remote wilderness areas that are not easily accessible by road. Camels carry all the gear required to set up mobile camps every evening.
Director of Karisia Walking Safaris, Kerry Glen, describes the walking trips as a peaceful way to experience the wildness of the region and get up close to the animals. As the trips are tailor-made per group, the cost decreases as group numbers increase. Itineraries are specially designed to suit the interests of the guests – be it in landscape photography, wildlife, birding or on children-focused activities. While the mobile camps remain simple and close to nature, guests are not deprived of the luxury of hot showers or feather pillows, adds Glen.
Vintage Land Rovers
Also located in the Laikipia region, the camp for The Safari Series overlooks the Lolldaiga Hills and a small dam frequented by game. Guests are accommodated in luxury tents with large comfortable beds, solar-powered lighting and electricity and an en-suite bathroom with flushing toilets and hot showers.
Setting itself apart from other game lodges, The Safari Series offers guests the opportunity to take a self-drive safari in a classic Land Rovers.
“We prefer to hand over the keys and let our guests do the exploring, deciding what they want to see, where they go and when,” says host and owner of The Safari Series, Moon Hough. The camp’s fleet boasts a fleet of four Land Rover SI, dating back to the 1950s, a Land Rover SII dating back to 1966 and two Land Rover Defenders, dating back to the 2000s.
Guests who are interested in driving the cars are taken on a Land Rover training initiation session before getting behind the wheel ,but are always accompanied by an armed guide and ranger for safety purposes.