East Africa, Kenya

The Laikipia Plateau

WELCOME TO Laikipia Plateau

Grandly and gorgeously lifted above the equator to an average (and nicely cooling) altitude of 6,500 feet, the Laikipia is graced with views of lordly Mount Kenya, the densely green northern Plateau, the remote Northern Frontier District, and on to infinity.

Its landscapes are varied and dramatic in the traditional African style, but Laikipia’s cast of animal and avian characters is positively theatrical; it’s home to some of East Africa’s most endangered (and up here, well-protected) species: black rhinos, Grevy’s zebra, and an extremely rare population of wild dogs (“They are the most enthusiastic animal. Other predators may be bigger and fiercer, but wild dogs live the life domestic dogs wish they could live,” writes Rosie Woodroffe of London’s Institute of Zoology). All that in addition to the Big Five (lion, Cape buffalo, elephant, leopard, and both black and white rhinos) and a long (and partial) list that once again reminds us of the incredible diversity and richness of East Africa’s gamelands: oryx, serval, cheetah, baboons, eland, Grant’s gazelle, Jackson’s hartebeest, vervet monkeys, hippos, impala, plains zebra, bat-eared fox, silver-backed jackal, and the wily and surprisingly sympatico hyena.

Out of a sapphire sea rose a coral island of incandescent green studded with groves of coconut and mango and orchards of cloves, the palm forest deck with pink convolvulus, a thin line of surf beating languidly on the milk-white sand.

Thomas Pakenham, Author of the indispensable The Scramble for Africa Tweet

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