The “Laikipia” region of northern Kenya (in tourist vernacular known as the “Great Northern Frontier”) is a vast plateau region northwest of Mt. Kenya roughly bordered to the south by the Aberdare, to the east by the great Somali desert, to the north by the Mathews Mountains and to the west by the Great Rift Lakes.
Historically a cattle farming region it includes a number of pastoral tribes, most notably the Samburu. Many of the extensive cattle ranches have been converted in recent years to tourist and wildlife sanctuaries, and the vast majority of Kenya’s ultra luxurious “Bush Homes” and bush ranches are found here on private reserves, some as large as 100,000 acres.
This unique area which reminds many of America’s southwest represents an unique ecosystem found nowhere else in Africa. A number of very rare and beautiful animals are only found here. This includes the very endangered Grevy’s zebra and reticulated giraffe. Bird life is exceptional including many of East Africa’s most spectacular species. Many desert species found widely dispersed in Africa are more concentrated here, such as the oryx and gerenuk. Laikipia is also home to the second largest population of elephants in Kenya.