Located in the Laikipia area of Kenya, the Matthews Range is the last verdant area before the great deserts that continue into Ethiopia and east into Somalia. It lies just north of Samburu, which is actually more arid and less vegetated than the Matthews. The great flat-topped mountain of Olololokwe, the sacred mountain of the Samburu people, dominates the range which however is composed mostly of strutting, sharp mountains. In between these are lush forests, meadows, a few rivers, and many life-giving springs.
This the northern horizon to Kenya’s wildlife, and as such, can provide some exciting game viewing especially for elephant. There are no government protected wildernesses in this area, but there are many private conservancies and partnerships between tourist development companies and local Samburu and Rendile peoples. Some of Kenya’s most exclusive bush retreats are found here, small, posh and very luxurious properties normally managed by their owners. The only easy way in and out is by charter aircraft.
In addition to big game the area is especially popular with bird and butterfly watchers. The Matthews area is also famous for its cycad plants and giant cedars. Many of the ancient cycads are endemic and found nowhere else on earth.