In Summary
  • The views of Mount Kenya are stunning, the density of wildlife is high, and there are accommodation options to suit most budgets.
  • Ewaso is one of five campsites in the conservancy, and most of the others are also on the banks of Ewaso Nyiro River.

In many ways, Ol Pejeta is the ideal destination for a weekend safari out of Nairobi.

The drive is manageable – short enough for a one-night stay, and with plenty of good breakfast spots along the way.

The views of Mount Kenya are stunning, the density of wildlife is high, and there are accommodation options to suit most budgets.

So, it was an obvious choice for my fiancée and I last weekend when we hosted a friend of ours from New Jersey.

In contrast to my previous visit in April, the conservancy was green and brimming with life.

From the winding, dense stretch of road after the Rongai Gate, we emerged to an idyllic scene at the marsh by the chimpanzee sanctuary.

With a flock of egrets picking off insects at their feet, a large herd of elephants grazed peacefully in the tall grass.

One of the many young calves in the group, not familiar yet with the hierarchy of the herd, flared its little ears out and squared up to an unbothered old bull.

CAMPING

In the heart of the marsh, a harem of waterbucks cooled their thick bronze coats from the midday heat, and a herd of buffaloes wallowed nearby.

We then crossed the “Elephant Bridge” over the chocolate-brown Ewaso Nyiro River, and headed for lunch at our campsite.

Another reason why we opted to take our guest to Ol Pejeta was for the experience of camping in an area completely open to wildlife.

So, I was a bit disappointed to find that the campsite I had booked had been fenced within a large “exclusion zone”.

A small sign on the electric fence explained what this was all about: the exclusion zone had been established as part of a habitat recovery programme, to allow for the recovery of riverine vegetation damaged mainly by elephants.

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