As the world finds ways to live with the global pandemic, Jambojet a domestic airline based in Kenya came up with a progressive campaign dubbed #nowtravelready, that has shown Kenyans and visitors to Kenya, how they can travel across the country safely in accordance to MOH guidelines for COVID-19. The campaign has been widely accepted by travel enthusiasts and has since been a a good case study of the #NewNormal in travel.
As part of the Campaign, Jambojet partnered with Kilian Tours and Travel and Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Four Points by Sheraton(JKIA) and Ibis styles in Westlands to show travelers some of the activities they can do in Nairobi and its environs.
I was so excited to go to Ol Pejeta Conservancy for the following reasons;
The Ol Pejeta charm has placed it in the spotlight of local and international tourism over the years. The conservancy sits on a vast 360 Km2 of land located on the equator west of Nanyuki. This expanse of grass plains, grassland, woodland, and evergreen thicket between the foothills of the Aberdares and Mount Kenya is an adventure waiting to happen. The conservancy’s reputation is largely tied to its large black rhino population and hosting the last of the almost extinct white Rhino.
It is a success story of works to conserve wildlife and provide a sanctuary for the wildlife in Kenya. The conservation efforts have seen the black rhino population rise from 2300 in 1993 to over 5,000 today. 130 of these are in the Ol Pejeta making it the largest Black Rhino sanctuary in East Africa. However, the conservancy has more to offer.
The Conservancy started as a cattle ranch under the Lord Delamere when the unreliable rainfall made farming hard. The elephant herds slowly took over the land as ranching became less profitable. Ever since the conservancy has taken up shape as a wildlife haven. Perhaps as an ode to its origins, the conservancy also operates a successful livestock program. The program has facilitated community-based conservation tourism and supported communities to aid health, education, water, and infrastructure projects.
Top 10 Things to Do in the Ol Pejeta.
With so much land to cover and so much to do it is easy to get caught up. While visiting the conservancy here is a must-do and must-see checklist.
1.Meet the Jewels of Ol Pejeta- Fatu and Najin.
Fatu and Najin, the two royal residents of Ol Pejeta have won its glory. The Northern White Rhino is a subspecies of the White Rhino, the other being the Southern White Rhino. The two are the only remaining northern white rhinos in the world, both of which are female. Two of their male counterparts Sudan and Suni died out of natural and age-related causes complicating efforts to preserve the species.This activity can be accessed at $60 per person.
Saving the Species.
In an ambitious race for preservation, the conservancy is in partnership to achieve artificially assisted reproduction. The future of this subspecies is now dependent on the expensive development of in vitro fertilization techniques and stem cell technology never before been attempted in rhinos.
Whatever you seek these activities in the conservancy are bound to unleash your inner adrenaline junkie. These activities are a great way to bond with family and friends. Remember the hide and seek days, Ol Pejeta’s hounds are ready to seek you out in this unique dog-tracking special.You can play with the highly trained anti-poaching dogs at $60 per person and learn what it takes to train them.
3.Cycle, Gym, or Walk
Cycle, Gym, or Walk? That’s the big question. But if you stay long enough you can do all. Why not? There are many ways to keep fit and it couldn’t get better than roughing it out in the wilderness. A guided bush walk is the ultimate reconnect moment in the Conservancy. With the experienced rangers leading you to catch all the opportunities this is your best bet to make the most of your visit as well as explore the wild. Wals are free but you can enlist a guide at a fee.
4.Meet the Wild
Did you know Ol Pejeta is home to the Big Five? Yes, you can definitely have it all here. The Ol Pejeta Conservancy is home to a variety of animals including non-indigenous chimpanzees the endangered black and white rhino, leopard, elephant, buffalo & lion. Is it even a wonder why it’s a popular safari destination? Couple that with the scenic views across the open plains and you get your answer. Whether it is a night game drive or tracking the great roars of the lion prides your safari experience awaits at Ol Pejeta.
Visiting Baraka the blind Rhino.Baraka is fully dependent on humans for survival.
5. Lion Tracking.
Some of the lions in Ol Pejeta have been fitted with radio collars.You can join a guide track the signals to spot the lions. When a pride is found,the data collected goes to the ecological monitoring department . In the end you have done your fair share of conservancy and met the pride.This activity can be accessed at $60 per person.
Just chilling with the pride.
6.Ride or Run?
Fancy a horseback ride? Ol Pejeta got you covered. This unique experience will allow you to experience nature closer than before. Get to discover the treasures of the plains and watch game as you ride. Cool right?
My ride for the day.
You can also pique your inner ranger of fan that flame by engaging with their rangers on a run across the conservancy. Challenge your limits in the company of professionals as you enjoy the unbeatable track. What’s more, you’ll have more than just human company.Junior ranger adenture pack are accesible ata fee of Kshs 4000.
7. Drive into the Wild.
There is a lot of land to cover here.And you came here for a safari so why not hop on a cruiser and discover what lies at the horizon.Get an arranged safari with a guide to lead you out in to the wild for just Ksh 2500.
See the plains rolling out?
8.How about a Bush Dinner after a sundowner.
With so much to see and do a stay over is definitely at the top of your mind. If you are planning to visit you have to experience the magic of sun-downers in Ol Pejeta. Lucky for you the various accommodation options at the conservation will make sure you are ready for the evening treat.
From wild camping to luxury in the old colonial ranch house, there are nine accommodation choices on Ol Pejeta, for every traveler.Here are some of them;
The appealing Kicheche Camp blends seamlessly with towering indigenous forest .The deep earth colors and tents that open to the wild world will make you one with nature.You can also canoe at the small lake during your stay.
Pelican House, Ol Pejeta House
Overlooking the serene Pelican Dam, this cozy all-inclusive self-catering, open plan cottage. It can host up to 8 people offering the absolute getaway wrapped in the serenity of the wild.
Although currently under renovation, the Ol Pejeta House might be your trip back in time. It is modeled to the traditional Kenya farmhouse hospitality with a luxurious edge. Included is access to 2 private swimming pools.Look out for its reopening later this year.
Porini Rhino Camp, Bush Camp
The traditional East African Bush Camp has a safari tent that offers a vantage point to explore the secrets of this renowned conservancy. If you are looking for seclusion the Porini Rhino Camp is your answer. It is an unadulterated secluded valley and canopied by acacia trees on the banks of a seasonal river just for you.
Accommodation on a budget, think no further. The Stables are modeled for the budget traveler. You don’t have to break the bank. Check them out.There are 12 singles,2 doubles en suite and 1 twin room, a communal dining area and
lounge area with shared bathrooms.
Jambo Mutara Tented Camp
Think luxury-boutique camping in a tent! Top-class interior furnishings, a deluxe king-sized bed, a cozy reading area, a fully stocked mini-bar, a private deck, and en-suite bathrooms. This is an experience tailor-made to make you stay longer. Open-up tents to open the world up to you or have a sundowner on your deck.Also included are two presidential and honeymoon suites.What can compare?
Ol Pejeta Safari Cottages
The cottages are a perfect option for groups and families. They are well furnished with an en-suite bathroom and toilet. A lounge with comfortable sofas, a large fireplace an enormous veranda complete with outdoor seating. Groups can also enjoy a night out on an extensive lawn area. Guests can enjoy home- away from home as the package includes a private chef, housekeeper, waiter, groundskeeper, and guards.
10. Take a pose at the Equator
You will not always be halfway north and south so why not?
10.Visit Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary
If you need more conviction to make your booking here is the deal sealer. You probably associate apes with West Africa. You’re right! Chimps are not native to Kenya, however, we have some in Kenya! The Serena Sweet Waters Camp with the Ol Pejeta conservancy provides a haven for orphaned, abandoned, and rescued chimpanzees. It is the only place in Kenya where these great apes can be seen.
The Chimps were moved to Kenya, from a Burundi rescue center that closed due to the civil war outbreak in 1993. The conservation goals are right at the heart of Pejeta. At the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, the number has grown to 36. The camp keeps accepting chimpanzees rescued from traumatic situations.Visits are free but exclusive access and feeding can be accessed at $60 per person.
I stayed at Serena Sweetwaters Camp and would highly recommend you stay there too! The watering hole attracts all kind of wild animals and therefore offers a close up view of the animals as they just live their lives. Service is exemplary and the perfectly manicured lawns are such view. The tented camps have an unobstructed view of Mt.Kenya!
I believe you have more than enough reason to add an entry to your bucket-list.
Looking for an authentic African Safari Adventure? The Ol Pejeta is where it’s at!