North of the ancient Aberdares Forest, and just West of the snow-capped Mount Kenya, the exclusive Jambo Laikipia Camp sits just above the tropical equator in one of the most unique places on Earth. The world-famous Laikipia region in Kenya has rich grasslands, basalt hills and dense forests that support the greatest diversity of wildlife in this part of the continent. At the very heart of this region, nestled high on a cliff-top, Jambo Laikipia Camp enjoys a 360o view of raw, uninterrupted wilderness. This is where untamed Africa meets true luxury, where iconic wildlife surrounds you, where personal service will cater to your every need, and where safari-chic décor echoes an Africa from days gone by.
Jambo Laikipia Camp is the only accommodation in the 20,000-acre Mutara Conservancy, with just 15 tents. So when we say exclusive, we mean it. It borders the famous Ol Pejeta Conservancy, and our partnership with them means our guests also have unlimited access to this 90,000-acre property – the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa.
The Story of Mutara
Jambo Laikipia Camp is situated in Mutara Wildlife Conservancy, which is actually part of a larger 63,000-acre property owned and managed by the Agricultural Development Corporation of Kenya (ADC). The ADC set aside land for agricultural development all over the country. But this is no ordinary land. The Laikipia region sits just below Mount Kenya, which feeds the fertile soils and the life-giving rivers. So it is no surprise that it supports such a diverse range of wildlife. Indeed, it is home to over half of Kenya’s highly endangered black rhinos, as well as many other endangered species.
Seeing an opportunity to help wildlife conservation efforts, and to promote eco-tourism, Jambo Laikipia Camp leased 20,000 acres from the ADC for conservation and exclusive tourism operations. In 2013, the 20,000 acres was fenced off, to protect the grasslands, forests and wildlife from encroachment. 11 armed wildlife rangers, still employed by the ADC, regularly conduct anti-poaching patrols around Mutara. Not only are they an important asset to the security of the conservancy, but they also have a valuable knowledge of the area, built up over the years, and are happy to share this with our guests on guided safaris.
Our neighbour is the 90,000-acre Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa. In 2013, they reached a population milestone with the birth of their 100th black rhino. Edging closer to their maximum carrying capacity, Ol Pejeta is keen to partner with us to develop another safe area in which to translocate rhino when their habitat could no longer support the population. As such, Jambo Laikipia Camp has electrified the perimeter fence in preparation to receive these highly endangered species in the near future. Sharing a similar habitat with Ol Pejeta, these enormous browsers should settle in very quickly.
Restaurant & Bar
Our world-class restaurant offers guests a dining experience like no other. Right on the edge of the cliff, the dining tent can remain completely open on one side, so our guests overlook the seemingly infinite Mutara wilderness. The tent provides a cool refuge for lunch in the heat of the day, and is only a few hundred metres up a timber-clad pathway from the swimming pool. In the evening, meals can also be enjoyed outside on the deck, where the crystal clear night sky acts as the most romantic backdrop to a candle-lit dinner. The salt-lick on the other side of the valley means that you could well be enjoying your meal in the unforgettable company of a herd of elephant or buffalo.
Our chef has international experience, and has developed a menu infused with local flavours and exotic dishes to suit any palate. We also offer an a la carte menu and meals especially for children, and are happy to accommodate any dietary requirements.
Adjacent to the restaurant is the bar and lounge. West facing, this is the ideal spot in camp for a social and epic Kenyan sundowner. After a day of dusty adventures, there are few things more pleasurable than discussing them over an ice-cold beer or a colourful cocktail on our spacious deck, watching the shimmering red rays disappear on the horizon. There are a number of local and imported liquors, spirits, wines and beers on offer, as well as sodas and freshly squeezed fruit juices.
Our luxury canvas tents have been tailor-made for Jambo Laikipia Camp, in order to offer our guests the most unforgettable camping experience. With top-class interior furnishings, and an ensuite bathroom, it is very easy to forget you are in a tent! But they do have their advantages; almost the entire front side of the tents can be folded up, allowing light to pour into the room and the afternoon breeze to float through while you enjoy the stunning vista.
There are just 15 tents at Jambo Laikipia Camp, ensuring our guests will never feel crowded, and our service remains personal. Each tent has a deluxe king sized bed and a cozy reading area. With a fully stocked mini-bar, guests can enjoy sundowners on their own private deck, looking out onto endless Africa, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the bush.
Our family tents consist of one tent with a king sized bed connected to a twin tent by a decked pathway. More beds can of course be added to cater for larger families.
Our Presidential Suite provides guests with that extra bit of personalised luxury. Accessed by a private driveway, the suite comes with a personal chef and waiter. From the snug and spacious king sized bed, early risers will be able to enjoy breathtaking views of the snow-capped Mount Kenya. An ensuite bathroom, a private deck and a jacuzzi will ensure total relaxation from the comfort of your own tent.
Mutara is teaming with wildlife, and is a great place to experience the excitement of an African safari. Our guides, who will accompany you on morning and evening game drives, have been professionally trained in tracking, spotting and species identification. They have a wealth of knowledge about the local wildlife that they are enthusiastic to share with guests.
For a more intimate experience with the wilderness, try one of our bush walks. The trails can be tailored to your desire and fitness level, and you will be accompanied by an armed ranger and experienced safari guide. This is a thrilling way to get closer to nature; viewing wildlife on foot is an altogether different experience from being in a vehicle.
Bush Breakfasts and Bush Barbeques
Dining in the wilderness is an unforgettable way to enjoy a meal, surrounded by the sights and sounds of the wild. We can treat our guests to breakfast in the bush, where our catering team will set up a luxury outdoor breakfast, cooked on site, for you to enjoy in the midst of Mutara’s awakening wildlife. A popular site for our bush breakfasts is by the dam, where it can be enjoyed by the cool waters edge. We can also organise a bush barbeque, with locally sourced, mouth watering steaks or ribs, cooked to perfection while you take in the surroundings.
As the orange sun sets over the African wilderness, there is no better way to enjoy it than with a cold drink. While you can watch the sun set from the comfort of the bar in camp, it is very special experiencing it from hilltop in the bush. A great way to round off a game drive, our safari guides will take you to an epic viewpoint in the conservancy, equipped with chairs and drinks of your choosing.
Night game drives are a unique opportunity to experience nocturnal wildlife. Not many conservancies allow this, and many safari-goers miss the chance to see some of Africa’s most unusual creatures. With the help of our experienced guides and a powerful spotlight, our guests might see any number of ‘after-dark’ animals; aardvark, porcupine, honey badger, white tailed mongoose and the bush baby can all be seen in Mutara.
For keen ornithologists, our experienced bird guide can offer an incredible bird-watching experience. The neighbouring Ol Pejeta Conservancy has over 300 species of birds, including some impressive birds of prey, and many of those species can be found here on Mutara too.