A Guide To The Ol pejeta Conservancy
Ol Pejeta’s ranching life started in the early 1940’s with Lord Delamere, well-known as one of the first and most influential British settlers in Kenya. Throughout the colonial era Ol Pejeta was a very successful beef ranch, but it is just as well known for the larger than life characters that owned and managed it during that time. One infamous owner was Adnan Khashoggi, a billionaire Turkish-Saudi Arabian arms-dealer and businessman.
By the late 1960’s, poaching in Kenya by colonial hunters had taken a serious toll on wildlife populations. Elephant and rhino numbers were plummeting, and although elephant hunting was declared illegal in Kenya in 1973, numbers continued to decline. This concerned one of Ol Pejeta’s previous owners, Lonrho Africa, who established the Sweetwaters Game Reserve in 1988 as a sanctuary for black rhino and other wildlife. Over time, the Game Reserve expanded to cover 90,000 acres – now Ol Pejeta.
In 2003 Ol Pejeta was purchased by Fauna and Flora International, together with a generous benefactor. The day to day operations are undertaken by Ol Pejeta Ranching Ltd, a commercial business that utilises agriculture and tourism to create surpluses wholly for reinvestment in conservation and community development.
Ol Pejeta Ranching Ltd. is 100% owned by Ol Pejeta Conservancy Ltd, which in turn is a ‘Not-for-profit’ as enshrined in its memorandum and articles of association. The company is governed by a voluntary board who draw no remuneration. 100% of funds generated must be used for Ol Pejeta conservation and community development – there is no other person or institution that benefits from any surpluses made. The ownership of the land is also safeguarded within this.
Sweetwaters Tented Camp
It’s location in a private conservancy with a higher wildlife-to-area ratio than any of Kenya’s national parks makes Sweetwaters Serena Camp one of the best tented safari camps in Kenya.
A sheltered oasis, clustered around a water hole and set in the pristine calm of the private Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Sweetwaters Serena Camp offers a charming blend of under-canvas ambiance and Kenyan safari luxury.
Located on the plains of Mount Kenya, the camp features thirty-nine luxury tents, each with its own private veranda overlooking the water hole. The central Rhino Restaurant is housed in the former manager’s house of this once colonial farm, and offers both regional and international cuisine. Also within the house is the Kashoggi Bar and lounge, which centres on a blazing log fire. The Waterhole Bar, built in the style of a game-viewing hide, overlooks the waterhole and offers unrivalled wildlife-watching.
Host to all the members of the ‘Big Five’ (elephant, rhino, lion, buffalo and leopard), the conservancy has a higher wildlife-to-area ratio than any Kenyan national park and is one of only four private game conservancies to have been founded in Kenya. At the forefront of the Kenyan conservancy programme, the conservancy boasts the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, hosts the only chimpanzee sanctuary in Kenya, and shelters large numbers of rare and endangered species.
The camp lies at the centre of the 110,000-acre Ol Pejeta Conservancy, which lies on the Laikipia plains 17 kilometres from Nanyuki and 217 kilometres from Nairobi.
By road: transfers by road from Nairobi take approximately 3-4 hours.
By air: Nanyuki airstrip is 17 km from the camp, and a ‘meet and greet’ and transfer service can be provided(Please let us know your arrival time in advance).
- Day and night game drives daily
- Luxury tented camp accommodation
- Swimming pool and extensive grounds
- Central Rhino Restaurant
- Colonial-styled lounge and bar
- Extensive grounds
- Private waterhole and night viewing bar
- Conference room
- Wedding planning and honeymoon venue
- Gift shop, business centre, Wi-Fi
- Satellite TV room
- Camel treks, guided nature walks, bird spotting
- Cultural dance and music
watch a tour video about Sweetwaters Tented Camp
Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Ol Pejeta
The Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary aims to provide a refuge for chimpanzees rescued from the black market, and is the only place in Kenya where our closest living relatives can be seen. Visitors to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy have free access to the Sanctuary, which is open daily from 10:00 to 16:30.
The Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established in 1993, with an agreement between the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Jane Goodall Institute. Over the last decade, the Sanctuary has provided a safe haven for the recovery and rehabilitation of chimpanzees rescued from traumatic situations; all victims of the illegal pet trade.
The Sanctuary is now home to 42 chimps, divided into two large groups. These groups live in vast natural enclosures separated by the Ewaso Nyiro River. The chimps have set feeding times; which is the best time for visitors to see them, either from our special viewing platform or from the chimp walk. At the chimpanzee visitor centre you can learn more about our individual chimps, and if one in particular steals your heart you can pledge to adopt him or her – helping Ol Pejeta to ensure they live out the rest of their days in peace and safety.
Sweetwaters Chimps Sanctuary, Ol Pejeta Contacts
Telephone: 254 707 187141, 254 20 203 3244