Sweetwaters, Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Sweetwaters, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and Game Reserve. in Kenya. (17,543)

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Ol Pejeta Conservancy is also known as Sweetwaters Game Reserve with its 360 km2 (90,000 acres) large reserve where you can encounter the Big Five. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is East Africa’s largest black rhino sanctuary and located at the foot of Mt. Kenya as a beautiful background with its snow peaks. Ol Pejeta Conservancy is a non-for-profit wildlife conservancy and is located in the Laikipa County between the Aberdares and Mount Kenya. It is easy accessible from Nairobi with just three hours drive and therefore makes it an easy escape for the weekend, or as a stopping point when visiting the northern part of Kenya such as Samburu National Reserve.

The Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary is situated within the Ol Pejeta Conservancy and was established in cooperation with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and the Jane Goodall Institute. The Chimpanzee Sanctuary was created to provide a home for abandoned and rescued chimpanzees. As some of the chimpanzees arrive with injuries based on sustained abuse from humans, they get a chance to start over and reintroduced to the life as a chimpanzee in the wild.

The chimpanzees’ natural habitat spans from Senegal on the West African coast through the forest belt of central Africa into Uganda. Sweetwaters is the only place in Kenya where you can experience a chimpanzee encounter.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy is situated on the Equator which is marked in the eastern sector near the Rongai Gate. Is not everyday that you make a selfie having one foot on each side of the Equator line. It is also a great place to get out of the vehicle for a memorable photo with Mount Kenya as the backdrop.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy has the highest ratio of game based on the size of the area than any other national park or reserve in Kenya. The conservancy has a popular waterhole that attracts a lot of wildlife. It is also possible to go on a night safari as the waterhole is floodlit by the night, and rarely seen animals wake up providing an excellent and secluded wildlife encounter.

Wildlife corridors are to be found on the northern boundary of the conservancy, this is to ensure that migratory animals like elephants can move safely in and out of the conservancy. The corridors also enable to get a visit now and then from two packs of African wild dogs. The migratory animals migrate between Ol Pejeta and Samburu ecosystem uninterrupted of humans. The rhinoceros does not have the same options as the elephants, do to poaching risks the rhinoceros are limited to specific areas with the conservancy.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy habitat consist of five types, open bush, dense bush, grasslands, swamp / marsh and riverine primarily dominated by bush areas.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy supports the surrounding community through their community development program, providing funding for different projects within education, infrastructure, water and more.


Attraction: Visitors Center

The Morani Information Centre was named after a tame black rhino that used to live in the conservancy. The black rhino Morani was brought to the conservancy after his mother was killed by poachers, he was an ambassador and an icon at Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The information center was build for educational purposes especially for children. The Morani Information Centre also gives an insight into how Ol Pejeta Conservancy works and how they safeguard the wildlife as well as preserving the wilderness in the conservancy. The Morani Information Centre is open every day from 9 AM to 5 PM and is free, when visiting the conservancy it is recommended to stop by the visitor centre.

Attraction: Horseback Riding & Game Walks

At the Ol Pejeta Conservancy it is possible to get a different type of wilderness experience on horseback or a game walk accompanied by a local Naturalist. Your senses are really awakened when following the fresh tracks of an elephant through the bush on foot or horseback. While on a walking safari you will be able to touch, smell, see and hear the sounds of wild as you explore the wilderness. Expert knowledge from a local guide sharing his knowledge about the wildlife including birds, mammals, insects and plants of the area creates a wilderness experience like no other. If you are lucky you will get to see some of the endangered birds such as the majestic martial eagle, white-backed vulture or the cinnamon-chested bee-eater.


The Big Five, lion, elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo and leopard can be encountered in Ol Pejeta Conservancy. The conservancy has one of the highest predator densities in Kenya, lions are well represented with six prides and around 70 lions in total. Around 30 cheetahs and approx. 20 leopards together with caracal, bat-eared fox, black-backed jackal and spotted hyena makes Ol Pejeta Conservancy a great place for predator sightings. On occasion you can also be lucky to experience an encounter with one of two packs of African wild dogs in the area.

Ol Pejeta is home to a range of endangered animals besides the predators such as rhinoceros, the Grevy’s Zebra, Oryx, Jackson’s hartebeest and serval. African wildlife is well represented in the conservancy including Baboons, vervet monkeys, zebra, hippos, giraffes, gazelle and antelopes such as Grant’s gazelle, dik-dik, impala and eland.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy is also home to wide variety of bids with more than 300 species.


Lodges and camps

In Ol Pejeta Conservancy has both tented camps and lodges in unique setting create a special experience for the visitors.

Ol Pejeta House is a beautiful private house within the Ol Pejeta Conservancy with a pristine calm atmosphere. At Ol Pejeta House you get an experience of the bygone traditions of a farmhouse in Kenya. The Ol Pejeta House has cottage, superior and standard rooms for a comfortable stay in luxury.

Ol Pejeta Bush Camp is very comfortable and traditional bush camp, set on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River running through the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Ewaso Nyiro River is the third longest river in Kenya, running from Laikipia up through Samburu National Park in the northern parts of Kenya towards Somalia. Visitors at Ol Pejeta Bush Camp gets a unique kind of safari experience with an interactive conservation safari that gives insight into modern wildlife conservation. The camp is small and can accommodate 12 guest that exclusively gets a behind-the-scenes experience to the daily life of the wildlife conservancy.

Jambo Mutara Camp is located in the Mutara Conservancy on a 20,000 acres of land bordering the Ol Pejeta Conservancy. It is the only accommodation in the Mutara Conservancy and sets high on a cliff-top with a panoramic view over the wilderness. It is a luxury tented camp gives visitors an unforgettable experience.