Tuesday, October 16, 2012

October already, exceptional rains in July and August brought a lot of grass to Laikipia, all the wildlife is in very good condition and our small vegetable garden in camp producing giant lettuces and courgettes!
October has been our busiest month so far, more wild dog photographers, couples of all ages and families from the UK and Nanyuki over half term.
The two packs of wild dogs we are lucky enough to be able to track in partnership with the Laikipia predator project who we assist with data on sightings are both doing extremely well. The smaller pack of 18 has just denned, on the 12th of October the alpha female went into the den and has not appeared since so we assume she has given birth whilst the rest of her pack is hunting daily in the area. The bigger pack is also about to den and comes and goes through the area. So by early Jan we hope to see puppies on the move, big enough to emerge from the den and start moving slowly over small distances with the pack. Fingers crossed their dens wont be disturbed forcing them to move sites which they have done a few times over the last 5 years since we have been following them.
In camp our staff have become confident with day to day looking after guests and as we get busier and busier it feels like a ship with sails out and blowing along! Felt like a wobbly ship a few months ago when we first opened but Rome wasnt built over night and as one of our local friends said, every journey begins with a step..

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

News from the Bush – Laikipia Wilderness August 2012

Here we are, the end of our first month in the bush. Steve and team had a very challenging 6 weeks building the camp whilst the boys and I were based in Nanyuki designing furniture, ordering boilers, crockery, linen, plumbing parts and coat hangers and wondering why everything was going according to plan.


The lights came on and the water came out the showers 48 hours before our first guests arrived. We all agreed we wouldn’t tell them they were our first guests and would calmly pretend we had been running the camp for months but they arrived in a state of excitement that they were our first guests having read on their itinerary that we were due to open a week after they arrived, and were the loveliest family from Florida.

9 years since we left Zimbabwe, closed down our own walking safari business which Steve and his partner Graeme Lemon built up over many years on Lake Kariba and laid off our wonderful team of 45 staff, we finally opened the doors of our own camp again.

Here is the finished camp (actually camps are never finished but this is how it looks) and some comments from our first guests.


Hey Steve and Annabel. Back home to the wet of the scottish new rainforest! So thoughts readily turn to Laikipia Wilderness last week. Thank you we had a fantastic time, really outstanding and so much enjoyed everyone's company, especially Irish Izzy!!!
Annie and I couldn't have enjoyed it more. Great company, especially the huge ellies (and huge groups of them by the river that day),wonderful giraffes, buffalo (uninvited guest to lunch!), horrified hippos as Steve sent them packing (esp their expressions when they came up from down under and saw him still there), the wild dogs; a completely new experience and such fun to follow, and we were wowed by the leopard/dikdik kill: fantastic. Great to see a leopard so close up and for so long. There's something about hyena that I just love to see, and so much more of interest and fun we just loved it all.
Moment of the tour? a night out under the stars takes a lot of beating. A frisson of anticipation, the close camaraderie of dinner in the bush (and in the dog!), and who knows who was making which of those noises all through the night. I'll do it again at any opportunity! Really though, we enjoyed being with Steve and being able to get off the wagon regularly to investigate one opportunity or another, to look at tracks, pursue the shy leopard, and so on. It was different to other safaris, and so much more involving. And great fun to share it with all the family from time to time.
I hope we can come again before long, and enjoy it all in the bush, and the return home each time to the "best showers in Africa"! Meanwhile good luck and have fun. N, Scotland

Steve and Annabelle thank you for a truly wonderful stay in your new camp. Having been in the safari industry for forty years I can honestly say your camp hits the nail on the head, extremely comfortable, great food, beautiful location and best guides but not losing sight of the bush or trying to be anything else. Promise me nothing will change! We will be back very soon. E, 86 year old Kenyan conservationist


What about the wildlife? Great numbers of elephants are around and very relaxed. Wild dogs sightings are fantastic, sometimes they take a day or so to find but we have a couple of guests who came specifically to see and photograph them and were rewarded with twice daily sightings for a week, hunting, killing, mating, playing and resting. A leopard kill on a night drive just outside camp, giraffe, hippo, Grevy’s zebra, oryx, porcupines, and right in front of camp elis coming into the salt lick and giraffes fighting.

For me, the best thing is cooking a lamb curry over the open fire on the rocks behind camp overlooking the best view, in between stirring seeing a herd of elephants crossing the river and coming towards us with babies, undisturbed and carrying on with their feeding, playing etc. Walking with an elderly lady along the river and coming across another herd of elephants who she could just make out against the sky-line and seeing her soak up the scene, the sound of the river roaring in the background.
Back to business – we have had a great start, a very busy July and August but September slows down a bit just when we are getting excited and want to keep up those daily sightings of wild dogs etc. So, we have not one but two Special Offers in conjunction with each other, 5 nights for the price of 4 on accommodation, and low season rates throughout September.
 Several of our guests have arrived from Nairobi by road and enjoyed the journey on the new Thika road with a stop in Nanyuki for some excellent Kenyan coffee at Dorman’s coffee shop, revived for their 1 and a half hour journey into Laikipia which is a beautiful drive. From just $300 per vehicle, this is an economical way of getting around plus you get a real feel for the country rather than hopping from bubble to bubble and dealing with airport security and queues along the way. Email us at annabelle@laikipia-wilderness.com for more details.

We look forward to hearing from you and thank you to everyone for all your support over the last few months.

Best wishes,

Steve and Annabelle

Bottom of Form

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

We are into our second month. First few weeks saw some amusing episodes in the kitchen. Steve calling for the team to quickly find the bed rolls and pack them ready for our first fly-camping trip sent Godfrey our cook into a flat spin and rolling out hundreds of bread rolls not bed rolls. Kenyan fried eggs tend to be turned a few times and quite well done. Our first demonstration of a different kind of fried egg, sunny-side up produced not-quite-clones of the raw variety which exits a chicken's bottom and made their way 7/8ths of the way to the breakfast table before they were hijacked by myself and wobbled back to the kitchen for transition from clear to white whites.

Including these entertaining moments, all has gone remarkably smoothly and our staff have been a fantastic team. Game-viewing has been remarkable and we are so fortunate to be in such a beautiful spot. The camp is tucked beneath the brow of a hill, hidden and secretive but with the most lovely, peaceful views of ranges of hills, the river, and sightings of elephant and giraffe herds often enough to keep you looking but rare enough to be thrilling when they arrive.

From my office the most serene view, a window into this scene and in amongst the boxes of pasta, olive oil and home-made jams which happens to host the best telephone and internet signal in camp, I answer emails and battle with the slow connection sending out photos and the occasional bit of script. Weekly trips to Nanyuki for supplies include a stint with wifi, a sniff of the outside world, the excitement of another pace and chatter of friends in town. And then back to a piece of borrowed wilderness, untouched heaven filled with rare and beautiful breeds of zebra, giraffe, hartebeest and less rare but still astounding even after nearly 15 years living here, elephants, wild dogs, hippos, lions, leopards calling, different breeds of caterpillar presented to me by our sons in their hands, and new birds arriving from time to time.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

First week of guests in camp, two lovely families and some amazing game sightings. There are lots of elis around, big breeding herds, some great wild dog encounters including watching a hunt from beginning to end with hyenas in tow, and finally a leopard kill two minutes from camp on the last night.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Laikipia Wilderness Camp is Steve and Annabelle Carey's new tented camp in Northern Kenya which they will be running together with a team of wonderful Kenyans, and their two small children. Opening in two weeks time, the camp specialises in adventure on safari. Each day is planned spontaneously, there is no schedule and activities are structured around what the wildlife in the area is doing, and what our guests want to see and do. Walking safaris are a speciality and for Steve with twenty years of experience behind him, the only way to see the bush. Our Kenyan team all grew up in this area and tracking and finding animals is second nature.

Game-drives allow us to cover distance, night drives are short adventures to see what nocturnal mammals we can find without too much intrusion. The scenery is stunning, the rocks just have to be climbed to see those amazing views, there are fish to be caught and cooked, rapids which tempt us to raft gently down them, stars to camp under...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

This leopard is being seen in camp almost daily by Steve and team.
The rocks behind camp have the most beautiful view, perfect for sun-downers and bush breakfasts.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Here a few images of wildlife found in our area. As well as for all the big cats, Laikipia wilderness is also home to the endangered African Wilddog, Striped Hyena, Aardwolf and numerous smaller cats.

Endangered African Wilddog Pup

Seldom photographed Striped Hyena


Monday, May 21, 2012

Laikipia Landscapes

Here is a pic from the area. The rains have arrived and the surroundings are a lush green.