luxury in the wilderness
After two days in Ol Pejeta, at the southern end of the Laikipia plateau, we left the well-traveled path for a 61,000-acre private ranch and game sanctuary in the northernmost part of the plateau. There was some apprehension emanating from the backseat as we left the tarmac and jostled along rocky back roads bereft of any signposts. Luckily, we were equipped with four pages of detailed directions that included diagrams and symbols to help us navigate the many unmarked intersections we passed en route to the Loisaba Wilderness Lodge. The directions also included mileage markers that were meant to help us anticipate landmarks. Unfortunately, these were less than helpful as our odometer clocked 20 km less than the directions had indicated by the time we arrived.
Three hours after leaving Ol Pejeta we walked into the Loisaba House and out on the deck to take in the striking views over the escarpment. Situated in the heartland of the nomadic Samburu and Laikipiak Maasai communities, Loisaba is a practical project in sustainable land use. The property comprises untamed bush juxtaposed with a working cattle farm. It epitomizes what life was like in Kenya before fences were invented. There are no game park rules, just pure comfort and relaxation hidden away in the wilderness.
We stayed in the private cottage, 9km from the main lodge. It is set back from the escarpment, but has the benefit of being nestled in a beautifully landscaped garden, which offers exceptional bird-watching opportunities. The cottage sleeps eight very comfortably and comes with its own staff and cook. We could’ve easily spent a week relaxing there, enjoying sumptuous meals in the garden, afternoons lazing around the pool reading, and evenings sipping cocktails by the fireplace.
Sadly, we only had two days, but we made the most of it. From a morning camel ride along the banks of the Ewaso N’giro river that ended with breakfast on the riverbank, to a bush walk alongside klipspringers, to utter abandonment of anything remotely resembling a road or path on game drives, Loisaba afforded infinite variety, peerless beauty, and a chance to see Kenya anew in one of the far-flung corners of the country.