All the Big Five, Plus Chimpanzees

Lions, Leopards, and Chimps

Only at Ol Pejeta, the closest spot to Nairobi where you can see all of Africa’s Big Five. Also, the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa. And the only place in Kenya where you can see chimpanzees in a natural setting.

Here are some other headlines coming out of Ol Pejeta:

  • The highest density of predators in Kenya – lots of lions, cheetahs, and leopards. Plus, jackals, caracals, foxes, and endangered African wild dogs.
  • The last two surviving northern white rhinos make their home in the protected confines of the sanctuary – two females, Najin and Fatu.
A group of elephants walking through grass in Ol Pejeta Wildlife Sanctuary
A Chimpanzee at Ol Pejeta Wildlife Sanctuary


When at Ol Pejeta don’t miss the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary. You can’t find these lively creatures on any other safari in Kenya. The large, natural enclosures here are home to over 40 rescued and abandoned chimps.

Created by the Jane Goodall Institute and the Kenya Wildlife Service, the orphaned chimps are nurtured back to health to live out their lives in an environmentally appropriate setting.

Landscape in Ol Pejeta

The variety of wildlife isn’t the only attraction at Ol Pejeta, the landscape offers visitors contrasting habitats that harbor the wonderful diversity of animals. On your safari, you’ll be traveling through these natural landscapes.


Open bush

Dense bush

Riverine Forest


Through these spaces, your safari will also bring you close to giraffe, monkey, baboon, impala, gazelle, zebra, hippo, and hyena. While in the trees above, the sanctuary’s 300 bird species will entertain with their busy activity and colors. And all this exciting wildlife is framed by towering Mt. Kenya in the distance.

Safari Highlights

Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary – The only place in Kenya you can see chimpanzees in the semi-wild. The 40 or so orphaned chimps sleep in large enclosures but during the day they’re off – exploring, grooming each other, and even walking along trails. Lots of fun!

Endangered Species Enclosure – Ol Pejeta is also a protected home for black and the last northern white rhinos. The enclosure area is large enough for game drives and yet still protects the rhinos from poachers. You’ll also find other endangered species here like Grevy’s zebra, Jackson’s hartebeest, and oryx.

Night Safari – You can’t go on a night safari in most national parks but Ol Pejeta is a private reserve with some unique opportunities. There’s something thrilling about a night game drive – the land takes on a feeling of expectation. Look for the shining eyes of aardvark, fox, and leopard looking back at you.

Zebras roaming Masai Mara National Reserve
Sunset in the Masai Mara National Reserve

Cycling Safari – Here’s something different – pedal your way past grazing animals while taking in the rolling landscape. The cycling safari lasts a full day with a 42 km (26 mi) route, including a lunch stop at Big Rock. And there’s even some light rock climbing included.

Horseback Safari – This is the ultimate safari for fun and bragging rights – exploring the reserve on horseback! The two-hour ride will take you through the white rhino enclosure and onto the Ol Pejeta plains. There’s nothing quite like being astride an animal to get up close to the wildlife.

Tourists standing and looking out of the open top of a 4x4 safari jeep

Community Projects

These reserve-based projects help the livelihoods of the nearby rural communities.

  • Education for local students, including computer skills training
  • Healthcare – providing medical supplies to the local health centers and mobile clinic
  • Energy – providing hundreds of local families with energy-efficient stoves – reducing the need for firewood.

Ol Pejeta Eco-Facts

  • Sanctuaries to protect endangered chimpanzees, oryx, hartebeest, Grevy’s zebra, and bat-eared fox
  • Home to the world’s last remaining northern white rhinos
  • The largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa – the rhino population has increased by over 100 in the last 25 years.
A rare brown spotted zebra seen on safari in Lake Nakuru

Ol Pejeta Facts

The Conservancy is 207 km (128 mi) north of Nairobi and is 360 sq. km (139 sq. mi) in size.
Location: Central Kenya – between the foothills of the Aberdare Range and the snow-capped peak of Mt. Kenya.
Climate: Near the equator, but not too hot because of its altitude. Dress for summer temperatures of about 24 C (75 F).
Best time to visit: The dry months of June through September, and December through February offer the best wildlife viewing.
Operating hours: 7:00 am – 7:00 pm
Getting there: By road – we’ll take you there on an Africa Kenya Safaris tour from Nairobi.

Want to discover more about amazing Ol Pejeta? Our quick Q&A guide will help you with useful Ol Pejeta facts and information on its wildlife, conservation, history, and just what makes it an unmissable safari destination!

Ol Pejeta Conservancy is located in the Laikipia County of central Kenya, approximately 200 kilometers north of Nairobi. The conservancy is situated on the equator, west of Nanyuki, between the foothills of the Aberdares and Mount Kenya. It covers an area of approximately 360 square kilometers.

What to See and Do at Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta Conservancy is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including the Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalo), as well as chimpanzees, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, and many other species. Visitors to the conservancy can enjoy a variety of activities, including game drives, walking safaris, and chimpanzee encounters. The conservancy also offers a number of educational programs and initiatives, such as its rhino breeding program and its chimpanzee sanctuary.

Safari Tours Available at Ol Pejeta Conservancy

There are a number of safari tours available at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, ranging from budget-friendly options to luxury experiences. Some of the most popular safari tours include:

  • Day game drive: This is a great option for those who are short on time or who want to experience a taste of what Ol Pejeta Conservancy has to offer.
  • Overnight game drive: This is a more immersive experience that allows visitors to spend the night in the conservancy and see the animals at night.
  • Cycling safari: This is a great way to get up close and personal with the wildlife and learn more about the conservancy’s conservation efforts.
  • Chimpanzee encounter: This is a unique opportunity to interact with these amazing creatures in their natural habitat.

Booking a Safari Tour at Ol Pejeta Conservancy

To book a safari tour at Ol Pejeta Conservancy, just get in touch with Africa Kenya Safaris today!

Ol Pejeta Conservancy is owned by a partnership between private investors and conservation organizations. This collaborative ownership structure ensures the sustainable management and preservation of this iconic wildlife sanctuary.

Exploring the History of Ol Pejeta Conservancy

The history of Ol Pejeta Conservancy dates back to the early 1980s when a group of forward-thinking conservationists and private landowners came together with a common goal: to create a protected area that would safeguard the region’s wildlife and support community development. Through their collective efforts, Ol Pejeta Conservancy was born, becoming one of the largest and most successful conservancies in Kenya.

The Partnership for Conservation

The success of Ol Pejeta Conservancy can be attributed to the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders. Private investors, in conjunction with renowned conservation organizations such as Fauna & Flora International and the Kenya Wildlife Service, have played a crucial role in the ownership and management of the conservancy. This partnership has fostered a strong commitment to wildlife conservation, sustainable tourism, and community empowerment.

With a rich history rooted in the shared vision of its founders, the conservancy stands as a testament to the power of collaboration and the dedication to preserving Kenya’s remarkable wildlife heritage. Embarking on an unforgettable journey with Africa Kenya Safaris will allow you to witness firsthand the conservation achievements and extraordinary biodiversity of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, a true gem in the heart of Africa.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy spans an extensive area of approximately 360 square kilometers (90,000 acres), making it one of the largest conservancies in Kenya. This vast expanse of protected land provides a haven for diverse wildlife species and supports vital conservation initiatives.

Exploring the Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Nestled in the Laikipia County of Kenya, Ol Pejeta Conservancy enjoys a stunningly diverse landscape characterized by rolling plains, picturesque hills, and verdant valleys. Its strategic location on the equator lends to a favourable climate, supporting a wide array of flora and fauna.

Bordered by the Aberdare Mountain Range

The conservancy is bordered by the magnificent Aberdare Mountain Range to the east, offering a breathtaking backdrop to the wildlife-rich plains. The Ewaso Nyiro River, a lifeline for both wildlife and local communities, meanders through the conservancy, providing vital water sources and creating pockets of lush vegetation.

See the Stunning Mount Kenya

An additional highlight of Ol Pejeta Conservancy is the presence of Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest peak, to the southeast. This majestic mountain not only adds to the scenic beauty of the conservancy but also influences the region’s unique ecosystem and climate.

Geography of Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Ol Pejeta Conservancy’s diverse geography, ranging from plains to hills and valleys, along with the presence of the Aberdare Mountain Range and Mount Kenya, contributes to its remarkable biodiversity and captivating scenery. Africa Kenya Safaris invites you to explore this vast and picturesque landscape, where incredible wildlife encounters and awe-inspiring natural beauty await at every turn.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy is located approximately 207 kilometers (128 miles) north of Nairobi, making it easily accessible for visitors seeking a remarkable wildlife experience without having to travel too far. The relatively short distance allows for convenient day trips or multi-day safari adventures from the bustling capital city.

Safari Tour Options from Africa Kenya Safaris

Africa Kenya Safaris offers an array of exceptional safari tour options that include travel from Nairobi to Ol Pejeta Conservancy. Experience the thrill of encountering iconic African wildlife while enjoying the comfort and convenience of our well-planned itineraries.

Ol Pejeta Day Safari

For those seeking a one-day adventure, our Ol Pejeta Day Safari is the perfect choice. Departing from Nairobi, you’ll embark on a scenic journey to the conservancy, immersing yourself in the stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife along the way. Witness the Big Five and other captivating species during thrilling game drives led by experienced guides. After an unforgettable day of exploration, return to Nairobi with memories that will last a lifetime.

Ol Pejeta Multi-Day Safari

If you desire a more immersive experience, our Ol Pejeta Multi-Day Safari allows you to spend multiple days in this wildlife haven. Departing from Nairobi, you’ll venture deeper into Ol Pejeta Conservancy, staying at handpicked accommodations that provide both comfort and an authentic safari atmosphere. Explore the vast landscapes, encounter endangered species like rhinos and chimpanzees, and engage in conservation initiatives. As the sun sets on each day, relax in the enchanting ambiance of the African wilderness.

Great safaris for Nairobi holidaymakers

Being so close to Nairobi, Ol Pejeta offers accessible and unforgettable safari experiences to anyone staying in the city. Africa Kenya Safaris provides a range of safari tour options, including day trips and multi-day adventures, ensuring you can embark on a wildlife-filled journey from the capital city. Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Ol Pejeta Conservancy and create cherished memories as you discover the diverse wildlife and captivating landscapes of this remarkable destination.

Ol Pejeta Conservancy is home to a significant population of rhinos, both black and white. As of the most recent records, the conservancy proudly hosts over 200 rhinos, making it one of the largest rhino sanctuaries in East Africa. The conservation efforts implemented in Ol Pejeta have been instrumental in protecting these majestic creatures and fostering their population growth.

The Black Rhino: A Remarkable Success Story

The critically endangered black rhino finds sanctuary in Ol Pejeta Conservancy. With dedicated conservation initiatives, the population of black rhinos in the conservancy has shown remarkable growth. From a mere handful of individuals, the conservancy now boasts a population of over 165 black rhinos. These magnificent creatures face numerous threats, including poaching and habitat loss. However, thanks to the diligent efforts of Ol Pejeta and its partners, the black rhino population in the conservancy is steadily increasing.

The Southern White Rhino

The Southern White Rhino population in Ol Pejeta Conservancy is delicately balanced. These gentle giants, although still classified as near threatened, have found a safe haven in the conservancy’s protected landscapes. With a population of just 44 individuals, Ol Pejeta plays a vital role in the conservation of this iconic species. Conservation efforts include anti-poaching measures, habitat preservation, and community engagement to ensure the long-term survival of the white rhino population.

The Northern White Rhino

The Northern White Rhino, a subspecies on the brink of extinction, finds its last hope within the protective borders of Ol Pejeta Conservancy. This subspecies, with only two living individuals remaining, is teetering on the edge of extinction, making every effort to save them critical. Sudan, the last surviving male northern white rhino, captured the world’s attention until his passing in 2018. Today, the conservancy is home to two female northern white rhinos, Najin and Fatu, the last of their kind.

In conclusion, Ol Pejeta Conservancy serves as a vital stronghold for both black and white rhinos. With over 200 rhinos residing within the conservancy’s borders, including a significant population of critically endangered black rhinos and white rhinos, it stands as a beacon of hope for rhino conservation. Africa Kenya Safaris invites you to witness these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat and learn more about the remarkable conservation efforts that have contributed to their preservation.

Kenya, known for its diverse wildlife, is home to a wide range of animal species. However, chimpanzees are not naturally found in the wild in Kenya. They are native to the forests and woodlands of Central and West Africa, primarily in countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary

While wild chimpanzees may not be present in Kenya, the country is home to the renowned Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary, located within the Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy. Established in partnership with the Jane Goodall Institute, this sanctuary provides a safe haven for rescued and orphaned chimpanzees.

Where is Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary?

The sanctuary is set against the backdrop of the scenic Laikipia Plateau within Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Wildlife Sanctuary, and offers visitors a unique opportunity to observe and learn about these fascinating primates up close. It serves as a vital center for conservation, rehabilitation, and education, striving to protect and raise awareness about the importance of chimpanzee conservation.

Is Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary worth a visit?

Yes! Visiting the Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary allows individuals to witness the incredible work being done to provide a second chance for these intelligent and endangered creatures. It offers an enriching experience and an opportunity to support the conservation efforts aimed at ensuring a brighter future for chimpanzees.

Rhinos seen on an East African safari tour with Africa Kenya Safaris

This is Ol Pejeta

So many types of wildlife and so many safari ways to see them – by Jeep, bicycle, and even horseback. Explore the sanctuaries of Ol Pejeta and then go on a night safari. Close to Nairobi, this is one of the most special reserves in Kenya.

A group of zebras drink from a water hole

Join us at Ol Pejeta

Let Africa Kenya Safaris take you to the adventure and fascination of this exceptional reserve. We offer safaris leaving from Nairobi journeying to Ol Pejeta and many other Kenya wildlife parks.

Just click below to start your adventure.

A charged elephant seen on safari in Kenya
Baby Lion cub resting in the shade seen at the Masai Mara National Park

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Help us create your perfect Safari! Tell us about your travel choices, any unique experiences you desire, and upcoming special occasions.