Saving the Animals at Ol Pejeta

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Perhaps not the best-known park in Kenya but possibly the most varied, Ol Pejeta is the reserve closest to Nairobi where you can spot all of Africa’s “Big Five” wildlife. But along with the big cats and elephants, the park is a refuge for several endangered species.

It’s the only place in Kenya you can see chimpanzees at the special enclosure located within the conservancy. And the black rhino sanctuary here is the largest in East Africa.

These populations of wild and endangered species thrive in a park known also for its colorful diversity of landforms – grasslands, bush, riverine forest, and swamps. There is so much to absorb at Ol Pejeta and all within a short drive of Nairobi making it a perfect day trip.

The Sweetwaters Sanctuary

The only refuge for chimps in Kenya, Sweetwaters is a magical spot where abandoned, orphaned, and injured chimpanzees are taken in and nursed back to health. It’s a large, natural enclosure, home to over 40 rescued chimps who can live out their lives in a wild but protected environment. You’ll enjoy the playful antics and advanced gymnastics of these lively and very intelligent creatures.

Founded by the Jane Goodall Institute and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the sanctuary provides lucky visitors with insights into the care and rehabilitation of these wonderful chimps. Watch them explore, groom each other, and go for walks along the trails.

The Endangered Species Enclosure

Most safari-goers don’t know that rhinos are an endangered species. Poachers have decimated their ranks over the decades, but clever innovations are now keeping them in a protected space so they can multiply and thrive.

The large enclosure here is designed so the big creatures have plenty of room to roam and be seen but knee-high posts placed on the perimeters prevent the rhinos from wandering off into areas where they could be shot and exploited for their horns.

Ol Pejeta is also home to other endangered wildlife like the Grevy’s zebra, Jackson’s hartebeest, oryx, bat-eared fox, and the African wild dog.

Unusual Ol Pejeta

Adding to its versatility as an all-around wildlife park, Ol Pejeta offers some activities not found in most reserves. Being a private, not a national park, visitors can go on dramatic night safaris. Jump into a 4 x 4 Jeep and travel the darkening savannahs exploring for a glint of light reflected in the eyes of a nearby leopard. The rustling sounds in the bushes and nighttime animal calls will bring an exciting new dimension to your safari.

Perhaps less dramatic but definitely fun and unique, a daytime cycling safari will bring you up close to grazing animals as you pedal past on the rolling plains.

And for a completely unusual safari experience, this is one of the very few parks that offer horseback riding safaris. Imagine cantering close to an impala, zebra, or gazelle… even grazing rhinos. A truly remarkable moment.


As befitting such an eco-aware reserve, Ol Pejeta is deeply involved in community projects that benefit the local people. Some of the endeavors help the community’s students by providing education and computer skills training.

Your support here also provides medical supplies to the local clinics and energy-efficient stoves to the community’s families, reducing the need for scarce firewood.

Ol Pejeta – so close to Nairobi but offering a rich variety of landscapes and wildlife, while protecting endangered species… enjoy a very full day in this remarkable conservancy.

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