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Galdessa Camp, Tsavo, Kenya

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Galdessa Camp, Tsavo, Kenya

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El Karama

El Karama Ranch is a 15,000 acre cattle and game ranch set in the heart of the Laikipia Plateau. The Laikipia area is part of an ancient lava plain covered with red dirt, thorn scrub, broken volcanic rock, dried riverbeds, steep hills and rocky outcroppings. Unusual for this arid area of Northern Kenya, Laikipia has a permanent water supply, the Ewaso Ngiro or "brown river". This permanent water flow provides an oasis for the many elephant, hippo, and crocodile that abound in this area.

The Ranch only takes one booking at a time, so whether you choose to camp here, using our large, very comfortable stand up dome tents with cot-beds and outside toilets and showers; or to stay in the gorgeous, rock and stone open plan cottages, you'll have the entire area to yourself.

A camp dinner at El Karama.
A camp dinner at El Karama.

The cottages have a large, shared living room/dining area with a huge fireplace and the kitchen is placed just outside the back. The chefs here are very talented and will keep you extremely well fed during your visit! Each cottage has its own ensuite bathroom with hot water and flushing toilets and huge, open windows to enjoy the view. Made from local rocks and old wood from fallen trees, each cottage is unique in style and shape and very, very comfortable!

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Game walking, game driving and night drives are all possible here on El Karama, you may explore the area as you choose, on foot, by car or even by camel or horseback if you prefer.

El.Karama has a flourishing population of wildlife with over 70 species of mammals and nearly 400 species of birds. Of the well-known African big game El Karama is home to elephant, hippo, buffalo, lion, leopard and cheetah. In addition to these there are such species as the rare and geographically restricted grevy's zebra, the unique Laikipia hartebeest, and the unusual reticulated giraffe. Recently African hunting dogs have also reappeared on the ranch.

And as for the birds the variety is infinite: from the big to the little, the bright or the camouflaged, the ones you see and the ones you hear. From the moment you first pick up your binoculars you'll be hooked and names such as ostrich, kori bustard, martial eagle, honey guide, paradise flycatcher and finfoot will become exciting new discoveries.

Riders with our Sahiwal cattle.
Riders with our Sahiwal cattle.

Laikipia, northern Kenya.

Riding camels in Laikipia.
Riding camels in Laikipia.

Northern Kenya is a huge expanse of scrub desert, bisected by a few life saving rivers. A true wilderness, this area of Kenya is very sparsely populated; game patterns have been little affected by humans.

The region is also home to the rare Grevvy zebra, Somali ostrich with its distinctive blue legs, the shy Beisa Oryx and the largest African antelope, the Eland.

An El Karama campsite.
An El Karama campsite.

The Laikipia area is famous for its leopards. One of the most reliable areas in Kenya for spotting leopard, lion and cheetah, Laikipia proves very popular with the big cat researchers.

A cottage at El Karama.
A cottage at El Karama.

The mix of woodland and grassland with riverine forest and swampland creates a home to a wide variety of bird life as well as mammals. The Buffalo Springs Park records over 365 bird species!

The perfect place for an introduction to the harsh, yet stunningly beautiful landscapes of northern Kenya, Laikipia is a vital part of a safari itinerary.

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