Top five biggest ranches cum wildlife sanctuaries

Private ranches in Laikipia County occupy more than half of the land with foreigners owning thousands of acres, which they utilize in wildlife conservation and livestock rearing.

The ranches are home to various species of wildlife.

Tourist lodges have been put up, some that charge guests up to Sh100,000 per night.

Most of the visitors fly from abroad directly to the ranches. Here are the five biggest ranches in Laikipia.

1. Laikipia Nature Conservancy — 100,000 acres

Also called Ol Ari Nyiro and is owned by 73-year old Italian Baroness, Kuki Gallmann.

Kuki and her husband Paolo Gallmann bought the ranch in 1974.

However, her husband died in 1980, and in 1984, she transformed the property into a wildlife sanctuary.

2. Ol-Pejeta Ranch — 90,000 acres

Ol-Pejeta is located a few kilometres from Nanyuki Town and has had several previous owners.

It was acquired by Lord Delamere and his partner Marcus Wickham Byanton in the early 20th century.

At one time, it was owned by Saudi billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi.

In 2004, the ranch was purchased by UK-based conservation organisation, Fauna & Flora International (FFI).

FFI worked with Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and converted the entire property into a national land trust, and is today a conservancy.

3. Ol Jogi Ranch — 67,000 acres.
Ol Jogi lies on northern side of Nanyuki on the way to Dol Dol, and is owned by Guy Wildenstein. It provides a sanctuary for rhinos.

4. Loisaba Conservancy – 60,000 acres

Loisaba was established in 1997 by an Italian Count. It lies on the boundary of Laikipia, Samburu and Isiolo.

Mr Ancelotto once leased it to three enterprising white Kenyans, Peter Sylvester, Tom Sylvester and Giles Davies and it is believed they still manage the place today.

5. Segera Ranch – 48,000 acres

Segera is owned by Mr Jochen Zeitz, former CEO of sports brand label giant Puma.

He bought it 10 years ago.

Mr Zeitz, a German national first came to Kenya in 1989 and like the country.

He retired from Puma in 2011 where he was chairman for 18 years.

The ranch is home to some wildlife endangered species and is also involved in honey production.

“I didn’t want just to be a frequent traveller to Africa, I also wanted to be on the ground there at some point.

“I just bought the place for me to put my philosophy and passion into action on my own piece of land,” Mr Zeitz, who also does art collection, once told UK newspaper Independent last year.

Apart from the Segera Ranch, Mr Zeitz has homes in Switzerland, Los Angeles and West London.

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