It is a range of mountains situated in North Kenya, in Laikipia County within the Rift Valley Province. In total, the range runs for 150km from north to south and its highest peaks include Warges and Ol Doinyo Lenkiyo, at 2688m and 2375m above sea level respectively. It is the final frontier before Lake Turkana and altogether a very dramatic destination!
The geography of the Matthews Range includes vast forests of cycads and juniper, surrounded by sprawling plains. The Range incorporates the Namunyak Wildlife Conservancy, managed by the local community. This is an area of almost 344,000 hectares of pristine savanna and wooded hills. Here, animals roam in abundance – it is common to spot elephant, leopard, wild dog, hyena, kudu, monkeys and reticulated giraffe. Elephant are particularly prevalent, as the Conservancy is part of an elephant corridor linking the Matthews Range with Laikipia and Samburu – and it is supported by the Tusk Trust, who work to protect elephant and other species. Bird highlights are raptors, sunbirds, flycatchers, partridges, and many more!
As this area boasts such a wealth of wildlife, naturally the foremost activity of its camps and lodges is game drives. Guided walks and birding are popular too, while hiking in the mountain forests offers spectacular sights aplenty! The camps we feature also provide opportunities for travellers to get to know the Samburu people for whom the Matthews Range is home. It is possible to visit their village and even spend some time beading with the women, learning their craft. And Sarara Camp offers a very special activity – watching the Samburu people summoning their cattle to water through song.
There really is a lot to do in this part of Kenya – and the region works well either in combination with another part of the country or as a standalone destination. Check out our property options below!