Karisia Walking Safaris is an excellent option for travellers seeking a traditional safari holiday in an area of Kenya that is simply choc-a-bloc with wildlife. Walks take place in the company of a guide and a tracker – both are highly experienced and very knowledgeable about this part of the world. They do their utmost to make sure you enjoy memorable sightings, not only of the big game, but also of Laikipia’s little lives – the plants, insects, and plethora of birdlife. Across all options – AirBnC, Classic, and Luxury – the service standards are exceptionally good.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
This part of Laikipia may be accessed via road transfer from the town of Nanyuki, a journey that takes just a couple of hours. It is also possible to fly into camp, as Karisia has an airstrip.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Among the categories of accommodation on offer are AirBnC (Air Bed and Camel), Classic, and Luxury.
AirBnC is the most basic option available, but it’s very comfortable nevertheless. With its emphasis on the safari experience, it is perfect for travellers who are happy to forego luxuries and focus on the walks! Each tent accommodates four persons, with sheets, blankets, and towels provided. There’s a small seating area at the entrance to every tent, and a friendly communal tent where two-course meals are served. Toilet facilities are shared. As the camp is easy to pack up and carry, this option requires the fewest staff and guests are able to travel the longest distances per day.
The Classic category is suitable for safarists seeking a little extra comfort. Here, the tents are designed to sleep one or two people, with a more spacious feel overall. Again, Karisia supplies bedding (including pillows) and towels. There’s also a solar light, a table with mirror over, a stool, and comfy carpets. Toilets are shared here too, but you can treat yourself to a bucket shower with hot water. The communal areas of camp have a pleasant atmosphere, and the food is pretty special. A selection of alcoholic drinks is included in the bill.
If glamping is your style, we recommend the Luxury option! This is mobile camping at its opulent best. The guest accommodation consists of big traditional canvas tents, with a proper veranda where you can relax and watch the wildlife go by. Inside, there’s a king-size mattress with duvet and down pillows, a table and chair, a mirror, and a carpeted floor. Other features include solar lights, headlamps, hot water bottles, towels, and even complimentary dressing gowns! Behind each tent is a toilet, while a basin is positioned on the veranda. Hot bucket showers are available on request. The food and drink is fabulous, including an excellent choice of beers, wines, and spirits.
Whichever type of accommodation you choose, you are guaranteed great sightings of the local wildlife while out on camel-supported walking safaris. Typically a walk begins with the sunrise, after a hearty breakfast! Guests are accompanied by a guide, a tracker, and of course the camels, who carry a selection of refreshments and provide a ride at any stage of the journey. A walk tends to take 4–5 hours, so everyone arrives at the next camp in time for lunch. During the afternoon, guests are invited to explore the area, with birding and fishing just two examples of the activities available. A short walk in the evening usually proves popular, and dinner under the stars is a fitting end to the safari day. Guests find they have plenty of safari stories to share around the campfire!
This area of Laikipia is particularly renowned for its abundance of mammals. The cat count features lion, leopard, cheetah, caracal, serval, and wildcat, with other predators in residence including hyenas, jackals, and wild dog. Among the herbivores are elephant, giraffe, zebra, and an impressive assortment of antelopes! A couple of endangered species are well worth seeing – Grevy’s zebra and Highland hartebeest. Keen birders are in their element, as there are more than a few highlights in the region – you can look out for ostrich, white-bellied go-away bird, red-fronted warbler, straw-tailed whydah, and many more. There are also opportunities to visit local villages, to meet the tribespeople and to learn about their culture. This is a fascinating add-on to any safari programme.