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Kigio Wildlife Camp - Naivasha, Kenya

Kigio Wildlife Conservancy, Naivasha

Kigio Wildlife Camp is a superb all-suite camp built within beautiful Yellow-fever woodland overlooking the Malewa River, approx. 2kms from Malewa Wildlife Lodge. The camp is built from sustainable pine-wood, local earth from the conservancy, traditional thatch provided by the surrounding community and canvas panels - there has been minimal usage of cement and steel in the construction of the camp. Power is provide by solar panels and the environment has been carefully preserved during the construction of the camp.

Location
Leaving or passing Naivasha and continuing northwest on Kenya's Trans-African highway into the central Rift is the Kigio Wildlife Conservancy, the Malewa River lodge and Malewa Ranch House. Also nearby is Gilgil and Lake Elementaita.

Kenya hotels and accommodation
Amongst the wide range of Kenya hotels, some make the ideal Kenya safari destination. Choose a safari lodge, safari hotel, bush camp, luxury lodge, safari camp, tented camp or bush lodge. National park accommodation usually takes the form of a traditional safari lodge or tented camp, but numerous other options exist on the park boundaries. Luxury lodges and luxury camp options are also offered in the private wildlife conservancies.


Background
The Kigio Wildlife Conservancy
This relatively new wilderness reserve is a former cattle ranch, which rolls from the scrubby plains near the road and railway down through lightly wooded hills to the lush valley of the Malewa River. Established in 1997, Kigio already has an impressive conservation record, with the herd of Rothschild's giraffe relocated here in 2002 now breeding, and a pair of white rhinos relocated here in 2005 settling in well. Both relocations were filmed by the BBC. Although the conservancy rarely contains any large predators and is entirely fenced, the park's count of large animal species is very healthy and includes hippo, buffalo, impala, Thomson's gazelle, waterbuck, zebra, warthog and ostrich. The reserve is a great place to visit for a few hours or as an alternative Naivasha base. As well as wildlife viewing (by car, on foot or with rented mountain bikes) and riverside bird-watching, Kigio offers abseiling, horse-riding hikes up the densely wooded Kashuki Gorge, and river swimming.

A 3,500-acre conservancy, lying between Nakuru and Naivasha in Kenya, Kigio offers wide ranging habitats, from riverine and euphorbia woodlands to short grass and Leleshwa shrub. Presently if holds some 3,500 head of wildlife (including the endangered White Rhino and Rothschild Giraffe, a 200 strong herd of buffalo, impala, Grants and Thomson's gazelle, eland, hyena, leopard, hippo and over 200 bird species).

Accommodation
Accommodation is in eleven spacious suites, each 72 sqm, and one 2-bedroom family suite all built on deck and containing a large bedroom and sitting areas, a private bathroom with flush WC and shower and a balcony. At night hippo and buffalo visit the camp to feed on ground salts and vegetation.

Dining and bars
The dining and sitting areas are situated in a glade overlooking a towering red cliff that houses colonies of bee-eaters. A bar stands between two tall fever trees facing the cliff and dining decks extend up to the river. Wholesome meals are cooked from fresh ingredients sourced daily from local farmers. Activities possible here are nature walks with rangers, day and night game drives, fishing, biking and bush meals.

Activities
Activities include nature walks, bird-watching, fly-fishing, abseiling, mountain biking, horse riding and swimming in the ‘eye of the spring' natural spring of Kasuki Gorge. The conservancy's position also allows for visits to other interesting destinations nearby such as a day trip to Nakuru Park to see up to a million flamingos and a myriad of wildlife and birds. Hells Gate National Park is also within easy reach for a day trip where you can walk and cycle amongst wildlife and there are excellent sites for rock climbers. This is adjacent to Lake Naivasha where boat trips can be arranged and a visit to Elsamere the home of the late George and Joy Adamson of Born Free fame. The higher altitude Aberdare National Park is also close by offering a different range of fauna and flora including black serval cats, black leopards, and bongo among others. Visits to homesteads and schools in the local community can be a very rewarding experience as well as seeing local crafts in action. Further afield, safaris to the Masai Mara and/or Samburu game reserves can be organized.


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