The Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary opened in 1993. Lonrho Africa, the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) and the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) established a facility to receive and provide sanctuary and housing to an original group of 40 chimpanzees.Mammals in the Ol Project include the big 5 the endangered black rhino, leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion.
The Ol pejeta conservancy occupies the plains between the foothills of the Aberdares and the magnificent snowcapped Mount Kenya. The Conservancy comprises extensive savannah grasslands and the riverine forests that border the Ewaso Nyiro River. A visit to Ol Pejeta is ideal for nature, cultural fun and leisure lovers.
Major Attractions: The Sweetwaters Chimpanzee Sanctuary is a refuge for chimpanzees rescued from the black market. It is the only place to see these charismatic apes in Kenya.
The endangered species enclosure is home to the only three remaining northern white rhinos in the world. The animals were moved to Ol Pejeta from a zoo in the Czech Republic in 2009. Visitors can learn of efforts to bring this subspecies back from the brink of extinction.
Wildlife: Ol Pejeta Conservancy is home to all of the Big Five. It is the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, and sightings of both black and white rhino are common. Ol Pejeta is said to have the highest predator density in Kenya outside of the Maasai Mara; and there is a good chance of seeing lion, cheetah and hyena. Since 2011, there have also been sightings of African wild dog.
Getting there: The drive to Ol Pejeta Conservancy from Nairobi takes about three to four hours. The last 13km to Ol Pejeta is dirt, and 4×4 vehicles are essential in the rainy season. The easiest way to get to Ol Pejeta is to take one of the daily scheduled flights from Nairobi to Nanyuki airstrip, which is a 45-minute drive away. It is also possible to charter a flight from any other park to Ol Pejeta’s airstrip (currently only open to charter flights).
Nairobi is one of the biggest transport hubs on the continent. International flights arrive in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO), 15km/9mi southeast of Nairobi
Where To Stay: From wild camping by the river to the lap of luxury in the old colonial ranch house, there are nine accommodation choices on Ol Pejeta, sure to suit every budget and taste. Ol Pejeta has a close working partnership with its tourism operators, to ensure that tourism here is sustainable and beneficial to wildlife and the local communities.