We are very saddened to hear that the Mukutan Retreat on the Laikipia Nature Conservancy in northwestern Laikipia was burned down last night by Pokot pastoralists in revenge for the killing of some of their cattle in a police operation to remove them from their illegal occupation of the Conservancy. We offer our condolences to the owners, management and staff of the Laikipia Nature Conservancy.
We continue to support the recent renewed efforts of government to remove pastoralist groups (emanating from outside Laikipia) from their illegal occupation of ranches in northwestern Laikipia.
In the meantime the Ol Pejeta Conservancy continues to operate as normal.
As of today’s date pastoralists and their cattle continue to occupy ranches in northern and western Laikipia including: Sosian, Suyian, Laikipia nature Conservancy, Mugie Conservancy and Ol Maisor.
At this time Ol Pejeta Conservancy is entirely unaffected and operating as normal.
A statement from the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF)
The tourism fraternity in Kenya deeply regrets to learn of the death of Tristan Voorspuy, a co-owner of Sosian Ranch and owner of Offbeat Safaris who was killed at Sosian Ranch on Sunday 5th March 2017 by unknown assailants who had trespassed onto the ranch apparently with groups of herdsmen seeking grazing for their livestock.
On behalf of all industry stakeholders we extend our condolences and sympathy to the family of Mr Voorspuy and to the other Kenyan farmers and ranch employees who have been caught up in the conflict over pasture in the affected area in recent weeks.
Sosian Ranch is one of the private ranches in northern Laikipia hosting a vibrant population of wildlife. During this year’s drought-like conditions, they are one of 7 ranches that have been invaded by hungry livestock and pastoralists.
Following the incident, we would like to clarify the following:
- The incident took place at Sosian Ranch, a 24,000 acre private ranch dedicated to cattle ranching and tourism in the Laikipia area of northern Kenya, 240 kilometres from Nairobi
- No tourists were involved in the incident and there were no tourists staying on the ranch at the time of the incident
- Laikipia is one of 47 counties within Kenya and over 9,000 square kilometres in size. It is well-known for its excellent wildlife and ecotourism facilities. Laikipia’s wildlife is second only to the Maasai Mara
- The present unrest and insecurity are restricted to a few localities and a small number of ranches and that the well-known wildlife conservancies and tourism facilities in the rest of Laikipia are not affected and remain calm and peaceful
Kenya covers an area of approximately 582,650 square kilometres and is frequently compared to an area the size of France. Tourism activity continues as normal in most of Laikipia and throughout the rest of the country with holiday-makers currently on safari in the country’s national parks and visiting its popular coastal resorts.
The Tourism Industry continues to maintain very close contact with the stakeholders in Laikipia and a fact finding trip to Laikipia was earlier carried out by Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) and Kenya Tourism Federation (KTF) industry executives to assess the situation on the ground. We fully support the investigations being carried out by the police and other relevant authorities to bring the perpetrators of these lawless acts to justice.
We believe that the Government of Kenya will be giving the highest priority to restoring law and order for all the people in the affected area so that they can enjoy the normal peace and security found throughout the rest of Laikipia county.
KENYA TOURISM BOARD (KTB)
KENYA TOURISM FEDERATION (KTF)
Yesterdays news of the murder of one of the directors on Sosian Ranch has shocked us all. Our condolences are extended to his family and friends.
The situation on Sosian has become more severe after a police operation last week failed to remove the pastoralists illegally occupying the ranch.
Further meetings are scheduled this week to try and resolve the current security concerns in northwestern Laikipia.
Currently Ol Pejeta Conservancy remains unaffected and is operating normally.
Since yesterday’s update a major police operation has commenced on Sosian to remove pastoralist groups occupying that property. Unfortunately this operation led to further vandalism including the burning of 3 director’s houses on the property. It is hoped by all of us that the ongoing operation is completed as quickly as possible to restore a sense of normalcy in north and western Laikipia.
The situation in western and northern Laikipia remains tense with pastoralists still in occupation of Sosian, Suyian, Ol Maisor and parts of the Laikipia Nature Conservancy. However the Kenya Police have commenced a major operation to restore order in these areas. This operation is ongoing as of today’s date.
In the meantime Ol Pejeta Conservancy remains unaffected. We are continuing to support local pastoralist communities living around us with grazing access for cows with calves to permit recovery when the current dry period is over. We are also working closely with the National Drought Management Authority and the Laikipia Wildlife Forum to find ways of supporting all our neighboring communities pending the onset of the long rains which should – hopefully – commence towards the end of March.
A black rhino with its calf on Ol Pejeta.
On a positive note we have had 2 black rhino births in the last month and a good number of females in the population are heavily pregnant meaning that we can expect a significant number of new arrivals as the year progresses.