In so many ways the iconic African country, rich in lore and legend, Kenya sits literally astride the equator and its vibrant array of cultures and ethnicities is echoed in a wide diversity of natural habitats and the different species they support. From the distinctive grassy plains of the Masai Mara, to white sand Indian Ocean beaches, forested highlands, acacia strewn plateaux, towering Mount Kenya, the waters of Lake Victoria and the arid landscapes of the north, the country plays host to an almost unrivalled array of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The enormous wildebeest herds of the Mara, so well-known across the world, are a small part of the faunal riches of a country that has always been associated with Africa's wild and untamed savannah.
Some 8% of Kenya's land is under legislative conservation in the form of national parks and reserves, including the famous Amboseli, Tsavo and Aberdare National Parks and the Masai Mara National Reserve, to name but a few. However, many of such parks are not fenced and so wildlife move in and out of these areas freely.
Kenya's central highland area, the Laikipia Plateau (where Wilderness is to be found), is a conservancy area of 9 500 square kilometres, and a major component of the Ewaso Ecosystem. Laikipia supports the second highest density of wildlife in Kenya and is the only area in the country where wildlife populations and habitat are on the increase. The area is one of Africa's - and the world's - most exciting safari and wildlife tourism destinations in a setting dominated by the iconic backdrop of Mount Kenya.
Wildlife in Laikipia is diverse and numerous. It is home to lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and black rhino. The Ewaso Ecosystem is home to 7 000 elephant, Kenya's second largest herd. It also supports important populations of endangered species, including black rhino, some 2 000 Grevy's zebra (70% of the world's population), a similar number of the remaining global population of reticulated giraffe, Kenya's only viable population of the endangered patas monkey, and the country's only viable population of Lelwel's hartebeest, as well as one of the few expanding populations of African wild dog.