A PRIVATE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY FOR BLACK AND WHITE RHINOS, OFFERING AN UNRIVALLED WILDLIFE EXPERIENCE
This spectacularly conceived and beautifully integrated, small, modern Lodge is situated in an extensive, private wildlife sanctuary, nestled in between the dramatic slopes of Mount Kenya and the rolling peaks of the Aberdare Mountains, directly north of Nairobi. Solio Lodge is situated at 2,000 meters above sea level, and remains the only guest accommodation on the incredible 183 km², 45,000 acre, Solio Game Reserve. As the exclusive accommodation within a private wildlife sanctuary, a stay here guarantees an equally exclusive chance to observe the resident animals – from hundreds of endangered black and white rhinos to lions, leopards, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes and more.
This camp is open year round except for the month of November.
The emphasis at Solio Lodge is on space, light and privacy. The Lodge is made up of only six large thatched cottages, with contemporary interiors. Each cottage has a private lounge area, heated by an open fire on cooler evenings, as well as large en-suite bathroom with bath and shower. Solio Lodge takes full advantage of its spectacular surroundings, with vast floor-to-ceiling windows that frame distant Mount Kenya, and outdoor sundecks that afford panoramic views.
Solio Lodge offers excellent cuisine with dinner often being served outdoors under the Stars of Kenya within sight of grazing giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, and antelopes. The chefs at Solio use fresh produce sourced from their own organic vegetable garden to prepare delicious, always beautifully presented meals.
Solio Game Reserve is internationally recognized as one of the most successful rhino breeding reserves in Africa, helping the conservation of East Africa’s rhinos that are under threat of being poached to extinction. The main purpose of the game reserve is to provide a refuge for wildlife, which would otherwise be deprived of suitable habitat and, as such, it makes an immensely important contribution to the conservation of wildlife in Kenya.
Every day at Solio Lodge is a unique experience. Game drives are primarily about the black and white rhino, the principal purpose of the sanctuary, but there are also other activities on offer. In addition to the game drives within the reserve, both night and day, there is the opportunity to go walking, horse riding and mountain biking around Solio Ranch, take a helicopter ride to nearby Mount Kenya with a hilltop picnic breakfast, or do some trout fishing in the Aberdare National Park.
As a testimony to its success in breeding rhinos; visitors will find that sightings of up to 40 rhinoceros at a time are not uncommon. White rhinos can be seen in large herds, often out on the open plains – many of them with very impressive horns. The shyer black rhinos can still be spotted very easily as well. The wildlife experience here is intense and exclusive, with 19,000 acres of conservation area surrounded by 45,000 acres of ranch and just one lodge – Solio Lodge – in the midst of it all. Currently, there are 70 black and 185 white rhinos; a further 152 have been relocated since the reserve was fenced off from Solio cattle ranch in 1974. There is plenty of wildlife to be seen at Solio; including lions, leopards, cheetahs, cape buffaloes, zebras, reticulated giraffes, elands, waterbucks, impalas, oryxes, dik dik warthogs, baboons and much more. There are, however, no elephants. A significant number of resident birds can be found here, with 300 species being recorded.
Solio Game Reserve is located in the beautifully remote wilderness of Laikipia, a wonderful feature-filled diverse landscape with open grasslands and wooded ravines. There is probably no other place on Earth where one can see and photograph this number of rhinos, both black and white, amongst a plethora of different species. The remarkable, long-horned rhino provides exceptional photographic opportunities. Like elephants, the sheer massive bulk of the rhino gives a photographer a variety of composition options. While a telephoto lens will allow the photographer to focus on aspects of their bodies, a wide angle lens will provide an image that contextualizes the rhinos in their natural environment. Photographs of rhinos with compositions that place these magnificent creatures in the context of the landscape make for very compelling imagery.