- Country house feel
- Wilderness experience
- Fantastic facilities
- Beautiful landscapes
Sosian is a stunning lodge, half elegant colonial ranch, half bush wilderness set in the stunning landscapes of the Laikipia Highlands. It is a little more expensive than the alternative owner occupied options in the area, but will suit those looking for a more refined luxury touch and the extra facilities this affords.
Sosian is set on a 24,000 acre private wildlife conservancy, sharing the land with a traditional cattle ranch. Sosian’s original ranch house was built in the 1940’s by Italian artisans, restored in recent years to accommodate up to 14 people with a feel reminiscent of a weekend party at a country house. Seven cottages are dotted throughout the lush gardens, stocked with verdant greenery, flower-beds and bird life. Each cottage lies with its own private veranda and en suite fully plumbed bathroom. There is a honeymoon cottage set on its own, two cottages with 2 double rooms each (not interconnecting) and one three bedroomed cottage. Meals are usually taken at the main ranch house which boasts a wrap-around veranda, snooker room and glamorous dining room. A real highlight of the property are its facilities, including a rock swimming pool, set beside an open-sided thatched roof house, spaced with hammocks and comfy day beds, a Tennis Court, high quality riding stables (primarily aimed at more experienced riders) and Organic Vegetable Garden.
Similar to the neighbouring Laikipia Wilderness Camp, Sosian's speciality is in providing a private game viewing experience, away from the restrictions of National Park rules. The focus here is on experiencing the bush, the wildlife and landscapes with a sense of freedom and exploration, with trekking, Bush Walks, Riding, Camel Safaris, Game-Drives and Night-Drives all on offer. As well as looking for wildlife, there are other activities available which include Fishing, Archery, Tennis, Rafting, Tubing down the River and swimming in the rivers after jumping off Waterfalls or a visit to a nearby Samburu settlement.
As well as big herds of elephant, zebra, buffalo, numerous species of antelope, giraffe and hippo; lion, leopard, cheetah and spotted hyenas are regularly spotted. Sosian is home to some rare and endangered mammal species such as Jackson’s hartebeest, Grevy’s zebra, Reticulated giraffe, striped hyena and aardwolf. There are three packs of African Wild Dogs in the area and sightings of these endangered predators are prolific. The birdlife is spectacular and large raptors such as Martial Eagle, African Hawk Eagle, and Bateleur are resident and often seen.
For Families: Sosian is an excellent choice for families looking for a wilderness bush experience combined with a good dose of comfort and facilities such as a pool and tennis courts. It is our opinion that whilst not offering the same sheer numbers of plains wildlife and predators as the Masai Mara, The Laikipia area is a superior safari experience for families offering a more rounded and fun safari experience. Whilst kids (and adults) may grow tired of game drives, it is hard to imagine anyone growing tired of the variety of activities on offer here. Families are usually accommodated either in two adjacent rooms in a standard cottage or in the three bedroom family cottage.
The trip was amazing everything was better than we could have imagined.
There was a moment climbing the mount Kenya where my wife accused me of tricking her into doing this (half kidding) as some of the nights got pretty cold, but we were dressed well and the sunrise at the peak was astonishing.
Safari was spectacular, Ben who was our main guide and driver was awesome! We saw everything excepts rhinos which were more of a hope than a reality. We also were able to watch a rock python eat a Thompson gazel live. It was one of the most interesting and unsettling things I have ever seen.
Just overall, so many moments that make you think wow or I can't believe I am here. Thank you for your help in getting everything set up. I don't believe I could have booked the trip without your help and guidance. It was an amazing way to start our marriage and truly the trip of a lifetime!
William K reviewing 11 Day Mount Kenya Trek and Masai Mara Safari Combined on 29 October 2018
We both suffered but enjoyed it immensely. Just how it should be!!!!
Our route up the mountain, the Burguret trail is very arduous and certainly should not be used for people who are not very fit and experienced trekkers. It mainly followers animal trails through the forests and bog lands around the mountain. The Chogoria route down was great. The guide and porters were great. Wild camping means just that, really just what I wanted, but I have lived in Kenya.
Jonathan B reviewing Mount Kenya: Burguret Chogoria Traverse on 24 September 2018
Speke's camp was absolutely ideal - small and personal, with great hosts. We'd definitely recommend the "tented safari" experience to others. The kid's didn't miss having a pool (too interested in Safari). Speke's camp give you your own landrover and driver/guide, which gave us great flexibility (much better I suspect than what is offered by some of the larger camps). Our guide was brilliant. See below for the review we just posted on rip Advisor.
I think the only negative of the trip was getting through Nairobi airport (multiple security checks, and they ask you to "board" two hours in advance, which in fact means going into crowded transit lounge with no facilities), but there's not anything anyone can do about that
It's also worth saying that Peponi really is a unique experience. It's a proper East African institution, with all the locals dropping into the bar. It's the perfect antidote to anyone wanting to get away from the soulless all inclusive resorts which could be absolutely anywhere in the world (which seem to be a bit of a feature of Zanzibar). Lamu is still amazingly undeveloped.
We stayed at Speke's camp for 4 nights in August 2018 - a family of two adults and two children. For us it was the perfect location to experience the Mara. The camp is only a short drive outside the main Mara reserve and is in an amazingly picturesque location, set by a small river in the shade of trees. Wildlife roams near (and sometimes through!) the camp. You get to feel very close to nature when you have a buffalo rooting up grass just outside your tent in the middle of the night!
The camp itself is small and has a very personal feel to it. There are only eight or so guest tents, so you get to meet everyone passing through. One of the great pleasures was getting to chat to other guests over the evening meal or round the camp fire, swapping stories of the day's sightings. If you do want a little more privacy, then it's absolutely fine to eat in your own group.
Whilst you do sleep and eat under canvas, it is an extremely civilised experience: the beds are comfy (with hot water bottles provided to ward off the chill of the evenings); there are bucket showers which sound much more primitive than they really are; the communal area is very elegantly laid out; tea is brought to the tent before setting out on early morning game drives, and the food was fantastic.
What really makes the experience however are the wonderful hosts. Both Adrian and Veronique made a real effort to get to know us and ensure we were well looked after; and it's certainly worth picking Adrian's brains on the history of the region (it's not called Speke's camp for nothing)
The final word must go to our wonderful guide/driver Ambrose and our Masai spotter Marco. It was a real privilege to have our own land-rover and to be shown the reserve by such knowledgeable and charming individuals. Ambrose is a proper naturalist, can identify a lilac breasted roller at 200 yards, and knows where to see the best wildlife without simply following other trucks. On our final afternoon, with 30 minutes before we had to leave the Mara Triangle, we had seen every animal and bird that was on our wish list (including a live Cheetah kill), but had not seen a rhino. Marco saw a speck on the horizon, Ambrose drove like the clappers and as a parting gift we were able to see this most elusive animal up close. Notwithstanding all the awe-inspiring nature, I think my wife's personal highlight was driving the land rover back to amp along the dirt track through herds of zebra and ambling giraffe. A truly amazing experience all round.
Jonathan I reviewing Laikipia & Masai Mara Safari on 24 August 2018