In 1970, the Kenya Wildlife Service requested help from Solio, now a Laikipia conservancy, to temporarily house five black rhinos which had been left isolated due to prolific poaching. Black rhino populations in Kenya were suffering a horrific decline, plummeting from around 200,00 individuals in the 1960s to less than 300 two decades later. Happily by 1973, Solio’s core fenced area was an established wildlife sanctuary and by 1980 had become home to 27 black rhinos from nine different areas of the country, as well as a founder herd of 16 white rhino re-located from South Africa. Solio’s rhino population swiftly prospered and as other private game reserves and National Parks grew more secure, Solio became the source for moving nucleus populations of rhino all over Kenya and even to Uganda and Malawi.
Centrally involved in the translocation of the original rhinos into Solio was the family of one of our directors, Mikey Carr-Hartley. Having known and loved the ranch from a young age, when Mikey grew up and began to guide mobile safaris around Kenya, he enjoyed taking his guests to encounter the wildlife at Solio. With such an abundance of animals living in the sanctuary and so many majestic rhinos to encounter, photographic opportunities never disappointed. When, in 2010, an opportunity arose to create an exclusive lodge within this private Laikipia conservancy, the decision was easy. Thus, Solio’s unique and historical destination became the fourth property to be added to The Safari Collection’s portfolio. Today, Solio remains the only visitor accommodation on the conservancy, giving guests an exclusive experience. Although other visitors do have access to the sanctuary for game viewing, only Solio Lodge guests are able to spend the night and enjoy the unforgettable and unique experiences offered by the lodge. Picture sunset cocktails against an iridescent African sky with a crash of rhinos just a few metres away. It really is one of the best places in the world to encounter wild rhinos
Solio Conservancy is home to over 200 black and white rhinos which live within a core 19,000-acre wildlife sanctuary. They are looked after by a team of dedicated rangers who protect them from poachers 24 hours a day. The core rhino sanctuary is surrounded by a 45,000 acre private ranch, making for an exclusive Laikipia Kenya game viewing experience.