Wild Dogs and Englishmen… a review of Sosian Ranch, Laikipia

Posted on January 17th, 2012
Categories: News

We have just spent an idyllic wedding anniversary at Sosian in Laikipia.  My wish list for this weekend  had to contain the following key ingredients:  a swimming pool, good food and not too long a drive from Nairobi.   What we found at Sosian went above and beyond our expectations.

Sosian is a 24,000 acre private ranch in the heart of Laikipia, a vast expanse of wilderness in the heart of Kenya’s highlands and home to a huge diversity of mammals and birds. The ranch house was built in the 1940’s by Italian artisans, and in recent years was beautifully restored to accommodate up to 14 people in the atmosphere of a private home, now known as Sosian Lodge. 7 cottages lie in the tropical garden overlooking Mt Kenya and miles of unspoilt Africa, each with its own private verandah and ensuite bathroom; the lodge has a swimming pool, tennis court, and organic vegetable garden.

We arrived after a dusty drive – last part of the journey, before getting into Sosian Ranch, is bumpy and required emergency medicinal, tins of cold tusker to be opened!  The sun was setting and we both congratulated ourselves for having made the effort to escape Nairobi on the Friday and make the most of the weekend.  We arrived and were shown to our room, to which I realized another one of my wants was for crisp white linen and proper bedding, tick!  (sadly, a sign of age I think.. I am quite sure that wasn’t on my list 5 years ago!)  The bathroom was huge and, although initially disappointed not to have found a bath, I was pleasantly surprised how wonderful the shower was, great pressure and super soft water and plenty of hot!  We then went to the main house for drinks and found that everything was laid out bar style for us to help ourselves, although within seconds our host appeared to help us. However, the open bar really lends itself to that “home from home” feel.  We sat by the fire and enjoyed every decadent second of having the entire place to ourselves!  Delicious tempura vegetables appeared, with a ginger and soy sauce dip; good food, tick! Heavenly supper, lovely wine and good company followed.

We soon realized there was masses to do at Sosian, and might even run out of time! (warm pool still being the top of the list)  After a delicious cooked breakfast, we went on a guided walk with Joseph, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of tracks, smells and birds.   Pre lunch pool action was calling, and most definitely didn’t disappoint, stunning (warmish) pool, tick!  Lunch is taken in the beautiful pool house.

We decided to go in search of the wild dogs that live in the rocks about 15 minutes away from Sosian on our game drive after tea, having never seen any in the wild before (title photo – they move quite fast!).  For research purposes the dogs wear tracking colors; a bonus, especially when I learned how rare they are to see.. So when Joseph appeared on our game drive waving his antenna around the open back seats, I couldn’t have been more excited! Sure enough, at 6pm (when they come out to hunt), we heard the most eerie call and suddenly out of the rocks and hills, appeared at least 20 dogs all running to the call. We were spell bound, it was amazing, and then out of the long grass, in front of our car, appeared two dogs followed by 7 two month old puppies, amazing… and if that wasn’t enough, Joseph took us to the most stunning rock top for our sun downers.. (did I mention Sosian NEVER run out of ice!) for breathtaking 360 degree views of the Laikipia plateau, the Abedares and Mount Kenya.  On our return, we saw a leopard in the bush, thanks again to Joseph going the extra mile and using a spot light.

After all that excitement, Sunday morning was a short walk to the pretty nearby waterfalls, followed by a relaxing couple of hours around the pool and a delicious lunch – using salads from the garden!

If I could change anything, it would have been to add an extra night, it all went too quickly.   This is an ideal spot for one of those half terms where you don’t have quite enough time to go to the coast, but still in search of sun, fun and plenty to do.  There are 7 cottages, so enough room for 14 people.

Very good residential rates of 14,000kshs per person, plus conservancy fees.

http://www.sosian.com/index.html

Contact & Bookings:  [email protected] / [email protected]