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Laikipia Kenya Grevys Zebra and Uncommon Plants

Maasai playing good cricket in Laikipia Kenya

Laikipia Kenya Grevys Zebra and Uncommon Plants

Laikipia County is found in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya and inhabiting the northeastern portion of Kenya along with uncommon plant life living side by side with the largest and most threatened of the three species of zebra, Grevys zebra make the natural park a special place near the horn of Africa.

Laikipia means treeless plain in Maasai language 

Laikipia County is one of the 14 counties within the Rift Valley region and one of the 47 counties in the Republic of Kenya. Laikipia County borders Samburu County to the North, Isiolo County to the North East, Meru County to the East, Nyeri County to the South East, Nyandarua County and Nakuru County to the South West and Baringo County to the West. The county’s population according to the 2009 National Census is around 400 thousand with males making up 49.8% while females make up 50.2% of the population. 

With multiple ethnic communities, the Kikuyus and Maasai communities form the largest portion of its residents. Other tribes mainly Borana, Samburu, Kalenjin, Meru, Somali, Turkana, European and Asian settlers are the resident minorities.

Located on the equator, Laikipia County is found in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya and is among the smallest counties in Kenya with an area of 3,653 square miles or 9,462 square kilometers. 

Laikipia is a vast plain nestled in the shadow of Mount Kenya; Laikipia is home to the Big Five mammals, elephant, lion, leopard, water buffalo, and rhino and to the planet’s largest population of endangered species such as Grevy’s Zebra and the Reticulated Giraffe. 

Zebras in Kenya are grouped into two species, the Common Zebra and Grevys Zebra. The Grevys zebra species was named after French president François Paul Jules Grévy who was President of France from 1879 to 1887, Grévy presented the animals to the King of Abyssinia, present-day Ethiopia. The greatest threat to the Grevy's zebra is human destruction of habitat.

Grevys zebra is named after French president François Paul Jules Grevy

A few decades ago, more than 15,000 Grevy’s zebras inhabited Africa. Today, fewer than 2,500 remain. They live in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya. Habitat degradation; reduced water sources; hunting; disease; loss from overgrazing and competition for natural resources are killing these animals.

Kenya takes pride in place as the only country in the world where three of the nine giraffe subspecies are found, the Maasai, the Reticulated and the Rothschild’s.

Laikipia County Kenya biodiversity is stunning. Laikipia has over 500 species of the medicinal plant, aloe, stinging nettle, and other medicinal plants and essential oils, along with several hundred native bee species. Laikipia has multiple ethnic communities; however, the Kikuyus and Maasai communities form the largest portion of its residents.

Due to its location along the equator and nearness to Mount Kenya, the county experiences a cool temperate climate. For the most part, the residents in North Laikipia County are pastoralists who move from one area to another in search of water and pasture.  

The lives and livelihoods of Laikipia County pastoralists, ranchers, smallholder farmers, and tourism operators are inextricably intertwined with the health and well-being of the area’s abundant natural resources.  

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