“This is by far the greatest place to stay in Africa! There are tons of activities that you can participate in – or you can just relax by the pool if you prefer. We have stayed in 20 or more lodges in Africa (all top lodges) and it is hard to describe how much fun Africa can be until you visit Sosian. Our 12-year-old daughter did not ever want to leave. We rode horses most days, camped out under the stars, climbed up a huge rock for sundowners, went on night drives, rode a camel and enjoyed the wonderful family-like atmosphere. I wish I could put into words how truly special this place is and how you can get a real sense of Kenya by visiting Sosian Ranch. Did I mention more game that you can imagine? Wild dogs, Oryx, Lions (yes we did see one on horseback), Zebras, Giraffes, Elephants, Buffalo, and the list goes on and on!”
The Archer Family, UK
Sosian, Samburu for ‘Wild Date Palm’, combines comfort and tradition with wilderness and adventure and is the perfect choice for guests searching for an authentic and intimate safari experience. With an abundance of wildlife and many rare species, guests enjoy a very private and exclusive game viewing experience. With more than 250 species of birds, it is also a paradise for ornithologists
Sosian is set on a 24,000-acre private conservancy and working cattle ranch, very close to the Equator at an altitude of 5500 feet, around 80 kilometres from Nanyuki and 30 kilometres from Rumuruti. With views of Mount Kenya and the expansive Laikipia Plateau to explore, Sosian is located in one of Kenya’s finest private wilderness areas.
The original Ranch House was built in the 1940s and has been beautifully restored to provide elegant dining and living accommodation. Four comfortable bedroom cottages sit nearby among shady gardens. Also nearby are a beautiful swimming pool, tennis court and a stable yard of 26 safari horses.
Sosian is personally hosted by a highly experienced team of managers and staff who create an effortlessly warm, relaxed and informal atmosphere, ensuring guests always feel at home. Days are tailored to each individual guest or family, who can choose how energetic or relaxed they would like to be.
“What a stunning lodge, with immaculate rooms, soft, clean sheets & towels and gins and tonics on tap! I don’t think I’ll ever experience another week quite as wonderful, I really don’t.”
Today the original Ranch House is the centrepiece of Sosian Lodge – it consists of a large Drawing Room, Dining Room, Bar and Billiards Room. The rooms are airy and elegant yet cosy, and lead on to an expansive wrap-around veranda, offering undisturbed views of the surrounding bush.
The Italian Cottage, ideal for honeymooners, was built by Italian artisans in the 1940s and is set apart from the other cottages with its own private garden. The large bedroom with a king size double bed and the airy ensuite bathroom offer comfort, space and privacy.
The Family Cottage is perfect for the families with younger children – its double and triple bedrooms interconnect, giving peace of mind to parents and children. Both rooms have their own bathrooms, one with a bath tub and the other with a shower.
The two Garden Cottages each house a double bedroom and a twin bedroom – all with ensuite bathrooms. Each cottage has its own veranda – perfect for early morning tea or coffee. Nearby are the heated swimming pool, shady thatched pool house and hard tennis court. Lunches are often served in the pool house and barbeques take place around the pool in the evenings.
The cooking at Sosian is healthy and delicious. The lodge has its own extensive produce garden and is largely self-sufficient in salads, herbs and vegetables. The ranch rears its own pigs and sources high-quality, farm-fresh beef, chicken and lamb from its neighbours.
Meals are wholesome, organic and home-cooked. Bush breakfasts, sundowner drinks and candle-lit bush dinners are all on the extensive Sosian menu. Any dietary requirements can be catered for and child-friendly options and early suppers are available. For younger guests who need to go to bed early, a member of staff can sit on the veranda outside their bedroom, offering peace of mind to parents eating dinner.
“This was the most relaxing safari ever and in beautiful surroundings. Great game watching by both Land Rover and on horseback. Very experienced and entertaining guides. Great hosts, delicious food, wonderful sunrises on Baboon Rock and amazing bush suppers in the evening. Most highly recommended.”
Games drives at Sosian are in open 4×4 Land Rovers with raised seats to allow for the best wildlife viewing. Early mornings and later afternoons are the best times to go, as the wildlife is more active away from the heat of the sun. The middle of the day, however, can be a wonderful time to find herds of Elephant playing in the mud and cooling off in the river.
Sosian has a diverse landscape and varying habitats, where guests can expect to see a wide variety of wild animals including Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo, Giraffe, Zebra, Antelope, Lion, Leopard and Oryx. Endangered species including Wild Dog, Reticulated Giraffe and Grevy’s Zebra are also increasing in numbers.
As Sosian is a private conservancy, guests are also fortunate enough to be able to experience the bush and its nocturnal animals with a spotlight at night. After sunset guests often encounter Leopard, Spotted and Striped Hyena, Aardwolf, Aardvark, Porcupine, Bush Baby, Hippos grazing out of water, Buffalo, Serval Cat and other exciting species
Riding is a wonderful way to experience the best of the bush and Sosian is one of the best places in Kenya to do this. The conservancy’s varied terrain makes for interesting riding – through rivers, along tracks and across more open country where guests canter, jump and gallop. A riding safari is a peaceful yet exciting way to explore and view wildlife in their natural habitat.
Rides are generally 1-3 hours morning and/or afternoon. Keener riders may also choose to ride out to an overnight fly camp for the night – this is a fantastic experience, camping out with the horses and sleeping under the stars, returning to the lodge for lunch the following day.
Sosian has a yard of 26 well-schooled safari horses (including children’s ponies) to suit all abilities. To ride out in the bush, however, guests do need to have considerable riding experience, and to be confident to handle a horse in open country at all paces. For less experienced riders, shorter rides are offered close to the lodge as well as lessons in the sand arena.
“Riding at Sosian is truly spoiling! The landscape is beautiful and riding amongst wildlife is an unforgettable experience. The horses are so well cared for and really know their job, making them such a pleasure to ride. Crossing flooded rivers and galloping with giraffe are real highlights, but then quietly riding along the river and meeting a beautifully set-up bush breakfast is also pretty special too!”
Walking is the most intimate way of exploring the bush. Led by an experienced and armed walking guide, guests can learn how to follow animal tracks, recognise dung, insects, flora and fauna and all the other tiny details that might otherwise be missed from a vehicle. Guests don’t have to be super- fit to enjoy a safari walk and guides will tailor a walk to suit guest preferences and abilities
Camels have been part of the northern Kenyan landscape for hundreds of years and are kept as livestock for their milk and meat. Contrary to popular belief, if well looked after, camels can be very well-tempered. Sosian’s camels are very friendly – and at times overly affectionate! Camel riding is a fun activity and and allows guests to see and experience the bush from a different vantage point.
A night spent outside sleeping in the bush brings guests even closer to nature and further from modern frills and luxuries. Fly camping in bedrolls around the camp fire is a unique and adventurous experience. Dinner is eaten by the fire and guests can stargaze and go to sleep to the sound of nocturnal wildlife.
Ewaso Narok River
Sosian is fortunate to have 15 kilometres of the Ewaso Narok River running through the ranch and conservancy – highlights include magnificent 30-foot-high waterfalls. Swimming in the pools or paddling in a kayak is most enjoyable. When the river is high enough, tubing down the rapids is an exhilarating experience. Or guests can simply relax on the river bank with a fishing rod and see what they can catch for their dinner.
Sosian is situated in a very culturally diverse area of northern Kenya, rich in traditions and largely untouched by western development. Guests are welcome to visit neighbouring village ‘manyattas’ to get a glimpse of these traditional ways of life. This is a fascinating and educational experience for all generations. The Samburu, Pokot & Turkana people are very welcoming and find visiting guests equally fascinating!
Cattle ranching in Laikipia is a long-standing land use that is vitally important for the sustainability of this semi-arid area. When managed carefully, cattle ranching and wildlife conservation complement each other and Sosian is a perfect example of how this can work. A morning spent with the ranch manager offers a fascinating insight into how cattle and wildlife co-exist and also provide a fun and often hands-on farming experience for all the family.