Solio Reserve & Conservancy Kenya
Providing repose, Solio Reserve and Conservancy is considered to be one of the best reserves where you can spot innumerable black and white rhinos that are preserved here. The only lodge in a conservancy, it offers a unique experience with abundant spotting of wildlife.
The lodge is itself a beautiful place to stay providing remarkable surroundings, spacious rooms, and windows opening to the beauty of the reserve. The early morning game drives are an absolute treat where you will witness water buffalo, monkeys, waterbucks, lions, and rhinos. Solio Reserve and Conservancy is one of the most amazing places for safari tours in Kenya.
History of Solio reserve and conservancy
The world’s first private rhino sanctuary, Solio Game Reserve was started in 1970 when Courtland Parfet, the owner of Solio cattle ranch, fenced off a large section of land and dedicated it to conservation; since then, breeding has been so successful that rhino from Solio has stocked game reserves all over Africa.
Between 1970 and 1980 the numbers of black rhinos in Kenya crashed by over 90%, from 20,000 to 1,500, and continued to do so until 1990 when only 400 were left, just 2% of the 1970 population. For the most part, these deaths were at the hands of poachers seeking a lucrative income from the sale of the horns. While the largest market for rhino horn was, and is, as an ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicines, Kenyan horn was mostly smuggled through to North Yemen where the horns were fashioned into handles for their ‘Djambia’ daggers. While the black rhino lives mostly on browsing bushes and trees, there was abundant grassland in the reserve which is the food source of the other species of African rhino, the white. In 1980, Solio decided to introduce a founder herd of 16 individuals imported from South Africa with excellent habitat and securely hidden from view, this new group of rhinos bred and prospered such that the reserve had to be extended to 68 sq km in 1991. In the meantime, other areas in Kenya in both National Parks and private ranches were made sufficiently secure to house rhinos and Solio became the prime source of many founder populations. Some 30 individuals were moved out of Solio to help form nucleus populations in other new reserves including Nakuru National Park, Sweetwaters Game Reserve, Lewa Downs Conservancy, and Ol Jogi By 1992 there were 66 black and 55 white rhinos in the reserve. The rhinos continued to thrive and so did translocations to other areas.
How to get to Solio reserve and conservancy
Solio reserve and conservancy is located about 200 km from the main capital Nairobi and using a 4×4 safari vehicle or a flight to the nearby airstrip is the easiest way of getting to the conservancy.
Where to stay at Solio reserve and conservancy
Solio Lodge is located between Mt Kenya and the Aberdares Mountains. This new exclusive lodge offers the exclusivity of a private ranch and an unrivaled wildlife experience. The lodge is on the Solio Game Reserve, home to the endangered Black and White Rhino who live in harmony alongside other wildlife such as leopard, lion, and a wide variety of birds. Solio Lodge’s close proximity to Nairobi makes it the perfect en-route destination.
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