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The Solio Game Reserve

The Solio Game Reserve is a privately owned sanctuary dedicated to rhino conservation. The reserve lies in the valley between the high slopes of Mount Kenya and the peaks of the Aberdare Mountains. Just north of Nairobi, it provides a home for approximately 200 rhinos. The game reserve is an exhilarating place to visit for game drives during the day. Which gets even better if you go for an overnight stay in the luxury Solio Lodge.

The Solio Game Reserve (or Solio Ranch) used to be a working cattle ranch but in 1973, part of it was turned into a wildlife sanctuary. Rhinos and other wildlife came back to the area. Nowadays, it’s a 49,000 acre ranch with 19,000 acres of wildlife sanctuary for black and white rhinos. The rhinos live here in harmony with other animals, such as buffalos, zebras, giraffes, elands, antelopes, waterbucks, and warthogs.

An intense experience

Visitors find that sightings of up to 40 rhinos at a time are not uncommon here. The wildlife experience here is intense and exclusive with just the one luxury lodge with five cottages in the middle of it all. Enjoy exploring this exclusive reserve by jumping on a horse, bike or even in a helicopter. Luxury galore!

Common Animals in Solio Game Reserve

  • Black rhino
  • White rhino
  • Buffalo
  • Grevy’s zebra
  • Reticulated giraffe
  • Eland
  • Oryx
  • Impala
  • Waterbuck
  • Thompson’s gazelle
  • Warthog
  • Lion
  • Cheetah
  • Elephant
  • Serval cat
  • Gerenuk
  • More than 350 bird species

Solio Highlights

  • One of the most successful private rhino breeding sanctuaries in East Africa
  • 200 rhinos in the 19,000 acres of wildlife sanctuary
  • Sightings of up to 40 rhinos at a time are not uncommon here
  • Big cats and all of the big Five live here

Rhino Facts

Did you know there is actually no colour difference between black and white rhinos? The name is said to be a mistranslation of the Afrikaans word ‘weit’. This means wide and refers to the white rhinos square shaped lips used for grazing. Black rhinos have hooked lips, and this is the main difference between the two species.

Black rhinos are also smaller than white rhinos. They prefer thick bush habitats, whereas white rhinos prefer open grass plains. They are more solitary, shy and aggresive than white rhinos, which is why the white rhinos are easier to spot and get close to.

Activities in Solio Game Reserve

  • Visit the ranch on horseback or bike
  • Spend the night in the luxury Solio Lodge
  • Spot wildlife herds from above in a helicopter

How to get there

By car it takes approximately three hours from Nairobi to get to the Solio Game Reserve, which is located 111 miles from the capital. It’s also possible to catch a 45 minute flight from Nairobi to the private Solio airstrip, which is located 10 minutes from Solio Lodge. Or you can take a domestic flight from Nairobi to the Nanyuki airstrip, followed by a 30-minute transfer to Solio Lodge.


Kenya has a cold season from June to November with average temperatures of 20°C during the day. Nights can get cold during this season, so it’s best to take a sweater.

Mid October to November is the short rainy season, after which temperatures rise up to 30°C during the day from December to April. April and May come with showers again as this is the long rainy season. It normally doesn’t rain throughout the day as one sees sunny mornings with rain clouds building up towards the afternoons and evenings.

Best time to visit Solio Game Reserve

January to March is the best time to visit the Solio Game Reserve and July to October is the peak season, which means a lot of tourists visit Kenya. Just after December is the best time to plan your visit as the short rains allow the flora to flourish and attract a lot of wildlife.