A clear view of the peak of Mt. Kenya from Mpala. Photo by Margaret Kinnaird.

Mpala is located on the Laikipia Plateau in north central Kenya, just north of the equator, northwest of Mt. Kenya and at an elevation between 1700-2000 m above sea level. Mpala covers 49,107 acres of savannah and dry woodland habitats and is bordered by the Ewaso Ngiro and the Ewaso Narok rivers. There are vast expanses of low lying plains, covered with thorny scrub where unique rocky kopjes majestically rise above the skyline. Fifteen dams have been constructed on Mpala, and there are more that 250km of internal roads.

Rainfall is on a mostly trimodal schedule. The 'long rains' fall between April and June and the 'short rains' fall between October and December. A third but smaller and more unpredicatble peak in rainfall occurs in July and August. However, we are seeing a shift in rainfall patterns resulting in longer, more severe dry periods coupled with periods of intense rain storms.

Warm days and cool nights predominate, with very low humidity in the driest season (January-April), and moderate humidity at other times.