With Love, From Laikipia | 10 Minutes With Joe Wahome
We chat with Joe Wahome. A writer, photographer, digital creator and Founder of ‘Love Laikipia’ – a digital platform telling stories and experiences about Laikipia and the north. He is based in Kenya and is passionate about travel, conservation and connecting brands with equally passionate people.
Joe at Ol Jogi Conservancy
1. To start off, tell us about the name, how did you come up with ‘Love Laikipia’?
Laikipia is home and what is not to love about Laikipia? From the landscapes, culture and weather to the wildlife and resilience of the people who have faced a lot of hardship and neglect. It is a conservation success story and I am happy that more local people are taking charge of conservation affairs in their localities.
2. What led you into the travel space as both a writer and digital creator?
I am a journalist and have worked in the TV industry for 6 years as a screenwriter. I then moved to PR which piqued my
interest in travel and conservation. I got to work with a giant hotel brand that had properties in Laikipia, Watamu, Maasai Mara and Kilimanjaro, which led me to interact with travel influencers from across the world. It was then that I realized just how much opportunity there is in the digital world.
Bush walk at Laikipia Wilderness Camp | Image by Joe Wahome
3. Both are centered on telling stories. How is that process different for you when it comes to writing versus photography?
They are similar yet very different. Both are powerful mediums of communication. I can summarize and say powerful photography requires no words while brilliant writing requires no photography as it is vivid and clear.
Ol Jogi Conservancy Interior | Image by Joe Wahome
4. What’s a favorite among the many projects/adventures you’ve been involved in?
Recently, I was involved in covering one of the biggest rhino ear notching and eye scanning interventions by KWS, the
team at Ol Jogi and other international partners. Thirty rhinos underwent the process successfully and it was amazing seeing the co-ordination between the air and ground teams to safely capture these magnificent animals. I was also involved in a multi-year project with the sustainable travel organization, ‘The Long Run’. This project involved visiting their Kenyan members and documenting their sustainable travel journey. Definitely an eye-opener and a huge honour to be part of for me and my colleague.
5. Any exciting, new travel experiences to share with us?
I was at Ol Jogi for the rhino intervention and this is the grandest hotel (probably in the whole world). Previously I was at Laikipia Wilderness Camp and I saw a rare, one-year-old black leopard which was the highlight of the year for me.
Rare Black Leopard | Image by Chad Pond
6. What are a few things not many people know about Laikipia?
It has the second highest number of wildlife in Kenya after the Mara with most of them living in conservancies or community land. This makes it a unique landscape where the people have also perfected the art of co-existence.
Image by Rebecca Chaplin Kramer
Maasai Guide at Lolldaiga House | Image by Joe Wahome
7. Somewhere you’d recommend to anyone visiting Laikipia for the first time?
Laikipia Wilderness Camp or Enasoit – these two places are special and are a throwback to a wild and bygone era.
Bush Dogs | Image by Laikipia Wilderness Camp
Enasoit Interior | Image by Yellow Zebra
8. How have your travel experiences across the country shaped your outlook on life?
Travel makes you realise how interconnected we all are in our ways of life. This is especially true when strangers gather and share their experiences. Whether it’s at a sundowner or bonfire marvelling at the beauty of all that’s around us, all our stories are similar. Just told differently or from another culture’s perspective.
9. Finally, a word for any Nomads looking to get into travel, lifestyle and culture content creation. Any advice?
Be consistent in your craft, network, collaborate with other creators, shoot your shot and when starting out take as many opportunities that you can – a rate card will come after this stage.
You can keep up with Joe on Instagram via his handle @lovelaikipia. Follow to join the adventure!