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Cam Location: Mpala
Mpala Research Centre is located on the Laikipia Plateau in north central Kenya, just north of the equator and northwest of Mt. Kenya. The Centre is made up of 49,107 acres of savannah and dry woodland and bordered by two rivers, the Ewaso Ngiro and the Ewaso Narok. There are vast expanses of low-lying plains, covered with thorny scrub where unique rocky kopjes majestically rise above the skyline.

An estimated 800 plant species grow on Mpala. The vegetation is characteristic of semi-arid African savannas, predominantly grassy savanna bushland, with patches of woodland and open grassland. Dominant trees include species in the genera Acacia (Mimosaceae), Euphorbia (Euphorbiaceae), Balanites (Balanitaceae), and Boscia (Capparaceae).

More than 2,000 cattle, camels, and sheep are ranched on Mpala, but the region also hosts an intact savanna mammal community, including Kenya's second largest elephant population. Eighty-five mammal species and at least 300 bird species can be found on Mpala. Elephant, eland, plains zebra, oryx, and giraffe are seasonally abundant, depending on rainfall and forage availability. Waterbuck, impala, Grant's gazelle, Jackson's hartebeest, and bushbuck are residents. Lions, leopards, cheetahs, spotted hyenas, black-backed jackals, aardwolfs, and bat-eared foxes are regularly seen.

Grevy's zebras in the morning light. Photo by Margaret KinnairdHummingbird and Distribution Map