With the snow-tipped peaks and glaciers of Mount Kenya to the south and a panorama of mountains and desert to the north, Borana provides an idyllic setting for any African safari experience. Walk in the bush, ride ranch horses or mountain bikes, safari in open-top vehicles - since Borana is a private property, there is guaranteed exclusivity, making every aspect of the safari experience personal, peaceful and uninterrupted.
Borana Conservancy is part of the wider Laikipia ecosystem, holding an abundance and diversity of wildlife comparable to any of Kenya’s national parks. Borana is home to the ‘Living with Lions’ project and a number of critically endangered species, including Black Rhino, the Patas monkey, Jackson’s Hartebeest, Reticulated Giraffe, Greater Kudu, African Wild Dog and Elephant. Other predators include hyena, leopard and jackal. Securing and increasing the conservation landscape is the underlying mission of the Conservancy.
Borana and neighbouring Lewa share a wonderful wilderness, with no fence between them. A rhino re-introduction programme in 2013 has successfully led to the birth of several black rhino calves on the conservancy - with hopefully many more successes to speak of in the future. Seeing the black rhino ambling around on the conservancy is a real highlight.
The accommodation consists of a series of individually styled thatched cottages, literally perched on a hillside with magnificent views over the Samangua Valley and the Lewa Plains to the Ngare Ndare Forest and Mount Kenya beyond.
The eight stone and thatch ensuite cottages each have an open fireplace, veranda, walk-in shower, bath and lovely toiletries.
The lodge sits at 6,000 feet which means that night-time temperatures are pleasantly cool and free from the malarial mosquito. The views include the local watering hole where all kinds of wildlife including elephants visit - you can even watch the comings and goings from the comfort of your own cottage.
There is a beautiful swimming pool with comfy loungers and a bar area - all complemented by stunning views. Guinea fowl strut the lawns immediately around the lodge while further afield, down in the valley, elephants can be seen grazing. The whole lodge has a very relaxed and welcoming vibe - just like a family home.
We are also now booking neighbouring Laragai House, just 8km from the main lodge, Laragai is an impressive country retreat built by Lords Cecil and Valentine. The eight bedroom private house enjoys exceptional views of the Wamba mountains to the north and Mount Kenya to the south. There's a heated pool with outdoor kitchen/bar/pool house, a gym, clay tennis court and helicopter pad. Laragai is available on an exclusive basis and would be perfect for a gathering of friends or family celebrating a special occasion
Families with children are very welcome at Borana and there is plenty to do from river swimming and mountain biking to going on safari by 4WD or even doing a spot of cooking. You can even visit 'Pride Rock' - maybe taking a picnic with you - it was here at Borana that the animators got their inspiration for The Lion King.
Two cottages (cottages 5/6 and cottages 7/8) have been configured with families in mind with two spacious ensuite rooms in each. Cottages 7 and 8 are an especially good option for a family travelling with older teenage children who like their own independence - they are situated further from the main lodge and share a plunge pool.
As well as game drives you can sample an array of activities - many of which are included, for instance horse riding, walking and mountain biking. Other activities include biplane flights, paragliding, rock climbing, fishing and quad biking. The lodge can even arrange visits to the community projects, which include schools that they support or to the agricultural projects such as the flower farms in the area.
To see a short video about Borana please click here.
Sara stayed at Borana in May 2016, and was lucky enough to take part in some conservation activities - also available to guests. She visited the anti-poaching HQ, saw a deployment of rangers and took part in a Dog Squad exercise. She says, "A stay here promises something rather special and different and would contrast well in combination with a stay in the Mara. At Borana you can experience life on a traditional working cattle ranch and see modern conservation very much in action. The area is truly beautiful. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw 11 rhino all together. 2 nights would be great but 3 is ideal as there is so much to do."
"Food is worth mentioning - it's delicious and really adds to the holiday experience with many of the ingredients such as fruit, vegetables and dairy produce, supplied by the owners farm, and meat coming from the ranch. The lunch area up by the pool is a fantastic spot to relax and sip on a cold Tusker, while gourmet breakfasts are taken on the shady terrace (try the avocado on toast). Dinner by the fire had a real sense of occasion."
"I think that a stay at Borana would combine exceptionally well with a fly-in safari to a private conservancy in the Masai Mara or for repeat visitors to Kenya, a stay further north in Samburu."
Please note: specialist activities including visits to the anti-poaching unit or the Dog Squad are subject to availability. The dog squad can be deployed without notice to other areas for reasons beyond our control!
See rhino alongside a host of other big game and endangered species, and learn about the conservation efforts on the beautiful Lewa and Borana Conservancies