The Emakoko is a family run safari lodge in Nairobi National Park. Within half an hour of clearing customs at Nairobi International Airport you can be on safari in the park. Your first thought might be 'why would I want to safari in Nairobi?'. Well we've stayed at The Emakoko and can tell you that it is an unexpected delight. It makes a great and stylish choice for either your first or last stop in Kenya with fantastic wildlife right on your doorstep and the most wonderful hospitality. Emma and Anton are charming hosts and the lodge is really beautiful and very comfortable.
Depending on your flight arrival and departure times, we love to include The Emakoko within a safari to Kenya - either on arrival for 1 or 2 nights so you can get over your international flight and side-step Nairobi's notorious traffic, or as a last night stop (so you can really make the most of your safari time and end your trip in style). We think this is a really special place - an unexpected gem in the heart of the city.
This is a small boutique safari lodge with just 10 lovely spacious cottages. There are five rooms on the main level and five built into the cliff face higher up. The lodge is currently constructing a 'lift' to reach the higher level. The cottages are very spacious with white walls, huge comfy beds, fireplaces, river facing balcony and large bathrooms with bath and shower.
The communal areas of the lodge are lovely and open and airy. The bar and restaurant stretch along the river with great views. There is also a swimming pool and sun terrace by the river.
Food and drink is worth special mention, from the wonderful 'Dawa' cocktail, expertly mixed by the 'Doctor' (aka barman Lawrence) to the superb quality of all the meals. Superb.
The main activity at the lodge is of course game viewing in the Nairobi National Park. Despite its extraordinary proximity to the capital city of Kenya, this park is an unexpected oasis of wildlife with over 400 species of bird recorded in one day, the highest density of rhino in Kenya and a healthy population of lion with seven prides numbering 32 individuals.
You have an excellent chance of spotting four of the Big Five here (the only exception is elephant). Other excursions include the elephant orphanage at the nearby David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, supported by Real Africa, and also the Giraffe centre where you can hand feed a giraffe and learn about the efforts to conserve the Rothschild Giraffe.
How we like to use the Emakoko
If you are flying with BA into Nairobi, the flight doesn't arrive until after 9pm. Staying at The Emakoko means you can be at the bar unwinding with a drink, listening to the sounds of the African bush within an hour of landing. The lodge offers a special B&B package for guests doing exactly this. Being surrounded by the bush, you really do feel on safari as opposed to in the city. The following day you have time to acclimatise, enjoy great food and you can of course enjoy 4x4 safaris in the park - you can even visit the elephant orphanage before moving on to your next destination on Day 3.
Alternatively, we use The Emakoko as the last stop on a holiday. You might be flying in from the Mara or Samburu at lunchtime, or driving back to Nairobi. A stay here allows you to safari in the afternoon, visit the elephant orphanage and be a convenient drive to the airport for your departure following day.