Kenya ~ Borana Lodge
Comfortable safari lodge, any length of stay, available year round. Suitable for all abilities, couples, families and mixed groups of riders and non-riders.
Where On the edge of the Samangua valley in Kenys'a Laikipia plateau, about 4 hours drive north of Nairobi.
What is it like The lodge is set on a hillside on the Borana Conservancy, with panoramic views across open, sloping grassland and acacia woodland towards Mount Kenya. There are also steep sided, rocky valleys that hide numerous species of game. Borana Conservancy is Kenya's newest and most successful rhino sanctuary. It adjoins the massive Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and is home to the 'Big 5'. Herds of elephant often browse by the waterhole below the lodge, buffalo hide in the thick, shady bush and lion rest under acacia trees. Its a great place to see black and white rhino, cheetah hunting on open plains as well as unusual game such as northern Kenya's beautiful reticulated giraffe and Grevy's zebra.
Who does it suit Anyone who wants style, comfort, great service and a taste of the wilderness. Rider or not, families, friends, couples, honeymooners, lone travellers and adventurers are all perfectly catered for. The stone and thatch lodge is a comfortable, stylish, yet also relaxed and unaffected bush home, with swimming pool, verandas and sweeping views. With a good selection of horses, from polo ponies and thoroughbreds for experienced riders, to tough cross-breds for families with children, there a horse for all abilities. Riding is tailor-made and can include morning, evening or full day picnic rides, overnight stays in other lodges and friendly polo chukkas, whilst non-riding options include game drives, guided walks, mountain bikes, fishing and cutural visits, ensuring everyone is entertained.
Why we love it Not just because a stay at Borana is luxurious, fun, indulgent and exhilarating with great riding and game viewing, but because it's a unique opportunity to see wildlife conservation at work and the balance between environmental, ecological and community pressures and responsibilities. The Dyer family who own Borana made a commitment over 10 years ago to put lodge profits back into Conservation. In 2020 the lodge was granted one of the highest awards in sustainable tourism, encompassing the 4Cs - Community, Culture, Conservation and Commerce. Their work in conservation and dedication to community development through improved education, water safety and health, is inspiring.
Riding: tailored to suit, up to 6 hours a day
Horses: South African Boerperd, polo ponies, TB crosses (some children's ponies available)
Pace: moderate and varied (tailored to suit)
Riding ability: confident novice to experienced riders; families welcome
Weight limit: approx 95 kgs (15 stone) but please contact us just to check that a suitable horse / horses are available if you are close to this
Accommodation: private lodge, 3∆ camping optional
Group size: Borana sleeps 16; riding is in small groups, usually maximum 8
Season: year round
Price: 7 night stay from USD 5530 (approx £4150) per person
Horses: The horses include a mixture of breeds with thoroughbred, polo ponies, South African Boerpedes and Somali ponies. They are between about 14hh and 17hh with some smaller childrens ponies available. They are responsive, forward going and thoroughly enjoyable to ride. Several are polo schooled. They are also sensible to handle, used to game and at home in the bush. Tack is English style with some stock saddles also available.
Hours: The riding can be varied to suit, with morning and evening rides out from the lodges for a couple of hours each, or full day rides with a picnic when there might be about 6 hours riding.
Pace and experience required: As the riding is tailored to suit, different experience levels can be catered for. However as you are riding in an area where there is big game, you should have some previous riding experience and as a minimum should be happy at a walk, trot and canter in open country on a well-schooled horse. You will enjoy the riding all the more if you are riding fit so if you are not riding regularly we recommend you put in a few hours a week riding in the months before your trip.
Borana sleeps a maximum of 16 guests. The lodge is extremely comfortable, privately owned with excellent personal service. Accommodation is in 8 cottages built of thatch and stone, using local materials, all simply but beautifully decorated. Cottages have either double beds or twin queen size beds and private bathroom and most have a private veranda (one cottage has a private plunge pool). There is a main dining room and bar area where evening drinks and dinner are served. The swimming pool has a stunning view across the valley and lunch is usually set out in the pool area.
Safari rates are seasonal and calculated on a per night basis in standard rooms
Rates include - all riding, guiding and equipment, accommodation (based on two sharing), all meals and some drinks.
Rates exclude - conservation fees, flights to Nairobi, transfers from / to Nairobi, personal medical insurance (compulsory), visa fees, some alcohol and personal items such as tips.
Lodge stays on request, tailor-made mobile camping safaris sometimes also possible
Average temperature guide
Sample 7 night itinerary
|Arrive Nairobi, transfer to Wilson airport for a scheduled safari link flight to Lewa Downs. Transfer by jeep through Lewa Wildlife Conservancy to Borana Lodge. Dinner and night Borana.
| Day 2-3
|Two days with morning, evening and picnic rides, drives or walks for game viewing on Borana perhaps visiting the main farm on the slopes of Mount Kenya. After riding, relax and enjoy Borana's wonderful setting, views and swimming pool. 3 nights Borana Lodge.
| Days 4-6
|Set off on a 3 day ride, descending from the plateau to the Ngare Ndare valley. Camp is set up here, surrounded by beautiful riverine vegetation and close to a waterfall. 2 nights in camp with a full day to explore the area. On the third day ride back to Borana, climbing the escarpment by a different route. Night back at Borana.
| Day 7
|A final day at Borana, with perhaps a morning tracking the rhino and a sporty afternoon ride with long canters and views to Mount Kenya. Dinner and the night at Borana.
| Day 8
|Breakfast then transfer to the Lewa airstrip for a Safarilink flight to Nairobi.
|Contact us at email@example.com or on tel (+44) (0)1837-82544 / 825440 for further information, detailed itineraries, dates and answers to questions.
The meeting place for the safaris is Nairobi, Kenya's capital. There are several flights from London to Nairobi each day - British Airways has direct daily daytime flights and Air Kenya has direct daytime and overnight flights. Several other airlines, such as Air France and KLM, have flights via Europe. For an economy return flight from London budget around £650 to £850.
Transfers between Nairobi and Borana are by private charter flight (about 50 minutes), or by an hours scheduled Safarilink flight to Lewa and onward vehicle transfer (around an hours game drive). Scheduled safari link flights are approximately USD150 per person, each way, Nairobi / Lewa, including taxes. Overland transfers can also be arranged - it is about a 4 hour drive from Nairobi.