Meru National Park, Isiolo, Kenya
This multi-award-winning lodge is set above George Adamson's original campsite, where he and his wife, author Joy Adamson, released their lioness Elsa (after which the lodge is named) back into the wild. It's a strikingly attractive lodge both for its elevated position and for its imaginatively designed thatch cottages. Each cottage is unique, with boulders for walls, trees growing through the roof, and spacious interiors furnished with handcrafted furniture, hand-woven rugs, and earth-toned cushions, throws, and bedspreads. All the cottages have complete privacy, but if you would like your family to stay together and have your own private infinity swimming pool, go for Elsa's Private House, which sleeps 4 (extra beds can be added for kids) and has a small garden. Watch the plains game ambling through the grasslands from your veranda or view predators or rhinos in open-sided game vehicles before sundowners at the palm-fringed hippo pools. The home-cooked, homegrown food is principally northern Italian, but if you're not a pasta person, there's plenty more to choose from.
- delicious homegrown vegetables
- free laundry service
- not all rooms have tubs
- no a/c
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