Fodor's Expert Review Borana Lodge
Laikipia Plateau, Laikipia, Kenya Fodor's Choice
The traditional Borana cattle ranch—a part of Kenyan highland history—was given a whole new lease on life in 2013, when 21 highly endangered black rhinos were translocated here from Lake Nakuru National Park and from the neighboring Lewa Conservancy; they're easily viewable as you drive around. The luxuriously spacious and well-appointed cottages, designed into the hillside, have private verandahs that offer views of large numbers of resident game that come to drink at the waterhole in front of the lodge in a landscape that has attracted countless artists and photographers. Visitors are given an added opportunity to sample ranch life with some of Africa's most spectacular horseback safaris and the stables have more than 50 horses—riding allows you to appreciate the scenery in silence and get close to plains game such as giraffe, zebra, and eland. You can also go rhino tracking on foot, mountain biking, and fishing or simply relax by the infinity pool and enjoy the views. Sundowners at Pride Rock, the inspiration for the Lion King movies, come with incredible sunsets and spectacular views. The food at Borana is enhanced by fresh seasonal vegetables and salads from their garden and most of the meat and dairy produce comes from the ranch. The rates are inclusive of full-board accommodation, some drinks, and activities but exclude conservation fees (US$105). You can also consider other accommodations such as the upscale Lengishu House, on the same conservancy.
- unique views up to the peak of Mt. Kenya
- a chance to meet the Dyer family, one of Kenya's founding farming dynasties
- lots of activities to experience the working ranch
- people are often surprised at how chilly it can be at night at this altitude, but hot-water bottles and romantic open fireplaces in all cottages add to the cozy atmosphere
- at least one hour's drive from Lewa Downs airstrip
- not fenced and steep in places so children need to be supervised at all times
Rate Includes: All-Inclusive, Closed Nov.