Fodor's Expert Review Elsa's Kopje

Meru National Park, Isiolo, Kenya Fodor's Choice

The best place to stay in Meru, this stylish and romantic 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. Since rooms are constructed on the slopes of a hill and most stand on stilts, no two cottages are the same. There are boulders for walls, the tents have expansive views of the park, trees grow through the roof, and spacious interiors are 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 four (extra beds can be added for kids) and has a small garden. Watch the plains game ambling through the grasslands from your verandah or view predators or rhinos in open-sided game vehicles before sundowners at the palm-fringed hippo pools. Meals here are excellent, and there's a relaxed thatched bar and lounge area with low-slung wood-and-cushion chairs and sofas overlooking the main swimming pool that is cleverly carved into the rocks.


  • high standard of food with homegrown vegetables
  • free laundry service
  • spectacular views across Meru


  • not all rooms have tubs
  • in some rooms, lighting is quite dim
  • there are quite a number of steps between the rooms and the main area




Phones: 0730-127–000-reservations


10 rooms, 1 private house
Rate Includes: Free Breakfast

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