Borana is a luxury lodge on a working 35,000 acre ranch in the Laikipia region of northern Kenya, just north of the equator, and not far from Mount Kenya.
Due to its location and altitude around 2000m, Borana Lodge is home to a wide diversity of wildlife including lion, elephant, buffalo, zebra, leopard, cheetah and antelope, as well as over 300 bird species.
At Borana you can enjoy game drives (day or night) in custom-built 4x4 vehicles to view, among other wildlife, the thriving population of black rhinos, guided walks, explore the area by mountain bike and take guided tours of the working ranch. The lodge specialises in horse riding, and have their own stable of horses suited to experienced riders, with steeds and routes available for novices from an additional stable near the Ngare Ndare River. During your stay you also have the chance to visit various community projects set up by the ranch to help the local people. For a special treat you can take to the skies for a scenic flight of the region.
Borana has six thatched cottages, all tastefully furnished, with large bathrooms, fireplaces and verandas, two of which have two bedrooms each and are ideal for families. There is a lovely infinity pool, and the main lodge is the social heart of Borana, housing the lounge, bar and dining room. Children are welcome at Borana and activities can be tailored for families.
Note: people with walking difficulties could find Borana hard to cope with as it is set on quite a steep incline.
Open: Borana is open all year.
Location: Borana is in a large conservation area in the Laikipia region of northern Kenya. It is 6,000 feet above sea level and has views over the Samangua Valley and the Lewa Plains to Ngare Ndare Forest and Mount Kenya. The lodge overlooks a lake which attracts local animals. Borana is a 4 hour drive from Nairobi. There is an airstrip 10 minutes from the lodge for charter flights, and Lewa Downs airstrip, a 90 minute drive away, caters for scheduled flights from Nairobi, the Masai Mara and Samburu.
Rooms: There are 4 2-person cottages (a mix of doubles and twins) and 2 family cottages, making 8 guest rooms in total. Each has a lounge with an open fireplace, lit every evening, a spacious bathrooms and a private veranda with views of the valley below. Cottages are constructed of stone and wood and have thatched roofs, and are located at varying distances from the main lodge.
Activities: While here you can go on game drives and night drives, take guided bush walks, go birdwatching, explore by mountain bike or on horseback. Riding safaris are something of a speciality here and there are several different rides and horses to suit riders of all abilities. Riding safaris are a speciality at Borana. This is a working ranch with 2,000 head of cattle and you are welcome to accompany the ranch manager, Michael Dyer or his son Llewellyn, on his daily rounds. Scenic flights can be arranged (extra cost) to view the landscape around Mount Kenya. You can visit the Ngare Ndare Forest Trust, where there's a canopy walk, rock pools and waterfalls. This incurs an extra fee payable locally. Fly camping can be arranged for an additional charge. There are sometimes conservation projects underway at Borana such as darting and collaring, which guests are welcome to participate in. You are encouraged to spend time at a local Massai village, school or clinic.
Facilities: The lodge has lovely lush gardens and an infinity pool with a large deck and a gazebo where you can enjoy al fresco meals. The main lodge contains the dining room and sitting room with comfy chairs and sofas and a huge open fireplace. The shop sells a range of products including items from community projects. The lodge has 24-hour power.
Dining: Meals are sourced largely from the ranch. Breakfast consists of cereals, fresh fruit and cooked items, lunch is usually a buffet and dinner is a 3-course meal. Meals are usually taken communally but private meals can be arranged.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. Activities can be tailored for children and special meals can be arranged.
Health: This is a malaria-free area.
Communication: There is internet access and mobile phone service.
The Borana Conservancy is a non-profit conservation organisation in which Borana Lodge plays an active part is dedicated to providing a sustainable ecosystem in co-operation with their neighbours and the wider community, protecting the environment and wildlife including critically endangered species. They promote projects that help local people live alongside wildlife such as fencing crops. The lodge also supports local schools and the mobile clinic.