Rating: Deluxe Price from: Â£365-Â£445 pp full board
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, leopard, cheetah and antelope, as well as about 300 bird species.
At Borana you can enjoy game drives (day or night) or walks, excellent horse riding, bird watching and mountain biking. You can also visit various community projects set up by the ranch to help the local people. For people wanting long stays, excursions to more outlying places such as the lakes on Mount Kenya are available at extra cost.
Borana has eight very large, thatched cottage rooms, all tastefully furnished, with large bathrooms, fireplaces and verandas. There is a good pool, shop, and resident masseuse. 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 from 1st December to 31st October.
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.
Rooms: There are 8 cottages, 4 with double beds and 4 with twin beds and spacious en-suite bathrooms. All have open fireplaces which are lit every evening and verandas with views of the valley below. 2 sets of cottages share a veranda and make ideal accommodation for families or groups of friends.
Activities: While here you can go on game drives and night drives, take guided bush walks, 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 require a minimum of 4 people to operate. Borana is a working ranch with 2,000 head of cattle and you are welcome to accompany the ranch manager, Michael Dyer, on his daily rounds. Scenic flights can be arranged to view the landscape around Mount Kenya.
Facilities: The lodge has lovely lush gardens and an infinity pool with a large deck where you can enjoy al fresco meals. There is a tennis court. The main lodge houses the dining room and sitting room with comfy chairs and sofas and a huge open fireplace. 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. The shop sells a range of products including items from community projects. The lodge has 24-hour power.
Dining: 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.
Borana lodge has an education support programme which backs local children and schools. It also has a tannery and leather workshop employing blind and handicapped people. In addition, the owners of Borana helped set up a community lodge just north of their ranch and sit on the board of yet another community lodge. They also fund a mobile clinic which visits the region, and have various environmental projects such as for dry land forestry, and trying to stop overgrazing and thus damaging erosion.