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Desert Rose

Laikipia Samburu & the North

Rating: Deluxe    

Desert Rose overview

You can truly get away from it all at Desert Rose. This eco-friendly lodge is set in the remote north of Kenya, on the slopes of the sacred Mount Nyiru and near Lake Turkana. Desert Rose is located 1,676 metres above sea level and high above the valley floor, some 900 metres below the peak of Mount Nyiru. The lodge grounds cover 25 hectares of indigenous forest, waiting to be explored and the staff are drawn from the local Samburu community with which the lodge has close links.

There are just 5 individual house, carved out of rock, finished with timber and designed around natural features. Each has an en-suite bathroom, open to the air, and a patio where you can relax in seclusion. The main lodge houses the lounge, dining room and library and is constructed from quarried slate and cedar wood. Wonderful panoramic views can be enjoyed from this building. There is also a fine swimming pool bulit by the cliff edge, offering welcome respite from the heat of the sun. Meals at Desert Rose are simple and wholesome and make the most of the home-grown fruit and vegetables. There is a well stocked bar, ideal for sundowners.

The main activities here are bush walks, which can be of varying durations. These are sometimes accompanied by your hosts as well as local Samburu guides and provide an insight into this remote terrain. Although rarely seen, you may well hear baboon and leopard. It is also a good location for bird watching, with up to 150 species in the area. Camel safaris are another way to explore this stunning region. The lodge can also provide drives to local geological sites, as well as fishing trips to Lake Turkana.

The lodge is close to the local community and guests are often invited to celebrations and festivals in the village. It might also be possible to visit the local Turkana people, known for their adherence to ancient traditions and dress.

Desert Rose is a real 'get away from it all' location and one that is sure to linger long in the memory of those privileged to stay here.


Open: Desert Rose is open all year.

Location: Desert Rose is on the foothills of Mount Nyiru, at an elevation of almost 1,700 metres in northern Kenya. It is between the Karisia Mountains and Lake Turkana. The nearest airstrip is Kowop, 7kms away and about a 30 minute drive. There are 3 helipads at the lodge. Desert Rose is 700kms from Nairobi, about a 10 hour drive by 4x4 vehicle.

Rooms: There are 5 guest houses, made up of 2 twins, 2 doubles and a family house. Each house has an open air en-suite bathroom with hot and cold running water, a separate toilet and a private patio.

Activities: During your stay you can accompany a guide on a walk or trek, go walking with camels, visit a Samburu village, and take full day trips to Lake Turkana and the town of Loiyangalani. Excursions to see the fossils at Koobi Fora and to the remote Chalbi Desert can be organised. Bush meals and sundowner drinks in special locations are popular.

Facilities: There is a central lounge with a fireplace and bar, a dining room and dining terrace. Other facilities include a small library and a gift shop. Outside there’s a firepit, a deck and a swimming pool. Desert Rose provides a laundry service.

Dining: Meals are eaten indoors and outside on the terrace or by the waterfall. Wine is available to accompany meals.

Children: Desert Rose is not suitable for young children, but older children are welcome. One of the house is suitable for families.

Health: This is a non-malarial area.

Communication: There is no internet access and no mobile phone coverage. Phone calls can be made on a satellite phone if needed.

Map for Desert Rose

Lodge IconLodge Yacht IconVessel Tented Camp IconCamp Hotel IconHotel National Park IconNational Park Historic site IconHistoric site Place of Interest IconPlace of Interest UNESCO world heritage site IconUNESCO heritage site

Amanda Marks
Tracy Edwards
Sinead Bailey
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A room with heart
a room
with heart

Desert Rose is a true ecolodge. It is made of natural materials including stone and wood, and no trees were felled for its construction. All furniture and fittings are handmade. The lodge uses solar energy for power and water heating, and has a gravity fed water system. Desert Rose works closely with the local Samburu community, with most of its employers drawn for the nearest village, and has built a medical clinic, developed a water supply for the primary school and provided solar lanterns for the local village.   



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