Extraordinary Africa> Kenya> Laikipia> Borana
Borana really typifies the Laikipia safari experience- a gloriously rustic family-owned lodge, almost implausibly beautiful views, and a fabulous range of activities beyond the safari vehicle.
What’s Borana really like?
Set high on the hillside with ravishing views all around, Borana has just eight charmingly rustic cottages, though by rustic, we most certainly don’t mean rough. There may be lumps and bumps in the stone walls, high thatched ceilings and all sorts of gnarls in the wooden beds, but this is wonderfully understated luxury. Each room has crackling fires on the chilly highland evenings, hot water is plentiful and over at the main lodge there’s an utterly glorious infinity pool for baking summer afternoons. Four of Borana’s cottages are standalone, while rooms 5 and 6 and 7 and 8 are linked, making two excellent hideaways for a family safari. Over at the main house, the feel is very much of a family home, and although you’re a few thousand miles away, there’s a certain atmosphere of an English country house, with delicious cakes for afternoon tea and jolly communal meals in the evening.
What can I do at Borana?
When we visited Borana there weren’t perhaps the game densities that you might find in Kenya’s public game reserves, however since fences have been taken down between here and neighbouring Lewa, the wildlife viewing is going from strength to strength. A particular treat is the chance to see rhino, and guests can go out with the conservancy rangers to learn about anti-poaching and track the rhino on foot. You can also do game drives on Borana, but we’d really recommend making the most of being on a private conservancy and getting outside the vehicle. Riding safaris here are excellent and huge fun, with two stables providing horses to cater for a whole range of abilities, from go-ahead ex polo ponies to steadier mounts of novices. For (fit) non-riders we’d absolutely recommend giving a mountain bike safari a go, and there are also guided bush walks.
Giving back at Borana…
Supporting the community and protecting the wildlife are utterly tangled up in each other here- the lodge sponsors a mobile health clinic and microfinance loans to the local community, while at the same time helping to protect the landscape for wildlife, especially the heavily threatened rhino. If you want to see the lodge’s work in action, Borana helps to fund no fewer than five local primary schools, and should you visit during term time (especially on a family safari) we’d absolutely recommend visiting- and perhaps taking part in an art class or a game of football.
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