One Stop Wonders – Kenya
With many African countries offering a wonderfully rich variety of experiences, it’s easy to plan an incredible safari holiday in one destination. Maximising your precious holiday time by minimising your travel once you reach Africa makes a lot of sense, especially if you are travelling with children. Many lodges are located in areas with diverse surroundings and have so much to see and do that there’s more than enough to keep you entertained for a week in one spot. In this series of blogs recommending our top “travel and stop” destinations we’re starting in Kenya and really are spoilt for choice. Astonishing wildlife mixed with a wealth of activities warrants Kenya’s reputation as one of Africa’s most prized destinations.
Borana Lodge is located in Kenya’s Laikipia area. Commanding a spectacular hillside setting on a private conservancy of 30,000 acres , the lodge sits within sight of Mount Kenya’s jagged peaks. It has just eight beautiful stone and thatch cottages, and an infinity pool overlooking a waterhole regularly visited by wildlife, particularly elephant which frequently swim there (the waterhole, not the pool!)
Borana Lodge offers some of the most thrilling ways to encounter Kenya’s wildlife and wilderness. Walk through the bush, ride across the conservancy on horses or mountain bikes, view the wildlife in open-top safari vehicles, or simply lounge by, or in, the infinity pool and enjoy the view.
Guests also have opportunities to engage with community projects supported by Borana Lodge, such as visiting the local school, a traditional Samburu village, or spending time with the mobile medical clinic. There is a chance to learn more about the behind the scenes work that goes into conservation at Borana by joining the team of rangers who set out every morning to see and account for each rhino on the conservancy. Take a farm tour and visit Waitabit Farm, home to the largest permaculture project in East Africa. This is where the majority of the fresh produce used at Borana Lodge is sourced, and visiting the farm has proved to be a fantastic activity for the entire family.
Guided walks are available through the Ngare Ndare Forest, a 13,000 acre indigenous forest. The forest is known for its canopy walkway, which weaves in between the tree tops at 40 feet above the ground. Home to crystal clear blue pools fed by melt water from the glaciers on Mt Kenya, it is a great location for swimming and picnics. The forest is a safe haven for large animals including elephant and buffalo, and is a paradise for birds, monkeys and butterflies.
Laikipia Wilderness Camp
Laikipia Wilderness Camp is a small, Meru style tented bush camp near to the Ewaso Narok River in central Kenya, and is a great place to enjoy a true wilderness experience. It’s a perfect spot for families or anyone looking for something just a little different.
Laikipia is home to the highest diversity of mammals in Africa and offers outstanding wildlife viewing. The area has excellent populations of elephant, reticulated giraffe, Grevy’s zebra, common zebra, warthog, buffalo, hippo and many antelope species. Lions, leopards and wild dogs are often seen. Night-drives can unearth striped hyena, spotted hyena, aardwolf, aardvark, zorilla, porcupine, genet, white-tailed mongoose and other small mammals. Camera traps are set up to capture wildlife at night, this can be an exciting way to observe an animal kill or a den. Wild dog fans can participate in the Laikipia Predator Project, collecting data from a number of animals fitted with radio collars for this research.
In addition to the various wildlife viewing opportunities a range of adventurous activities providing adventurous experiences are also on offer. Spend an afternoon at the river; fishing for tilapia and catfish, swimming, rafting or tubing and paddling in the pools.
Take an extended exploration of the wilderness on foot with a walking and fly camping trip. Walk or drive to a beautiful spot where everything needed for a night under the stars is ready and set up just for you. Sleep under the stars before walking back to camp the next morning.
For guests who would like to connect with the community, visits to the local school and meeting families of the camp staff in the local area can be arranged.
Segera Retreat is located in the central Laikipia Plateau in Kenya, just north of the equator. The property offers spectacular views over the African savannah, with snow-capped Mount Kenya sometimes visible in the distance. This unique retreat boasts an interesting mix of facilities including a gym and wellness centre offering a variety of custom spa treatments, salt water swimming pool, a botanical garden, and an art gallery with a fine collection of contemporary African art.
Wildlife viewing activities at Segera include day and night wildlife drives and guided nature walks. As well as supporting the endangered patas monkey, African wild dog and Grevy’s zebra, Segera has good densities of lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, elephant, buffalo, eland, reticulated giraffe and beisa oryx.
There are opportunities a plenty to enjoy picnics and sundowners at a variety of hides and lookout points, as well as an adventurous “sleep out” option in a luxurious riverside treehouse.
Segera is the perfect base for helicopter excursions. Get a bird’s eye view further afield and take a flight to Mount Kenya or the Great Lakes.
Chill out after a day’s exploration in the wellness centre. Spa treatments are available along with a steam bath, saltwater swimming pool and gym.
We would be delighted to help you plan a safari encompassing any of the destinations mentioned here. Our team of experts has travelled widely throughout Africa and can offer expert advice on every type of safari from family and beach holidays to riding and primate safaris. Do get in touch – chatting to people by phone or email is what we do best. We listen, we explain, we answer all sorts of questions even those you didn’t know to ask, and finally we make suggestions. If this is your first time to Africa or your twenty first, we have a team standing by to help make the planning easy and the journey the best ever. Please get in touch whatever stage you’re at.