Laikipia, Northern Kenya, Kenya
At a Glance
Explore the Borana Ranch by horseback, an incredible way to move quietly through the bush and get up close to the wildlife
Amazing mountain biking adventures across the conservancy - so much fun and a great way to make room for dinner!
Borana is also a working cattle ranch so guests can learn about and get involved with daily Kenyan ranch life
There is no fence between Borana and Lewa, game wanders freely and Borana is home to a healthy rhino population
Head out on a night drive when Borana really comes alive, if you're lucky you might find a leopard stalking or lion on the prowl
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Borana Lodge is open all year round except in November. The main tourist season is in January and February, when the weather is hottest and driest. At this time, the animals in the wildlife parks tend to congregate more around the watercourses, making them easier to spot.
Northern and eastern Kenya temperatures vary from highs of up to 40°C during the day to less than 20°C at night. Rainfall in this area is sparse and, when it does occur, is often in the form of violent storms. July is usually the driest month, and November the wettest.
To start planning your holiday to Borana Lodge
Borana Lodge is not just a game reserve, but also a working ranch. Overlooking a large dam with fantastic views of Mount Kenya, Borana Lodge, with its eight uniquely positioned cottages, is a perfect choice for couples, families and groups of friends.
Borana Lodge lies on the edge of the Samangua Valley of Northern Kenya, with panoramic views of Mount Kenya, across the Lewa Plains to the Ngare Ndare Forest.
There is a wide range of activities and ways of exploring the extensive local area, including game drives, horse riding (for beginners and experienced riders alike), mountain biking and even the opportunity for helicopter expeditions! Moreover, with a herd of over 2000 cattle on the ranch, guests can spend a day learning the challenges of ranching in these hostile conditions. Many have found that a day on the ranch is just as fascinating as observing the game.
Built by local artisans in regional materials, the lodge itself, with its eight cottages, is in keeping with the natural surroundings, while also epitomising comfort and exclusivity.
Delicious organic food is served in the dining room by friendly and attentive staff at a large rosewood table, surrounded by local paintings and sculptures.
Outside the lodge, you are confronted by a dramatically sited swimming pool as you walk through the beautiful garden. Guests can relax in the pool while watching the elephants wandering down a well-trodden path on their way to the watering hole below. The pool veranda, furnished with Roman sun loungers, is a favourite place for a laid-back lunch and a chance to lie in the sun.
There are eight cottages at Borana. Four have large double beds and four have twin beds. Four of the cottages have their own veranda. Two sets of cottages share a veranda and are perfect for families, both enjoy phenomenal views over the dam below. Each cottage also has an open-fireplace which is lit every evening; a basket of firewood is kept in each room to top up while you have an after-dinner night cap. The bathrooms ooze luxury with their space, cleanliness and exceptional views.
There are four cottages with a large en-suite double room. The cottages have open fires and verandahs with stunning views.
Four of the cottages have twin rooms with luxurious en-suite bathrooms. All the cottages have a verandah with stunning views.
Although there are no specific facilities for children, children of all ages are most welcome at Borana Lodge. Babysitting can be arranged if you would like some time to yourselves. The kitchen are very flexible and can easily arrange earlier meals and a more child friendly menu.
Borana Lodge has a beautiful infinity pool, perfect for cooling down in the heat of the day. There is a small boutique with locally produced craftwork, a great place for souvenirs and presents.
In the dining room at the main lodge guests can sample fresh produce from the Ranch, fresh juice from the Borana orchard and wines from around the world.
There's a huge range of activities that you can enjoy during your stay at Borana Lodge. Activities include game drives, bush walks, horse riding, mountain biking and ranch visits. Other interesting activities can be arranged like expeditions to Mount Kenya, helicopter trips around Mount Kenya and fishing trips.
Just down from the lodge is 'pride rock' the inspiration for the writers of Disney's Lion King - a sundowner here or a bush breakfast is a must!
Camilla Whitworth (Staff)
One of my favourite places in the Laikipia area. Set on the side of a rock kopje, you have the most breathtaking views over the valley. Borana offers fantastic game as the conservation area boarders Lewa Conservation area; they have recently taken all fences down between them offering an enormous conservation area for animals to freely roam. Borana offers a homely and welcoming feel with thatched cottages in a traditional Kenyan style. The most perfect place for the more adventurous guest of active family. The riding here is wonderful, they have fantastic trails for mountain bikes, camels, they offer fly camping, fishing and much more. A brilliant afternoon activity is walking to Pride Rock the rock used when filming The Lion King and have drinks at the top as the sunsets.
Hannah Dawson (Staff)
Borana is a beautiful lodge located high over the conservancy which provides panoramic views from every vantage point. Each cottage has stunning floor to ceiling windows overlooking the conservancy, a fireplace and spacious bathroom along with a few bigger cottages that work really well for families. There is no shortage of activities to do here including cycling, riding and walking safaris. The infinity pool provides a refreshing dip after a day of adventures.
Sian Frost (Staff)
Borana's 8 thatched cottages are all uniquely decorated in a very lovely yet relaxed style. They are far enough apart to feel you have the whole area completely to yourself although there is so much to do you will scarcely be in your room at all. You can spend your days riding through the conservancy, they have two fantastic stables which have ex polo horses for the more accomplished riders and gentle ponies for those who would love to give riding safaris a try. Aside from riding safaris and normal driving safaris the options are endless. Try your hand at fly fishing or visit Ngare Ndare forest for canopy walks and jumping off water falls, take a helicopter to the mountains for a breakfast you wont forget or just relax by their lovely pool and watch the many rhinos wandering by on the nearby hills. Food here is delicious and served in a large dining room, afterwards retire to the living room with its huge roaring fire and chat with everyone about your adventures of the day.
Anna Hearn (Staff)
Borana has a super position in the hills of Laikipia, with incredible views from every single room, and all the main areas. It feels like a large bush home, the staff going out of their way to make you feel welcome. The activities here are extensive - from walks in the bush, including some really serious hiking for those feeling energetic, to game drives, horse riding, you name it. You can even try paragliding from here with the lodge manager, Hunter! The pool deck and lunch area look right down into the valley where there is an active waterhole, and game can often be spotted from here. The rooms are all individually designed to make the most of the views - it's worth remembering that some of them have steep steps either inside or to reach the room. This is a super lodge and feels very remote and secluded - perfect for couples and families alike.
Louisa Verney (Staff)
Borana has that wonderful home from home feeling. With in a short time of arriving we felt as we were part of the family, with everyone sitting round the huge table in the dinning room discussing what they had been up to that morning and the plans for the afternoon. While we were there we went for some lovely long rides and also explored the area around Borana on foot, which is my favourite way to experience the African bush. We also had some very relaxing moments reading books round the pool or going for a very refreshing dip!
Buggies and Quad Bike Safaris
For a real adrenaline driven adventure take a buggy or quad bike out on safari and explore areas game vehicles cannot.
Fly Fishing in Northern Kenya
If you want to try something really different during your holiday then why not take a fishing trip up to Lake Rutundu or Lake Alice. Situated at 10,000 feet above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Kenya this is a totally unique fly fishing experience.
Game Drives in Lewa Downs
Explore this beautiful area of Kenya with your professional safari guide in search of some of the fantastic wildlife of Laikipia. Enjoy the opportunity to track and view some of the critically endangered white and black rhino of the conservancy.
Explore this spectacular landscape on mountain bike. The silence and off-road abilities of the bike allow you to get right up close to big game.
Riding in Northern Kenya
Horseback safaris are the most exciting way to see the bush and in Kenya they are without a doubt the most exciting and adventurous safari you can do.
A scenic flight is the ultimate way to enjoy Kenya's spectacular landscapes, whether by helicopter or in the wonderful Waco bi-plane, it is an experience of a lifetime.
Tandem paragliding from Borana.
Walking Safaris in Laikipia
Explore the African bush on foot with your experienced guide and tracker. A fantastic opportunity to experience a different perspective, away from the noise of a safari vehicle.
Location & directions
Laikipia, Northern Kenya, Kenya
It is located within the vast area of the Ewaso ecosystem on the Laikipia Plateau: snow-tipped peaks and the glaciers of Mount Kenya to the south; a panorama of mountains and desert to the north, Borana provides an idyllic setting for any African experience.
How to get there
It is an 8-hour 30-minute international flight. Borana is a 4-hour drive from Nairobi and a 1-hour drive from Nanyuki. By air, daily scheduled Safarilink and Air Kenya flights from Nairobi Wilson Airport to neighbouring Lewa Downs (1-hour drive from the Lodge). There is an airstrip at Borana for charter flights a 10-minute drive from the Lodge.
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