SAFARI IN THE FOOTHILLS OF MT KENYA AT BORANA LODGE

1 Night: From $790

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Borana Lodge is a destination that offers something for everyone.

Riders and non-riders alike can slot into the laid-back way of life in the foothills of Mt Kenya.

Choose to stay at Borana lodge for the week and with 32,000 acres of unspoiled wilderness to explore, you’re guaranteed fresh views and a new experience every day. Home to the Big 5 and an abundance of other diverse and often endangered wildlife, ride amongst great herds of game. Admire the expansive landscape and take in the snow-capped peaks of Mt Kenya, come away feeling truly enriched. You may also opt to spend a night in a fly camp set up just for you within the conservancy.

Non-riding group members will not be missing out and can arrange to take part in a wide range of activities. Borana has enough to entertain the whole family. Highlights include, game drives, guided walks through the bush, cycling through the wilderness, spending time with the armed anti-poaching unit, visits to a local Maasai village or sundowners on Pride Rock, the original inspiration Pride Rock in Disney’s Lion King.

Tailor made multi-day riding safaris lasting from one to eight days can also be arranged starting and ending on Borana. These offer an excellent riding experience and can be booked with a minimum of 4 horse riders. There are a variety of itineraries to choose from and you will have the opportunity to cross some of Kenya’s most beautiful landscapes. Visit the high altitude lakes of Mt Kenya, explore the fascinating landscape with a renowned geologist, or gallop down dry river beds further North.

QUICK FACTS
Borana, Kenya
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)
Open All Year
Up to 8 nights
Group Size: Max. 6
Minimum of 4 for Cross Country
Advanced for Cross Country
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ride with rhinos in one of Kenya’s most successful rhino conservancy
  • Enjoy exciting riding teamed with a beautifully luscious and relaxing lodge experience
  • Canter with great herds of zebra and gaze upon groups of giraffe
  • Caters for mixed groups of riders and non riders exceptionally
THE DESTINATION

Borana Conservancy is situated north of Mt Kenya in Laikipia. The conservancy plays host to an impressive array of wildlife that includes Africa’s Big 5. The reserve provides secure and important habitat for many endangered species. It also boasts one of Kenya’s most successful rhino sanctuary.

The Conservancy is dedicated to the sustainable conservation of land and wildlife. Earnings from tourism and other commercial enterprises contributes towards the support of communities, wildlife and it’s habitat. Your stay here will act as a direct contribution to safeguarding the future of endangered wildlife in Kenya. This truly is travelling with a purpose.

DATES & RATES

Open all year round, we recommend stays of 3 nights or more. Take advantage of 10% off the total cost of stays for 5 nights or more. Please enquire for availability. Standard rooms and suites are available to suit everyone from honeymooners to families. 

Standard Season: 06 January – 14 June 2022 / 16 September – 19 December 2022
USD790 per person per night sharing

Peak Season: 15 June – 15 September 2022 / 20 December – 05 January 2023
USD1 052 per person per night sharing

Long Stay Special: 10% off the total cost of stays of 5 nights or more

8 NIGHT TRAIL RIDE (4 pax minimum)
From: $8 466 pp sharing (including local flights & conservation fees)

Included
• Full board accommodation
• All drinks throughout your adventure (except Champagne)
• A private and expert guide
• All riding, game drives, guided walks & mountain biking
• Conservation levies and park fees
• Laundry
• Wifi
• Local airstrip transfers

Excluded
• International flights to Nairobi
• Internal flights/transfers from Nairobi
• Comprehensive Travel & Medical insurance
• Gratuities & items of a personal nature
• Premium drinks such as Champagne
• Additional costs for activities such as local Village Visits, Visits to the Ngare Ngare Forest, etc

ITINERARY

For lodge stays, guests have the opportunity to enjoy various activities during their stay.  Depending on arrival time, you’ll have afternoon tea or a delicious lunch while the team gives you a briefing on the next few days of adventures. They will talk you through the normal daily routine on safari, what to expect while you’re riding as well as the other activities at the lodge.  Your stay is completely tailor-made and you can plan your stay depending on your interests, the weather and wildlife movements.

At Borana lodge, there is a stable of over 20 horses suitable for more experienced riders, but novice riders can be introduced to the magic of horse safaris at their second stable a short distance away. Overnight sleepouts can be arranged on request (highly recommended!) and we can also offer an 8-day trail ride for groups of 4 or more guests to explore further afield!

A typical day at Borana

Wake up on a glorious African morning and the birds singing. Ride out of the stables with a picnic breakfast packed in your saddlebags, ready for the day’s adventures. Canter through the wilderness, following the natural tracks made by the herds of zebra, antelope, giraffe and elephant. You never know what you might see while you’re out in the saddle. Borana boasts large numbers of elephants, as well as buffalo, hippo, giraffe, zebra, many antelope and of course all the big cats! Lion and leopard sightings are not uncommon and the area is also known for its growing population of endangered wild dogs. Enjoy a picnic lunch out in the wilderness, or head back to the lodge. After an afternoon siesta, saddle up again or enjoy a game drive or guided walk on Borana. You might even watch the sunset at the rock that inspired the Lion King!

When you’re not riding, the camp can arrange a wide range of activities. Borana has enough to entertain the whole family. Highlights include, game drives, guided walks through the bush, cycling through the wilderness, spending time with the armed anti-poaching unit, visits to a local Maasai village or sundowners on Pride Rock, the original inspiration for Disney’s Lion King.

Horse Riding

When the Dyer family first came to Borana Conservancy, horses were the only means of transport. The family’s love of horses remains and horse riding continues to be one of the best ways of seeing wildlife. Borana Conservancy is equipped with two sets of stables, each of which caters to riders of varying experience.

The larger stables cater to the more advanced rider, with ex-polo ponies leading rides for over two hours across the conservancy. This is a fantastic way to see the wildlife without the sound of an engine! Longer rides can be arranged, even full-day rides ending with a sleepout under the stars, with your horses tethered nearby. Non-riders can join the sleepout, arriving by vehicle, mountain bike or foot.

The stables for the less advanced riders (small children included) are on the Eastern side of Borana Conservancy and run at a much slower pace. The grooms are very happy taking children for short rides on lead reigns which is a great way to build up their confidence. There are patient easy horses, which have been trained to be careful with children and novice riders. Guests can ride through the plains among giraffes, zebra, eland and impala and experience wildlife at close quarters.

Game Drives

Borana Lodge has a fleet of custom-built, four-wheel drive, open-sided vehicles. Game drives are led by trained Kenyan field guides who love sharing their local knowledge of the area. Wildlife is best viewed early in the morning and in the late afternoons often combined with a picnic lunch or sundowners overlooking Pride Rock. And after dinner, night drives can be arranged which give you the opportunity to have spot nocturnal animals such as porcupines and leopard.

There is a range of activities to keep children occupied on drives, including rhino identification cards and lion whisker spot cards. The guides can also teach them how to track game and spot different birds and trees.

Pride Rock

Borana Conservancy is home to the inspiration for Pride Rock from Disney’s original animated film The Lion King. Pride Rock is reachable on foot from Borana Lodge as well as in a vehicle, on horse back or on a mountain bike. It is a wonderful location to watch the sunrise over a cup of coffee or enjoy a cold G&T at sunset.

The animation team from Disney visited Borana Conservancy in the early 1990s as part of a Kenya-wide research safari ahead of the release of 1994 The Lion King film. They visited again in 2017 to take inspiration for the re-make of the classic film.  While watching the movie, you’ll see many backdrops that were inspired by the incredible scenery here.

It is estimated that there are only around 20,000 lions left in the wild. Borana Conservancy is partnered with Lion Landscapes, a conservation and research organisation focused on the preservation of lion, large carnivores and their habitat. Your conservation fees and much of the profit of the lodge is invested in sustainable conservation of the wilderness and wildlife of this incredible place. By staying at Borana, you are really travelling with purpose.

Rhino Tracking and Conservation

Learn more about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into conservation and meet the team that keeps our Rhino safe. The Borana Conservancy rangers are required to see each individual rhino once a day. Guests have the opportunity to head out with the rangers, on foot, first thing in the morning, to track and identify an individual rhino. Viewing such large creatures on foot provides an exhilarating experience as well as an insight into the life of a member of the Borana Conservancy anti-poaching team.

In 2013, Borana introduced 21 black rhinos from Lake Nakuru National Park and the neighbouring Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. Lewa and Borana cooperate closely on all conservation matters and have now dropped the adjoining fences between the two conservancies. This landscape now boasts 106 black and 98 white rhino, making it arguably one of the best places in Kenya to see rhino.

Each evening, the armed unit of the anti-poaching team is deployed to various vantage points on Borana in order to survey and monitor the conservancy. You can accompany members of the team out on these deployments and spend time with our unsung heroes.

Mountain Biking

For those who prefer a different type of saddle, mountain biking is a must. Borana has a range of adult bikes available along with one smaller bike suitable for children aged 9 or over. You must be relatively fit and confident with off-road bike riding, but you’ll be rewarded with exceptional views! The hills and valleys provide the perfect terrain for adrenalin-fuelled bike rides!

Guided Bush Walks

One of the most tranquil ways to experience wildlife is when on a guided bushwalk. Walks are led by an experienced field guide, accompanied by an armed ranger. While walking, you have the chance to appreciate the smaller aspects of the Borana eco-system, learning the secrets of the bush and getting an insight into the medicinal and practical uses for indigenous plants. This is also a great way to learn about tracking, following the spoor left by various animals and learning their habits.

Walks around the lodge grounds can be arranged for children while parents enjoy some downtime. Children will learn about the birds and plants as well as the tracks of smaller creatures that live around the lodge.

Visit a traditional Maasai Village

Most of the staff, guides and anti-poaching team are from the local communities. Borana also has a close relationship with one of the local communities north of the conservancy who are eager to share their culture. A Maasai elder will give you a tour of the village and describe the history and traditions of the Maasai tribe. The tour usually ends with a traditional tribal dance which you are encouraged to take part in and kids (and adults) can learn how to play traditional games including what is known as the Maasai Olympics

Visits to the Ngare Ndare Forest

Located on the Southern boundary of Borana Conservancy, the Ngare Ndare forest shows the stark contrast between the various ecosystems of Northern Kenya. The 13,000-acre indigenous forest made up of African Olives and Cedar Trees, provides a safe haven for elephants and other larger mammals as well as a fantastic collection of exotic birds and butterflies. Through the forest lies a crystal clear turquoise river, fed by the underground glacial spring of Mount Kenya’s meltwaters. With breathtaking waterfalls and not another human around, it is the perfect place for a swim during the heat of the day.

The Ngare Ndare Forest also offers an impressive canopy walk. Suspended at 30m above the ground, this suspension bridge runs for 400m through the forest. There is a large platform located at the end of the canopy walk, where a picnic lunch can be enjoyed, complete with a fantastic view of the river below.

Community Visits

Visiting one of the schools that is part of The Borana Education Support Programme is a great way to get a glimpse of everyday life in Kenya, and is a highly enlightening experience. If you wish to, you can bring books, colouring pencils, and educational games for the children.

You can also spend a day with the mobile clinic which visits local communities and villages. Sit in on appointments while the team distributes medication and advice to those who need it. The aims of the nurses and counsellors with the clinic are to provide medical and sanitation education, family planning and HIV awareness.

Farm Tours - great for the family!

Borana is home to the largest Permaculture project in East Africa. You’ll find Waitabit farm on the eastern bank of the Ngare Ndare River. This is where most of the fresh produce used at Borana Lodge is grown whichn not only feeds all the guests, but the staff and anti-poaching team. A trip to Waitabit leaves one with a wealth of knowledge, along with a passion for food and where it comes from. The idea of Waitabit is to reduce the gap between farm and fork, ensuring all guests at Borana Lodge eat local, fresh food which is not only good for one’s health but also good for the soul. This is a great place to bring the kids who can pick their own veggies for lunch and dinner. The tour can take place mid-morning or mid-afternoon.

Kids at Borana

Borana Lodge was built with families in mind. Kids can be kept busy with a guided bush bumble in one of the Land Rovers, or head out to track smaller creatures on foot. For water babies, there is the option of swimming in the pool or a nearby waterfall, or even exploring the river banks looking for frogs or treasures. There are some perfect ponies that love taking kids out to see the magic of their wilderness home.

The kitchen is always happy to cater to the gentler palettes and earlier hours that tend to suit younger guests. Take them into the farm garden and let them pick their own food, or enjoy a cooking lesson with the lodge chef.  For those who need to be in bed before their parents, a listening service is always on hand.

THE ACCOMMODATION

The lodge is situated on a beautiful hillside with panoramic views throughout. An infinity pool allows you to relax while watching elephant and other game make their way down to the dam below. There are four stand-alone cottages and two family suites to choose from. Each with their own spectacular view; one with its own private plunge pool.

Lunch is provided buffet-style in the pavilion above the pool. All rooms and cottages are close to the main area of the lodge with a cosy sitting room and bar. The is a dining room where drinks and dinner are served in the evening.

QUICK FACTS
Borana, Kenya
Jomo Kenyatta Nairobi International Airport (JKIA)
Open All Year
Up to 8 nights
Group Size: Max. 8
Minimum of 4 for trail rides
Intermediate and above
View Gallery
1 Night: From $790 pp sharing

See Detailed Rates

SUITABLE RIDING LEVELS
Beginner
Novice
Intermediate
Intermediate Plus
Advanced
WHAT RIDING LEVEL AM I?
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ride with rhinos in one of Kenya’s most successful rhino conservancy
  • Enjoy exciting riding teamed with a beautifully luscious and relaxing lodge experience
  • Canter with great herds of zebra and gaze upon groups of giraffe
  • Caters for mixed groups of riders and non-riders exceptionally
DATES & RATES

Open all year round, we recommend stays of 3 nights or more. Take advantage of 10% off the total cost of stays for 5 nights or more. Please enquire for availability. Standard rooms and suites are available to suit everyone from honeymooners to families. 

Standard Season: 06 January – 14 June 2022 / 16 September – 19 December 2022
USD790 per person per night sharing

Peak Season: 15 June – 15 September 2022 / 20 December – 05 January 2023
USD1 052 per person per night sharing

Long Stay Special: 10% off the total cost of stays of 5 nights or more

8 NIGHT TRAIL RIDE (4 pax minimum)
From: $8 466 pp sharing (including local flights & conservation fees)

Included
• Full board accommodation
• All drinks throughout your adventure (except Champagne)
• A private and expert guide
• All riding, game drives, guided walks & mountain biking
• Conservation levies and park fees
• Laundry
• Wifi
• Local airstrip transfers

Excluded
• International flights to Nairobi
• Internal flights/transfers from Nairobi
• Comprehensive Travel & Medical insurance
• Gratuities & items of a personal nature
• Premium drinks such as Champagne
• Additional costs for activities such as local Village Visits, Visits to the Ngare Ngare Forest, etc

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

Thank you to everyone at Borana who made our stay so special. Borana was the first stop and we were met by the wonderful Laurence and David who thrust a cool beer in our hand on the runway and took us straight off on a drive. We were so lucky to have them as our guides. David is a mean spotter and Laurence has a wealth of knowledge. I highly recommend the walking safari to pride rock, cooling off with a delicious G&T with the most stunning view.

We chose Borana as we wanted to do the horse riding safari which was as amazing as we thought it would be. Riding through herds of zebra and close to giraffe, elephants and a rhino was spectacular. Joseph and Charles were fantastic riding guides!

Everyone made our stay extra special and we loved our lodge with private plunge pool and views over the watering hole. Completely breath-taking. Fires at night. Hot water bottles. Rosé lunches. Bush suppers. It was all fantastic. We hope to be back in the not too distant future

Rosanna Short
READ MORE REVIEWS

How we care for our horses

Our horseback adventures are hand-picked for their quality and care of their horses. Here’s how the horses at Borana are kept in tip-top shape for your safaris. Our horses are on top of the hierarchy and receive very special care:
  • All our horses roam freely during the day in a herd environment and are tucked safely in stables at night.
  • As we nearly always do rides from the lodge – rather than mobile safaris – guests can request to use the same horse every day for the duration of their stay, however, we love changing the horses to give guests different experiences and give the horses rest.  After a long day of riding, horses will get the day off.
  • All the tack is cleaned daily and checked for wear and tear and correct fitment.
  • We have a resident farrier-groom and the farrier trainer comes in once a month to check on the horses’ feet. The teeth get checked every year by horse dentists from the UK.

Please let us know if you have any more questions around this.

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