Borana Lodge Safaris riding holiday in Kenya - Far and Ride
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Borana Lodge Safaris, Kenya





Reviews



I asked Holly to organise a dream holiday and she did. Immaculate lodges, great horses, stunning scenery, huge amounts of wildlife, faultless hospitality, food and drink...everything was perfect.

Will J.
Amazing! The experience was wonderful - the horses were very well behaved and well-matched for our riding ability, and we saw so much game with our very knowledgeable guides. The lodges were stunning and we were looked after unbelievably well - I don't think I've eaten so much for a long time!

Tish J.
 

Horses



Type of horses:

Home bred thoroughbreds and thoroughbred crosses.

Nature of horses:

Calm, well schooled, responsive and forward going.

Height of horses:

14.2 hh - 16.3 hh

Weight limit:

95kg

Tack type:

English, Australian Stock and South African Western saddles.

 

Weather



 

Ride Description

Borana Lodge is set on the edge of the Samangua Valley, North-West of snow-capped Mt Kenya in the Laikipia district. It is a working ranch and game sanctuary which offers panoramic views of the Borana plains, rich with wildlife. The indigenous Ngare Ndare Forest is also now home to a small number of black rhino, reintroduced to the reserve in early 2014. Mt Kenya, standing at a magnificent 17,058 feet, is Kenya's highest mountain and straddles the equator with an eco-system all of its own. Heather and bamboo forests crowd its lower slopes which are home to elephant, hardy leopards and pride of lion. It is a place of great natural beauty and is sacred to the Kikuyu people, Kenya's largest ethnic group.

Life on this Kenyan ranch isn’t just about living up close with some of the region's unique wildlife, its impact goes far deeper and the lodge is an important part of the local community. Michael, the ranch owner, and his family are involved with many groups representing the interests of local landowners and Nicky (his wife) runs a leather workshop which offers employment to local disabled workers. She also contracts beadwork through local women's groups. The couple are both actively involved in wildlife conservation, promotion of eco-tourism, raising money for local primary schools and in improving AIDS awareness through a mobile clinic.

Borana would not be the place it is today without its horses, these provide one of the best ways to see big game, enjoy the magnificent views and to roam this amazing environment. The horses here are mostly thoroughbreds and are well-schooled, ridden in snaffles, and cared for by a team of knowledgeable grooms, in order to ensure their health and fitness. Most are forward-going and spirited but there are calmer and more steady horses to suit the less confident riders. Guests can head out to ride after an early morning cup of tea, taking a quick trip to the stables and mounting their horses ready for a wonderful pre-breakfast hack. The secluded valleys offer spectacular spots for a picnic breakfast and guest will often find fresh fruit on the table and bacon and eggs sizzling on an open fire upon their return. Alternatively, you may choose to spend the whole day riding and exploring the reserve, with a picnic lunches and sundowners at the end of the day.

Kenya's climate offers warm, sunny days with cooler mornings and evenings, perfect for riding and enjoying the landscapes. The earliest months of the year are the hottest with mid-year providing the coolest temperatures. Borana is situated at 6,500 feet above sea level, so it can be chilly in the evenings, but there are fireplaces in the bedrooms, sitting room and dining room to ensure a warm and cosy atmosphere at night. The Lodge is extremely comfortable and welcoming, the ideal place to unwind after experiencing the area's wonderful sights from horseback.

A stay at Borana is a unique opportunity for total immersion in the life of a working ranch. Guests are welcome to get involved, try one of the other available activities or can just put their feet up, sit back and relax. The food here is another plus as meals consist of delicious home-grown, organic ingredients. Perhaps after a day of riding and a tasty meal you might muster up the energy to take yourself away from your exclusive cottage for an afternoon massage overlooking Mt Kenya and, of course, the glorious swimming pool.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Borana Lodge lies on the edge of the Samangua Valley where you can experience panoramic views of Mount Kenya across the Lewa Plains to the Ngare Ndare Forest. The Lodge was built is 1992 by local artisans and only local building materials and dead wood from the ranch were used in its construction. The result is a supremely comfortable and luxurious Lodge which is totally in keeping with its surroundings; it seems to have grown organically from the rocks on which it was built. There are eight cottages at Borana Lodge which are unique in style, comfortable and cosy with fireplaces and private verandas. There are four double rooms and four twin rooms and each has its own luxurious bathroom. The dining and sitting rooms are situated within the main lodge. Kids rooms are also available for older children which are less luxurious than the main bedrooms and are designed to make family travel more affordable.

Borana Lodge overlooks a dam which fills with the floodwater flowing off the surrounding hills. It is the local watering hole for all the wildlife in the area so there is constant activity for the guests to watch. There is also a game blind built right on the edge of the dam so that visitors may go down and see the activity at close range: elephants swimming is a favourite.

Borana Lodge is built primarily for privacy; each cottage is exclusively sited with its own special view, totally secluded from its neighbour. This ensures guests have a chance to appreciate the wilderness and loneliness of Africa.

There is a central dining and sitting area: comfy leather sofas surround a huge fireplace with picture windows looking onto the valley below. A massive rosewood table in the dining room is where meals are served by friendly and attentive staff. Local artists' paintings and sculptures decorate the Lodge, and are also available for sale. You will also find a telephone service at Borana, as well as a satellite phone for overseas calls. Internet and email facilities are available at the Lodge and Laragai house.

All food is freshly prepared using vegetables and natural produce from their own, or neighbouring farms and is accompanied by freshly squeezed juice from their orchard and wines from around the world. Borana uses clean water for their food preparation and they take great pride in their exceptional menu, fresh fruits, salads, vegetables, tempting light lunches and exotically delicious dinners.

The chefs take great pleasure in preparing tantalising and healthy cuisine to suit any palete, for all dietary requirements and ages.

 

Activities

Borana has a fleet of custom-built four wheel drive vehicles driven by supremely knowledgeable drivers/guides. Since Borana is private property, there are no Game Park rules and no one else will ever obscure your view of the big game that lives there. One of the best ways to see wildlife is on a guided bush walk where experienced guides lead the hike, giving you the benefit of their extensive knowledge of the bush and its ways. Alternatively, you could opt for some serious exercise on one of their mountain bikes where you will get to experience vast amounts of stunning scenery and herds of game. Some sharp descents will add to the excitement, making this an adventure to remember.

Many guests have found that spending a day on the ranch is equally as interesting as looking at the animals and Michael, who runs the ranch, is happy to take guests on his rounds. The lodge also has its own swimming pool from which you can watch the elephants on their way to the watering hole. The pool veranda, furnished with roman couches, is a favourite place for a relaxed lunch and offers a chance to lie in the sun. Just above the pool is the Borana shop which gives guests the opportunity to purchase some of the best of African art, as well as beadwork from the local tribesmen, handcrafted jewellery and many other knick-knacks from Kenya.

Kalacha is an oasis in the middle of the Chalbi desert where the Gabbra people live. Here there is a small community lodge where guests visiting in the appropriate season can shoot sand grouse. These gather in the evenings to drink at the water-hole.

Trips to climb Mount Kenya can be arranged through Borana Lodge. The climb takes a minimum of three to four days and requires no specialist equipment. Helicopter trips can also be organised to take you around Mt. Kenya or into the Northern Frontier.

A massage can be arranged, to ease aching muscles, or simply to help you relax in the beautiful surroundings.

 

Further Details

Languages: English.

Health requirements: None so long as riding fit.

Age limit: None. Children are welcome, though will need to be aged 12 yrs and over if they wish to ride out on safari.

Tuition: No

Included: Full-board accommodation at Borana Lodge, conservation fees, local airstrip transfers (Lewa Downs), sundowner excursions, soft drinks, beers and house wine, selected house spirits, use of the lodge swimming pool, laundry service, as well as some activities including shared game drives, guided bush walks, horseback riding and mountain biking.

Not included: All flights, transfer fees, travel/medical insurance, fly camping, premium spirits, champagne and cellar wines, cultural visits as well as visits to Lewa conservancy and Kisima Floriculture project.

 

Travel Information

International guests will fly into Nairobi international airport, from where it is possible to take a road transfer (lasting roughly 4.5 hrs from Nairobi to Borana) at an additional cost - please contact us for availability and prices.

However, it is certainly recommended that you take a scheduled or private transfer flight from Wilson (Nairobi's regional airport) to Lewa airport (at additional cost). From here you can be collected and transferred to Borana Lodge. The scheduled flights arrive back to Nairobi around midday and International flights usually depart late evening. You will need to take a taxi from Nairobi international to Wilson airport and back again.

Airport: Lewa Downs Airstrip (Lewa Conservancy)

Alternative Airport: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi

 

Programmes


Borana Luxury Lodge Based Stay



This fabulous luxury lodge offers the ideal setting for a relaxed but memorable holiday in the heart of Kenya. Riding can be arranged to suit from an early morning hack to a full day adventure through the spectacular wildlife at the slopes of Mt Kenya. The game roaming the plains is easily viewed from the back of a safe but spirited horse and guests can even enjoy watching the animals from the swimming pool. The Lodge overlooks a dam which fills with floodwater from the surrounding hills and this acts as the local watering hole for many amazing African creatures.

The nearby Ngare Ndare forest is full of amazing plantlife and some beautiful wildlife including black rhino, monkeys, elephants, a variety of birds and butterflies. This is just one of the area's highlights. There is a high altitude rose farm or an organic essential oil distillery to be visited and there are a host of other activities available. In addition to the horses there are mountain bikes, 4x4s for game drives, guided game walks, cross-cultural experiences and plenty of excuses for a fly camp experience.

When the Dyer family first came here the horses were the only means of personal transport. Today, all their farms still have stables and they have horses to suit all levels of rider from beginners to experts. The stables at the lodge house a number of horses suitable for capable riders and these are used for the based stay - short hacks, full day rides or exploration of the working ranch. Michael is happy to take you on his rounds around the ranch where you can learn much about the 2000 Boran cattle, most of which are kept for beef production with a small herd for dairy purposes. Further up the slopes towards Mt Kenya the family keep a stable of Polo ponies which offer great fun for the experienced rider. At the foot of the slopes is the Ngare Ndare River where Rose keeps a stable of horses that are suitable for novices. They are patient and safe horses which have been trained to be careful with children and non-experienced riders.

There is a tree nursery here which was founded in 2000 and now produces over 30,000 trees annually for reforestation projects on the ranch and within the surrounding communities. This small aspect of the lodge is just one example of why this is such a special destination and such a fascinating and enjoyable place to visit.

* Please note that check-out is strictly by 10am on the day of departure. A late departure will incur an additional charge of US$35 per person.



Minimum group size: 4
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: Beginners to experienced
Type of ride: To suit
Total riding time: Tailor made to suit
Departure dates: To suit all year round
 
Pricing: 2017:

HIGH SEASON PRICES (20th December - 5th January 2018)

£556 per person, per night (based on double occupancy)
£628 per person, per night (based on single occupancy)
£278 per child (aged 5-15), per night (in a shared room)
Older children can also be accommodated in a separate "guides" room at the lodge for a reduced rate - please enquire.
*Additional £22 per person, per night for larger Villa Rooms (on request)

GREEN SEASON PRICES (1st November - 19th December)

£377 per person, per night (based on double occupancy)
£422 per person, per night (based on single occupancy)
£189 per child (aged 5-16), per night (in a shared room)
Older children can also be accommodated in a separate "guides" room at the lodge for a reduced rate - please enquire.
*Additional £22 per person, per night for larger Villa Rooms (on request)

**Children under the age of 5 stay at the Borana Lodge free of charge.

Prices include accommodation in one of eight private cottages, Borana conservation fees, three meals per day, all tea, coffee, soft drinks, local brand beers, selected spirits and house wine during your stay, laundry facilities at the lodge, game drives, guided walks, horse riding, mountain biking, use of the swimming pool and local airstrip transfers

**Optional nights out under the stars, at a fly camp, can also be arranged for you at additional cost.

Price does not include international flights, transfers (from Nairobi to Lewa), travel insurance or extras not mentioned above.

2018:

HIGH SEASON PRICES (1st July - 15th September and 20th December - 5th January 2019)

£556 per person, per night (based on double occupancy)
£628 per person, per night (based on single occupancy)
£278 per child (aged 5-15), per night (in a shared room)
Older children can also be accommodated in a separate "guides" room at the lodge for a reduced rate - please enquire.
*Additional £22 per person, per night for larger Villa Rooms (on request)

MID SEASON PRICES (6th January - 28th February, 1st-30th June, 16th September-31st October)

£481 per person, per night (based in double occupancy)
£542 per person, per night (based on single occupancy)
£241 per child (aged 5-15), per night (in a shared room)
Older children can also be accommodated in a separate "guides" room at the lodge for a reduced rate - please enquire.
*Additional £22 per person, per night for larger Villa Rooms (on request)

GREEN SEASON PRICES (1st March - 31st May and 1st November - 19th December)

£377 per person, per night (based on double occupancy)
£422 per person, per night (based on single occupancy)
£189 per child (aged 5-16), per night (in a shared room)
Older children can also be accommodated in a separate "guides" room at the lodge for a reduced rate - please enquire.
*Additional £22 per person, per night for larger Villa Rooms (on request)

**Children under the age of 5 stay at the Borana Lodge free of charge.

Prices includes accommodation in one of eight private cottages, Borana conservation fees, three meals per day, all tea, coffee, soft drinks, local brand beers, selected spirits and house wine during your stay, laundry facilities at the lodge, game drives, guided walks, horse riding, mountain biking, use of the swimming pool and local airstrip transfers

**Optional nights out under the stars, at a fly camp, can also be arranged for you at additional cost.

Price does not include international flights, transfers (from Nairobi to Lewa), travel insurance or extras not mentioned above.