Borana riding holiday in Kenya - Far and Ride
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Borana, 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.
In general and in particular, the trip exceeded all my expectations. I liked the lodge very much. It's truly a really very good choice. On the one hand it's a very simple house in the country style, but on the other hand, the luxury is in the details. I enjoyed being with the team at the lodge. Atlanta and Hunter, who received the guests and entertained them, make sure every guest enjoyed their stay. All the guides were very courteous, interesting people, educated and passionate about what they do. The food was very fresh and although it seemed simple, it was very thoughtfully put together. The dishes were absolutely delicious and well presented. The lodge has two stables, one filled with horses for beginners and the other with horses for more experienced riders. Even the stables for experienced riders that I attended had horses that were very obedient, well-trained horses and in my opinion would be perfectly suitable for novice riders as well. All the horses looked healthy and well cared for. Each day I got to try a new horse, all were lovely and it was very interesting for me. Eventually, I did find my favourite horse! The guide Nicolas was a very nice person. Every ride he chose a different route and tried to understand and take into account your preferences. He led the group well and was very professional. The two accompanying guides, one in the front and one at the back were also very decent guys. On the rides, you felt absolutely safe.

Svetlana G.
 

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.

 

Travel Advice



Please ensure you read the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice before you travel.
 

Ride Description

Borana Lodge is a family-run and owned destination which plays a special part in the conservation of Kenyan wildlife. Borana Conservancy lies at the foot of Mt Kenya and is a haven for wildlife, considered to be Kenya’s newest and most successful rhino sanctuary - the private conservancy covers 32,000 acres and is home to more than 25 Black Rhino, a population which has grown since the species was introduced here in 2013. The conservancy is dedicated to the sustainable conservation of land and wildlife. In 2014 they removed the fences between Borana and Lewa Conservancy to the east, allowing the wildlife to move freely over 92,000 acres of wilderness. Both Black and White Rhino roam the conservancy as well as Ostrich, Reticulated Giraffe and Grevy’s Zebra (of which there are estimated to be fewer than 2500 left in the wild). The lodge is situated on the hillside above a dam where herds of elephants regularly come to drink and bathe. Lion and Leopard are among the regular nocturnal visitors and can be heard during the night.

Borana is home to two strings of safari horses and offers superb riding opportunities for all levels, in addition to mountain biking, bush walks, bird watching and a variety of cultural experiences. The food and drink is to an excellent standard and there is a ‘Safari Spa’ for those looking to unwind. Borana is the only lodge in Kenya to invest all profits into conservation - your visit here directly benefits their 101 person anti-poaching team, a mobile clinic and local primary schools. Their anti-poaching unit patrols the conservancy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round, safeguarding the future of endangered wildlife.

Borana Lodge consists of four stand alone cottages and two family cottages, all featuring en-suite bathrooms with large baths, fireplaces and outside verandas. The family have now added an additional property, Lengishu, which is an exclusive family home perched on the hillside just north of Borana Lodge. Both properties bring a range of opportunities to their guests, all with a focus on conservation in mind, such as tracking rhino on foot and helping the evening deployments of the conservancy’s armed rangers. You are welcome to take part in community activities too, allowing a true insight into the Kenyan way of life. Borana Conservancy is also home to one of the largest permaculture projects in East Africa, Kabati Regenerative Farm. The idea of the farm is to reduce the gap between farm and fork, ensuring that all guests at Borana Lodge and Lengishu eat fresh, local, organic food during their stay.

See Programmes.

 

Food & Accommodation

Borana Lodge is made up of four stand alone cottages and two family cottages. Cottages one to four, two doubles and two twins, are situated in different locations across the hillside and all have exceptional views. Room one is ideal for honeymooners as it is set apart from the rest of the lodge, facing east, allowing guests to appreciate sunrise from the comfort of their four-poster bed.

Rooms five and six are ideally suited to families - a double and a twin room connected by a shared outdoor sitting and dining area, as well as having superb views of the dam and valley below. There is an additional smaller children's room with twin beds for those under twelve, allowing six to sleep here in total.

Rooms seven and eight are perhaps the most exclusive as they offer a private dining room and open sitting room. This villa is closest to the dam and features sprawling bathrooms and a private plunge pool.

All guests have use of the lodge's infinity pool.

Lengishu is a new property, open from Christmas 2018 onwards. This is an exclusive family home perched on the hillside just north of Borana Lodge. Lengishu has been built from local, sustainable materials and features its own large swimming pool and an art room. It can be booked as separate cottages (for up to four guests) or as a private property to suit twelve.

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 offers a range of activities aside from horse riding. Game drives, bush walks and mountain biking with an experienced guide are a wonderful way to explore the conservancy and learn more about the incredible wildlife which makes its home here. The conservation-based activities are really something special, guests having the chance to track and identify rhino on foot and to assist with the evening deployments of the conservancy's armed rangers.

Paragliding and helicopter excursions are great for the adrenaline-hunters whilst those with an interest in local life can participate in community engagement activities. A visit to Kabati Farm is also very interesting for those who enjoy good food and knowing where it comes from.

 

Further Details

Languages: English.

Health requirements: None.

Age limit: None.

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: 2019:

HIGH SEASON PRICES (15th June - 15th September and 20th December - 5th January 2020)

£651 per person, per night (based on double occupancy)
£739 per person, per night (based on single occupancy)
£326 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 £40 per person sharing, per night for larger Villa Rooms (on request)

LOW SEASON PRICES (6th January - 14th June and 16th September - 19th December)

£571 per person, per night (based on double occupancy)
£635 per person, per night (based on single occupancy)
£286 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 £24 per person sharing, 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.

Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.



Riding for Conservation - Mobile Safari



A ride of a lifetime on horseback, across an ecosystem which is known for wildlife conservation. Spend your days exploring the valleys and hills which form some of the best riding country in Africa.

With Mt. Kenya looming in the horizon, you will weave between elephant and rhino, cross rivers and grass plains; all the while staying in luxurious camps under the stars and 5* star lodges.

This trip takes place on Borana Conservancy and Il Ngwesi Group Ranch; both are home to black and white rhino. It starts on 1st February 2019 and features a mix of luxury fly- camping and 5* lodges. Each day will include at least 6 hours of horse riding and will be fully hosted and guided by Borana local and expert horse rider; Eloise Best.

Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Nairobi, fly to Lewa Downs airstrip. First night at Borana Lodge.

Day 2: Begin your adventure with a day on Borana Conservancy, and a night at Borana Lodge. Spend the day riding, on safari or relaxing by the pool.

Day 3: Enjoy your first day on horseback as you cross Borana Conservancy to your first night of fly camping.

Day 4 & 5: Leave Borana Conservancy and ride across to Il Ngwesi Group Ranch, where you will end the day at Il Ngwesi Eco Lodge. You will stay here for two nights and enjoy horse riding and walking safaris. Il Ngwesi is an eco-lodge which is owned and run by the local Maasai community. It is at the heart of an incredibly important eco-system which borders Borana Conservancy.

Day 6: Leave Il Ngwesi Eco Lodge to cross back into Borana Conservancy. Spend the day riding through the Mukogodo Forest, where the elusive forest elephant live, and another night under the stars in a fly camp.

Day 7: Leave the fly camp for a final day's riding, ending at Borana Lodge where you can rest, horse ride, game drive, walk and take part in the “behind the scenes” of conservation.

Day 8: Fly back to Nairobi.

Feeling like a day or two out of the saddle? Head to the coast for a few days of R&R at Manda Bay in Lamu to soak up the sun as an optional extension.



Minimum group size: 2
Maximum group size: 8
Ability description: You need to be a confident, competent rider who is able to gallop in an English style saddle, tackle small jumps, ride across different terrains and manage up to 6 hours a day.
Type of ride: Trail and Safari.
Total riding time: 6 days, hours per day on average.
Departure dates: 2019: POSTPONED to later in the year. Please contact office.
 
Pricing: 2019: £5193 per person

Price includes return scheduled flights from Nairobi to Lewa Downs, meet and assist at Jomo Kenyatta airport, all transfers, AMREF flying doctors, accommodation (shared basis), meals, drinks, riding and guide.

Not included: international flights, Kenyan visa, extensions, tips or items of a personal nature.

Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding.

All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.