This past month I sorted out pictures and pinned the best memories from our Kenyan holidays elongating every day the wonder we experienced through these variations on a safari. We had the luxury of time which allowed us to explore wildlife on foot, by jeep or on a horse, each different safari bringing new sensations and enabling us to approach animals closer with as much respect and admiration as can be. Borana’s Conservancy and Lodge offer these endless possibilities and I can only warmly recommend it!
There is a unique sense of adventure when your small plane lands at the foot of Mount Kenya on a dirt track where you can see giraffes and zebras running. The game drive starts from the minute you board the jeep driving you to the lodge.
Borana’s Conservancy was founded by a family who built this exclusive lodge at the top of a hill overlooking the Samangua Valley and the Lewa Plains to the Ngare Ndare Forest and Mount Kenya beyond. There are eight stylish and comfortable independent cottages which all have open verandas with stunning views to a dam where animals come to drink. The infinity pool is also overlooking the dam. There are various terraces nestled in lush gardens where breakfast, lunch and tea time are served. The dining and living rooms are both elegant and cozy. As for the food, each meal is a treat!
Last but not least, Borana is one of these rare lodges that is truly family friendly, welcoming guests of all ages and adjusting its offers and programs to little visitors making it a priority to stimulate their curiosity and enthusiasm for the wildlife.
Our guide Peter took us mornings and evenings for two to three-hour game drives within the Conservancy. The landscapes were mesmerizing at all times: the mysteries of dawn and dusk when animals emerged from the bush, the bright luminosity enflaming the plains where herds of elephants or buffalos crossed their ways.
Peter was the most interesting and knowledgeable guide, he knew how to draw the kids’ attention on all fascinating elements of wildlife. We experienced the excitement of tracking animals (rhinos, lions, leopards, elephants, buffalos, giraffes, zebras, baboons, etc) and the wonder of humbly observing them.
The family who founded the Conservancy has a farm with horses and organizes horse-riding safaris. It is already an experience to visit that authentic farm and to be warmly welcomed by this dedicated and inspiring family.
The horses are extremely friendly and can take riders of all levels for stunning rides across the plains, the hills and the narrow valleys. We got to approach giraffes and zebras whom we suddenly felt so close to. The children were not able to ride out in the bush but got a chance to go for a beautiful ride around the farm which they really enjoyed.
They are plenty of walks (or even bicycle rides) starting from the lodge. We went for a gorgeous walk from the lodge all the way down to the dam where we could observe the elephants bathing and then up to Pride rock where we had the most scenic sun downer overlooking the plains.
The walking safaris offer a unique possibility of observing the ground, the details of nature, the varieties of plants, the different animals’ footprints, etc. It also requires more self-control and respect of the animals’ ethos.
Camping with the Maasai
One of the highlights of our stay was our three-day walking safari with the Maasai. It was unique to be able to walk through the plains and the valleys the whole family together following our bright Maasai guide with a couple of camels leaded by two Maasai who helped carrying the little ones.
Everyone had to be very quiet and observant of the surroundings in order to react properly when meeting a group of rhinos or a herd of buffalos.
The Camp was set in different places by the river in green valleys where we enjoyed long evenings by the open fire.
We had the most memorable time dancing and singing with the Maasai, sharing their lively traditions. I was impressed by the great logistics and organization.
This holiday was a deep and intense plunge into wildlife together with a privileged family time when all three generations got to enjoy the same wonder.