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Central Highlands

Borana Lodge Properties |

Borana Lodge
Six Cottages

Borana lies on the edge of the Samangua Valley. It has panoramic views of Mount Kenya, across the Lewa Plains to the Ngare Ndare Forest. Borana Lodge was built is 1992 by local artisans. 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. 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 eating 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. All food is freshly prepared in the kitchen - vegetables and farm produce from the farm, freshly squeezed juice from our orchard and wines from around the world.

Borana lies on the edge of the Samangua Valley and on the Laikipia Plateau.

Local Info

Borana is not just a game sanctuary it is also a working ranch. Many guests have found that spending a day on the ranch is equally as interesting as looking at the animals. Michael Dyer - who runs the ranch - is happy to take guests on his rounds. He shows guests the challenge of ranching in these hostile conditions - elephants in the vegetable patch, lions in the cattle bomas, flood, drought, famine. It all goes to show why Borana is the place where cattle sleep with one eye open.

Borana Ranch has over 2000 head of cattle. The cattle are kept for beef production though we also have our own dairy herd for ranch consumption. The cattle are primarily of the 'Boran' breed; this is for their ability to withstand droughts and pests, though we do a single with the 'Sementhal' breed in order to improve the body form.

Seven Elephants Tree Nursery
The Seven Elephants Tree Nursery was founded in 2000, inspired by what Michael had seen at the Seven Ravens Tree Nursery in Rongai in Kenya's Rift Valley.

Disabled Tannery and Leather Workshop
In 1966 Will Powys began an ambitious project to employ the local handicapped people of the area.

Land bordering the Ngare Ndare River on our eastern boundary has been fenced and irrigated.

The Wider Community
Borana Ranch has always had an interest in the welfare of his neighbours and has always been aware of the necessity to improve their welfare and basic standard of living.

Women's Groups
Borana Supports three women's groups in the area. All three are involved in beading different articles which are then sold.

Mobile Clinic
A proposal to fund a mobile clinic for the area is underway, and the money raised will be used to purchase a mobile clinic, which will be based at Borana HQ and will then visit the surrounding communities on a daily basis.

Education Support Project
Borana is now trying to get involved in raising money for our five local primary schools. Sadly these schools are basically neglected by the local government due to their inaccessibility and the poverty levels of local inhabitants. All schools in Kenya are fee-paying.

Borana Forestry Project
In January 2002, Michael Nickels was asked to set up a Dryland forestry project on behalf of Borana for the surrounding community of Ngare Ndare Village. The aim of the project was to convert the 25 acres of severely eroded land into a productive agroforestry project.

Game Drives, Nature Walks, Cultural Visits, Bird Viewing & Swimming.

Game viewing is excellent, both locally and in the parks nearby. In addition fly fishing on Mount Kenya, bird watching, swimming, mountain and horseback riding and guided walks through the forest are just a few of the other treats in store at this luxurious property. Game drives are in open Land Rovers with high seating, allowing excellent viewing of Borana's elephant, lion, buffalo and various plain game including the elusive greater kudu.
Amory Macleod

Amory Macleod was born in Nairobi, and grew up at Lake Baringo, in the Rift Valley.  Amory is the grandson of David Roberts, the infamous crocodile hunter, and is stepson to Terry Stephenson, one of the world's most prestigious ornithologists. He was educated in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Here he was a member of the falconry club continuing to exploit his love of birds. Amory has worked in many high class tourist camps in Kenya - firstly with Richard Roberts, his cousin at Richard's Camp in the Masai Mara. Here at Borana he helped run the show with Bimbi and has also worked down at Manda Bay. In 2006 he went to Perth, Australia and attained a diploma in Conservation and Land Management.  Shortly after returning at the beginning of 2008, we at Borana decided that he was now qualified to manage the lodge.
Guest Reviews

"A stunning piece of nature and a luxurious lodge, make this one of the best experiences I have had in fifteen years of coming to Africa - Thanks."
- Ed Lifmand, Alexandria, VA
June - October; December - March

The best months for travelling to Kenya are June through the end of October and then December through the end of March. July, August and September, are the busiest times along with the Christmas holidays as this is when school holidays fall. If you prefer to travel when the game is still superb but it is not so busy then I recommend the following months, June, September, October, November, February, March, April and May!
Press & Media

Borana is widely regarded as a 6-star property and has been featured in National Geographic Traveler as well as Architectural Digest Magazine - twice!
In a valley meandering out of the Laikipia Plateau, Borana Ranch, privately owned and operated, is a lodge lying in a remote paradise in the shadow of Mount Kenya's jagged peaks. This exclusive ranch has been devoted to the conservation of wildlife and its natural habitat.
Life on a Kenyan ranch isn't just about living close-up with a whole album of Laikipia's unique wildlife, including some of Kenya's most habituated elephants. It's about so much more. Each day some sort of equilibrium must be sought between the needs of Africa's predators and abundant wildlife and those of the doe-eyed humped Boran cattle that give the ranch its name. Alongside this, we have to ensure the commercial viability of our smaller-scale projects such as the tannery and leather workshop, manned by blind and disabled workers whilst also putting energy into the success of schemes to enhance the lives of Borana's pastoralist neighbors. A stay at Borana is a unique opportunity for total immersion in the life and happenings of a working ranch where environmental and ecological considerations rank alongside the responsibilities we feel towards our neighboring communities be they pastoralists or agriculturalists, be it in the form of development partnerships and mobile health clinics, or the workings of the ranch's education trust. Of course a visit to the high altitude rose farm or to our organic essential oil distillery is by no means compulsory; there are plenty of other ways to entertain you on Borana. Two strings of horses, mountain bikes, game walks, cross-cultural experiences and plenty of excuses for a night fly camping await our visitors. We just want you to know that there's more to Borana. Then again you could just put your feet up, sit back in your open 4 x 4 and be taken to the game, eat delicious home grown organic food and maybe muster up the energy to drag yourself away from your exclusively comfortable sleeping house for an afternoon massage overlooking Mount Kenya and, of course, the pool.

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