Borana Lodge

Kenya, Africa

Borana Lodge

Kenya, Africa

‘At the heart of the Borana Conservancy, experience Kenya’s most successful rhino sanctuary, located in the foothills of Mount Kenya.’

Scroll down to explore Borana Lodge’s transformative experiences or click the leaf-rating tab to reveal their sustainability efforts across Energy, Food, Waste, Biodiversity, Community, and more…

Overview

  • Highlights

    From $800 USD per person per night, this includes all conservation fees.

    A once-in-a-lifetime experience, join the wildlife rangers tracking rhinos.

    Experience a bush dinner under the stars with a Swahili-inspired menu.

    Home to the inspiration for Pride Rock from Disney’s film The Lion King.

    Host and sponsor to the only female guide in northern Kenya.

    Embark on a night drive to witness nocturnal animals such as leopards.

    Home to the largest Permaculture project in East Africa, Waitabit Farm.

  • Top Tip For Your Stay…

    ‘The most magical and best way to end a day of exploring is to dine under the stars and tune into the nocturnal noises.’

    Disconnect To Reconnect…

    Reconnect with the wild by riding on horseback alongside giraffes and zebras. The Dyer family’s connection and love of horses continue to be shared with guests, as one of the best ways to witness the wildlife here.

    Don’t miss the chance to visit the largest Permaculture project in East Africa, Waitabit farm. 440 acres of riverine forest, Acacia savannah, and 100 acres of arable land, producing organic, fresh ingredients.

    Why not switch up the more obvious jeeps for a tranquil bush walk? Led by Borana’s experienced field guides, learn about the ecosystem here.

  • Rooms

    Borana’s eight thatched cottages are all built using local stone and wood. Each with a cosy fireplace and private veranda.

    Situated within walking distance of the main house, guests can enjoy a comfortable sitting room, bar and dining room. There is also a relaxing horizon pool that looks onto the Hyena Valley Dam below, where you can often spot elephants.

    Each cottage is built out of rock and cedar with a thatched roof.

    The open fireplaces, lit each evening with sustainably sourced firewood.

    The bathtub which looks out over the wilds of Africa.

    The secluded location, views and unbeatable privacy.

  • Meet Your Host

    Meet Milli, Borana Lodge’s general manager. With incredible stories to tell, a kind heart, and a warm presence she is the kind of host we all hope for.

    “Every day we are looking for new ideas and ways to improve the livelihoods of the local communities. A better way to sustain the animals when we’re hit by a crippling drought. A better way to revive the environment.

    I find the longer guests stay, the more they want to learn, and the more they want to see. It just doesn’t end when the invoice is paid, the transformative experience that Borana brings is something guests want to continue to explore long after they leave.” Milli.

    Read the full interview here.
  • Need-to-Know

    At a time in Kenya’s history when Rhino poaching was at its worst and sanctuaries were closing, Borana stepped up and committed huge amounts of resources to protect the endangered wildlife. Not your average safari lodge, this is Kenya’s most successful rhino conservation project.

    Located on a steep hill, good mobility is pretty essential. There is however one room that is suitable for guests who are not as mobile, so it’s best to reach out to the Borana team who will be able to assist.

    Lunch and dinner are a set menu. As you would expect, any dietary requirements are catered for.

    Neutral colours such as grey, khaki, brown or green are best to pack because bright colours and patterns (including white) can spook animals and birds.

  • Location

    Borana Conservancy is located on the foothills of Mt Kenya. With an arid landscape to the North and ancient indigenous forests and high-altitude moorlands to the South, Borana is in a prime location for both wildlife and breathtaking scenery.

    How to get there

    For those who know the journey is as transformative as the destination… Although cargo ship travel demands more time and flexibility, it offers a truly memorable journey without guilt.

    For those who want to vote with their wallet but don’t have as much time… Flying is the only straightforward way to get to Kenya.

    Borana Lodge is approximately a four-hour drive from Nairobi. Borana Lodge can arrange transfers from the local town. Private charters land at the Borana airstrip, which is a much shorter 10-minute drive from the lodge.

Gallery

Leaf Rating

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3-leaf status

  • Design
    Borana Lodge was built in 1993 from local materials sourced from Borana Conservancy - old fence posts were used for the floorboards & local stone for the walls. The workforce was 100% local and heavy machinery was not used...
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    Adjustments and improvements have been made throughout the last 30 years, each time using sustainable building principles and sensitive design.

  • Energy
    Borana Lodge is powered by almost 100% clean, solar energy. They have 164 solar 80 kva panels which were installed in 2018, which they share with a neighboring property, Lengishu House...
    Read More >>

    Borana measures and is transparent about the generator usage (which is usually below 5 hrs per month). Energy consumption is tracked using a tool called Weeva which helps the team to create targets in terms of reducing energy consumption.

  • Waste
    We love Borana Lodge's ZERO landfill policy. All organic waste is either fed to chickens at Waitabit farm or used in a biodigester which creates cooking gas for the kitchen staff...
    Read More >>

    There is an extensive recycling project at the Borana Conservancy HQ where glass bottles are turned into drinking glasses, and eco-concrete, cardboard and cans are recycled. The team is also working with suppliers to reduce the packaging at the source.

  • Community
    98% of the staff members at Borana Lodge come from the local area, with 40% female employment and a management team of which 2/3rds are female. Borana Lodge sponsored a female guide to join the team...
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    After an 8-month sponsorship for training and licences, Borana employs the only female guide in northern Kenya. Money generated from ecotourism employs 13 teachers, funds 55 bursaries, and supports the infrastructure development of 10 schools.

  • Biodiversity
    All retained earnings generated by Borana Lodge are invested back into the operational costs of Borana Conservancy. This includes a wildlife monitoring team that reports species sightings back to HQ...
    Read More >>

    Borana has invested in the training and employment of 125 rangers, as well as the monitoring software which is used to log sightings - including invasive plants so that they are dealt with by the correct Conservancy department. Borana Conservancy has become a world leader in successful, sustainable conservation practices where communities and landowners work together to protect biodiversity. Borana can report zero poaching incidents over the last six years, making it Kenya's most successful conservation project.

  • Food & Drink
    80% of the fresh produce served to guests at Borana Lodge comes from Waitabit Farm. The head chef works closely with the farm to ensure guests are well catered to all year round. All other fresh produce is...
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    sourced from nearby female-owned organic farms. On arrival guests are provided with an impact bill to show where Borana Lodge sources items from.

  • Water
    The lodge's water is sourced from a solar-powered borehole on Borana Conservancy. The team actively measure water consumption across staff accommodation, laundry, and guest areas...
    Read More >>

    Weeva is a digital tool which is used to measure water consumption and create water reduction targets.

  • Housekeeping
    Guest toiletries are sourced from Cinnabar Green, a local natural cosmetics company, and amenities from Green Thing, a female-owned plastic-free company based in Nairobi...
    Read More >>

    The housekeeping team have received training on how to use natural cleaning products and zero toxic chemicals are used at the lodge.

  • Engaging Guests
    Borana Lodge encourages guests to think beyond the popular game drives and the "big 5". There are a variety of free activities to engage and educate guests, including the rhino tracking experience, the farm tours of Waitabit...
    Read More >>

    farm, an organic permaculture farm where 80% of the lodge's fresh produce is sourced, including eggs and beef. There is also a chance to visit the inspiring education centre, and solar farm.

Reviews

  • Kiwano Hotels
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    "'We all loved Borana Lodge...'"

    "We visited in August with two 9 year old girls. We all loved Borana Lodge. The room was exceptional and comfortable. It also had a great view. We had the family suite which is essentially two large connected spaces. A special thanks to Millie, the manager, who was exceptional."

    Google Review, Blake Carrington

  • Kiwano Hotels
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    "'The staff are top notch...'"

    "We had the experience of staying at the Borana Lodge while on our honeymoon. We enjoyed each excursion from horseback riding, animal drives, going to the Ngare forest and even seeing the farm, where the food comes from for the lodge. We will definitely come back to Borana!"

    Google Review, Rebecca Clark

  • Kiwano Hotels
    Kiwano Hotels
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    "'Absolutely amazing experience...'"

    "Absolutely amazing experience here!! Was here for 5 nights 5/2022 and legitimately cried when I left. The entire staff is so amazing and makes you feel so incredibly welcome and wanted! I was never left without an answer to all of my many many questions about the environment."

    Google Review, Miranda Holen

  • Kiwano Hotels
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    "'Great animal viewing...'"

    "A stunning geographical location with kind, attentive staff. Great animal viewing, especially rhinos! Stayed as a family of 3 in 2 adjoining rooms, connected by a common outdoor lounge area. Would have easily accommodated a family of 6-8. Food was exceptional!"

    Google Review, Carol McLean

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