There's a palpable respect for the wilderness at this serene lodge
When the grandfather of the present owners of Borana arrived in this spot, 17 miles (27 kilometres) north of the equator and 6,000 feet (1,830 metres) above sea level, he simply fell in love with its isolation and wildness. Now his descendants have built a lodge on the land that he adored. Made of local, sustainable materials, Borana Lodge sits subtly on this malaria-free landscape, with panoramic views across the Samangua Valley and the Lewa Plains to the Ngare Ndare Forest and Mount Kenya beyond. Inside, all is luxurious and plush. A perfect breakaway location in a splendid setting.
At the lodge
The communal areas overlook a lake that is a popular watering hole for wildlife, so there is constant activity – the antics of the young elephants are always amusing. Meals incorporating fresh produce from the ranch and wines from around the world are served in the dining room. Settle back to enjoy the view through the huge windows in the lounge. Outside, enjoy the largely indigenous garden and the infinity pool with a view second to none.
Borana's accommodation is in eight secluded stone-and-thatch cottages, four with large double beds and four with queen-sized twins. All have verandas (some private, others shared) that overlook the dam. The cottages are entirely secluded and have private views from both bedroom and bathroom of the valley below, and a fireplace that is set every night. The bathrooms are spacious, with showers cleverly set into the rock face.
There's no shortage of activities to suit everyone. Day and evening game drives, horseback and guided walking safaris, mountain biking, really good birding, fly fishing, joining an anti-poaching team, a visit to a permaculture farm and even, weather permitting, paragliding! Or simply spend a day at the lodge, enjoying the pool with its Samangua Valley backdrop. If you're exploring though, look out for African wild dog, spotted and striped hyaena, zebra and antelope galore and a number of cat species.