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El Karama Eco Lodge is a down to earth, family owned lodge designed for people wanting to get off the beaten track. Described as the ‘hidden gem of Laikipia’, with our team you will rediscover the real Kenyan safari experience. Together, we have created a warm and unpretentious environment where you can learn about the wildlife and birds, explore this magical place and get to know the people in it.

We will encourage you to get out and about on this 14,000 acre working ranch where wildlife and cattle live harmoniously and where the environment is our number one priority.

The ranch has over 80 mammal species here including Four of the Big Five. You can see unusual species like the Grevy Zebra, Gerenuk. Laikipia Hartebeeste, African Hunting Dogs, as well as Leopard, Lion, Cheetah, Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo and the Reticulated Giraffe. ‘Plains Game’ abounds and our guided walks will take you near herds of Burchill’s Zebra and Grant’s gazelle and over ridges looking at Mount Kenya. With six dams on the property, you can sit quietly by water holes watching animals come to drink and take meals and sundowners out with you.

Perfect for families and groups hoping to escape the bustle and see the real Kenya. With the El Karama lodge team you will get an authentic, fun and family oriented experience.

Lodge

This lodge is family owned and our team -some of whom have been here for up to twenty years -will encourage you to engage as much as possible in all areas of life at the lodge and the wider ranch. The lodge site has a long history and started out as a simple campsite used the Grant family for friends and visiting clients during the 1970’s -1990’s. Over the decades it has slowly evolved, with building beginning in 2006 when Murray Grant, the son of the family, designed and built six stone, thatch and canvas cottages or ‘bandas’ and the central mess and kitchen area that we have now. His hope was that eco tourism would help to generate a viable income to assist in the land management goals for El Karama, thus preserving a vital part of the Laikipia habitat and eco system.

The original project took more than a year to complete and involved over forty men and women (including members of our current staff and the local community). Materials were sourced from the ranch and all the work was done by hand and without mechanized machinery!

Recent projects include the beautiful swimming pool and thatched ‘chill out’ pool houses all surrounded by dry stone walling, indigenous flowering aloes and natural crafted nilotica woodwork.

We are lucky that this family is an artistic one; in addition to Murray’s design/construction work in all the buildings, the artwork you see is produced and donated by his mother Lavinia Grant and soft furnishings were made locally by various Laikipia community groups.

We hope you will feel at home here and will take the time to read and learn about this wonderful environment.

Accommodation

You will sleep in airy cottages made of stone, wood, thatch and canvas. We have six in total, each varying in size and feel. All except one are ensuite with large baths made from black river stone and woodwork crafted by the lodge carpenter.

All are lovingly put together using materials found here, furniture made by our carpenter and soft furnishings using hand–crafted recycled materials. The cottages have electricity (solar) for lighting and hot water, flushing toilets and bath/showers.

Bandas

All the bandas have a spacious central room with a double bed (one is a twin), covering in mozzie nets, a seating area with a small table for writing, furniture for storing/hanging clothes and an ensuite bathroom with a large stone bath (and overhead shower) that you can sink into after a long day out. Bandas have their own verandas for reading and star gazing. They all over look onto the river.

Rondavel

This cottage was built with families and small groups in mind. With a large double bed that could fit four, two single beds and sofa, it is ideal for those wanting to stay together. For additional privacy, we’ve built the bathroom a step away. Like the bandas it has a large stone bath and shower with an open window looking directly onto the river – if you’re quiet you may see African Finfoot or Hippo moving down river!

Food & Drink

All our food is home-made, 90% is home-grown in our organic garden at the farm HQ and most of the meat is locally sourced. All meals are hearty and clean, full of herbs, fresh vegetables and salads and lots of flavour. You can expect a full cooked breakfast, buffet lunches, afternoon tea and a three course meal in the evening – we promise you won’t go hungry!

Using charcoal ovens, our cook produces freshly baked rosemary breads, shortbread cookies and cakes for tea. You are welcome to come to the kitchen to see what we’re up to and to learn about ‘bush’ cooking styles.

We can cope with special diets including gluten free, so make sure you let us know when you book.

We have a fully stocked bar with beer, wine, spirits and soft drinks. We have fairly straightforward choices, we’re not pretending to offer the height of sophistication here, but we do make sure we always have enough! Ask for a ‘dawa’ to keep you warm on the cooler evenings.

We also offer fresh juices and herbal teas straight from Sophie’s own garden. Being half French she will ensure there are always ‘Tisanes’ available should you want to take your tea to bed in the evening.

Walking Safaris

Walking safaris are one of the most amazing ways to see El Karama. Because of the high density of dangerous game like elephant and buffalo on this property, we choose our locations carefully. You’ll be taken on to the high, open ridges with an armed guide and will enjoy direct views of Mount Kenya, the Aberdares and the Lolldaiga Hills as well as the rolling and landscapes for which El Karama is renowned.

Your guide will show you all creatures small and large, focusing on tracks, insects and flowers as well as scanning for wildlife around you.

Turn off the engines, put on your walking shoes and enjoy the experience of being close to nature.

Advice: Please wear closed shoes, sunscreen, sunhats and drink plenty of water before leaving for your walk.

Time: up to 2 hours – usually in the early morning from 630am to 9am or early evening from 430pm-6pm.

Driving Safaris

This is a surefire way to see wildlife on El Karama. We have over 80 mammal species here including Four of the “Big Five’ and several endangered species – link here to list of mammals- so getting out and about at the key times should give you a safari experience you will not forget.

There are no guarantees for game sightings as you know, but El Karama is known for not just for the density of game, but also for the variety found here. Combined with over 404 bird species identified and the stunning landscapes, it’s hard to come back to camp sometimes!

All cars whether on the package or the self-drive option are accompanied by our guides. We recommend 4WD ONLY here (we do not accept minivans or matatu type vehicles.) If you come to us on the full package, which we recommend, you will be taken out in our custom-made, open game drive cars. These vehicles offer the best possible game viewing; they have no windows, a collapsible windscreen and a canvas top for sun protection. If you’re a photographer this is the only way to go. We like to strip things down to the bare essentials so that you can smell, hear and see the wildlife you’re watching.

Night drives: Because this is a private property night drives are possible, weather permitting. Chat to the staff when making your itinerary for the day and they will let you know what can be arranged. Cars must return to camp by 930pm latest.

Pool

Our swimming pool was completed at the end of 2013. It is a pioneering effort that has added something very special to our lodge. Not only does the pool area give you more space to explore, stunning and wide reaching views of the river, the Aberdares and the ridge beyond it has also proved popular with over 80 bird species who visit daily.

The pool itself comprises of a 14 m by 7m main pool with adjoining baby pool for little ones. It is chemical free and eco friendly: using the Eco Smarte system, which employs de-ionising for water purification rather than chlorine or salt, this pool is the first of its kind in Laikipia. We use solar energy from 9 panels to run the filtration system and the water can be recycled back into the eco system with no harmful effects. No chemicals are added and children and birds enjoy the clean water without side effects like itchy eyes or dry skin.

We are delighted as a family to be able to showcase this technology and it is just one of the many innovations we are dedicated to that fits with our vision for low impact, eco tourism.

There are two thatched houses on either side of the pool, both with deep fireplaces and comfy sofas. The larger mess house is a dining room with a bar where guests can take meals in smaller groups. We’ve stocked up on reading materials, baby toys and lots of candles and lanterns to create a cosy atmosphere in the evening.

All the wood details and furniture are hand crafted and made of fallen wood from the ranch and recycled cedar fence posts from the old cattle bomas. The pool is surrounded by a dry stone walling topped with indigenous, flowering aloes which keeps the wind out and the birds and butterflies happy!

The Farm

The property that you are visiting is a successful working cattle ranch. For over 50 years this ranch has produced high quality breeding stock for Kenya and the wider East African region. The herd also produces milk for commercial sale in the local area. The ranch prides itself of being an innovator and has pioneered holisitic grazing and moveable bomas in this area. For more information on this technique and what benefits it offers for biodiversity and conservation follow this link – Alan Savoury?/ EKR website.

Guests may visit the ranch HQ, the cattle and herdsmen and some farming activity taking place: milking, calving and cattle inspections. This is extremely popular for families and groups interested in seeing more of the working ranch and we are delighted to be able to share it with you.

Kids Only!

We love family groups and believe that this environment is ideal for children and teenagers. For this reason, we have developed activities specifically for kids.

Our ethos is remove the distractions of modern technology and to bring children (and adults) back to nature. We show your children how to collect and make sculptures with termite clay, how to track and make tracks using plaster casts, how to fish with hand lines and much much more.

We provide all the kit needed for these activities as part of our package and would encourage parents with children at a writing age to get them writing and drawing.

Idea: Travel diaries for kids can be a great way to store memories, fill that elusive hour in the middle of the morning when the sun is too hot for swimming and to get your kids to absorb and record what they have seen.

Bush Meals

For guests who stay with us for 3 nights or more on our full package, we always fit in bush meals. Eating under the stars in the evening by a fire in the bush or under a Bosquia tree while giraffe browse nearby is a memorable experience. If you are interested in this experience, mention it when booking and we’ll see what we can do.

Day Trips

We are lucky that the lodge is located in the heart of the Laikipia region and as such we can organize and recommend day trips to nearby ranches, conservancies and attractions.

The day trips can take you on a camel walk, a half-day horse ride or a rhino retreat! We have tried to create ideas of things that are different to the activities offered here and therefore complimentary. (Please note all activities are organized through third party companies, read through our indemnity forms and information sheets regarding risk and liability.

1.

NON-RESIDENTS RATES 2015

BASIPACKAG(FBPPN

(This rate is for clients who wish to come with their own vehicle and driver)

Rate Conservation Fee
Adult US$ 340 US$ 60
Single Supplement US$ 100
Children (3 – 12years) US$ 170 US$ 30

 

Included:

Accommodation

All meals and drinking water

Welcome juice and breakfast juices

A guide for game drives and other activities (in guest’s own vehicle)

Accompanied game walks

Farm visits

Swimming Pool

Children’s activities

Not included:

Any additional drinks: sodas, wine, beer, spirits, champagne or sparkling wine

Use of lodge vehicle and driver

Transfers to Nanyuki airstrip $200 one-way using third party company based in Nanyuki.

Conservation fees (as indicated above)

Christmas/New Year

We do not currently charge a supplement over Christmas and New Year, however we do require the following:

Minimum stay of three nights on either tariff

Minimum number of 8 guests per booking

2.

NON-RESIDENT RATES 2015

FULLPACKAGE(FB)PPN

Rate Conservation Fee
Adult US$ 390 US$ 60
Single Supplement US$ 100
Children (3 – 12years) US$ 195 US$ 30

Included:

Accommodation

All meals

House drinks: juice, house wine, beer, sundowner

Game drives and night drives

A guide and vehicle for game drives and night drives (shared)

Accompanied game walks

Farm visits

Swimming Pool

Children’s activities

Transfer to and from El Karama airstrip

Not Included:

Spirits, champagne or sparkling wine

Transfers to Nanyuki airstrip $200 one-way using third party company based in Nanyuki.

Conservation fees (as indicated above)

Christmas/New Year

We do not currently charge a supplement over Christmas and New Year, however we do require the following:

Minimum stay of three nights on either tariff

Minimum number of 8 guests per booking

 

1. RESIDENT RATES 2015

BASCPACKAG(FBPPN

(This rate is for resident clients who wish to come with their own vehicle and driver)

Rate Conservation Fee
Adult KES 12,000 KES 1,800
Single Supplement KES 5,000
Children (3 – 12years) KES 6,000 KES 900

 

Included:

Accommodation

All meals and drinking water

A guide for game drives and other activities (in guest’s own vehicle)

Accompanied game walks t_ Swimming pool

Farm visits

Children’s activities

Not Included:

All beverages (to paid in cash at our bar) t_ Conservation fees (as indicated above)

Game drive vehicle and driver for activities- though this option is available @ KES 12,000 per day for up to 6 pax

Christmas/New Year

We do not currently charge a supplement over Christmas and New Year, however we do require the following:

Booking confirmation will be on no less than a 50% deposit. We require full balance of payment no less than 30 days before arrival.

Minimum stay of three nights on either tariff

Minimum number of 8 guests per booking

2. RESIDENT RATES 2015

 FULL PACKAG(FBPPN

Rate Conservation Fee
Adult KES 14,500 KES 1,800
Single Supplement KES 5,000
Children (3 – 12years) KES 7,200 KES 900

 

Included:

Accommodation

All meals and non-alcoholic beverages

Game drives and night drives

A guide and vehicle for game drives and night drives

Accompanied game walks

Swimming pool

Farm visits

Children’s activities

Not Included:

All alcoholic beverages (to paid in cash at our bar)

Conservation fees (as indicated above)

Christmas/New Year

We do not currently charge a supplement over Christmas and New Year, however we do require the following:

Minimum stay of three nights on either tariff

Minimum number of 8 guests per booking

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