EL KARAMA LODGE, KENYA
Sustainable Safaris. Family Travel. Adventure.
THE ULTIMATE REWILDING EXPERIENCE
El Karama Lodge is an intimate, owner-operated, award-winning lodge and safari experience, created by one of Africa's most gifted wildlife sculptors Murray Grant and his wife Sophie. Located in the heart of one of Kenya's most beautiful private wildlife conservancies, guests are hosted by a warm and hospitable team of Kenyans who we promise will be unforgettable companions on your safari!
We are Trusted Specialists in Sustainable Travel, Adventure and Wildlife Safaris. Offering tailor-made experiences for families and small private groups who want to immerse in a truly wild and natural world, connecting with local cultures and ancient landscapes through remote, authentic and exclusive lodge stays, mobile walking and fly-camping adventures and wildlife and conservation experiences.
"This was so much more than holiday, it was a once in a lifetime experience that changed us..."
*Farm to fork dining: visit the organic garden, orchard and working farm to see where your food comes from*
*Bush School for Kids: activities to engage and educate young minds on safari so that parents can relax!*
*Guided walking activities with experienced and knowledgable guides*
*Open, canvas-topped safari cars for amazing game viewing experience*
*Private fly camp for under the stars adventures
*Bush Meals and Open fire cooking*
*Multi-day Walking Adventures with fly camping as an add on to Lodge Stay*
*Full day adventures to the waterfall or river*
*Game drives and Night Drives with wildlife friendly spotlights*
*Horse Riding: explore the landscape on horseback - for experienced riders only*
*Wildlife viewing hide for photographers next to a large dam and wetland*
*Fishing, Tracking, Boma visits*
*Interactive Wildlife, Birding and Conservation Activities*
*The Bush Kitchen for Cooking Lessons*
*Wellness area for massage and beauty treatments*
*Combo safaris with camels and culture/ quad bikes and mountain bikes*
*Heli safaris to fish on Mount Kenya and explore the wild North*
*Visits to Community Run Elephant Rehabilitation Sanctuary*
*Fixed-wing scenic flights*
*Visits to Community Run Black Rhino Tracking experience in Northern Kenya*
The perfect African safari destination with complete privacy in the wild.
This very private lodge is located in the foothills of Mount Kenya, inside a 14,000 acre private wildlife conservancy in Laikipia: one of Kenya's most exclusive and diverse wildlife regions. Home to several endemic and endangered species including the Grevy Zebra, Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Hippo, Aardwolf, Aardvarok, African Hunting Dogs and many other mammals, birds, insects and plants. The views are far-reaching, the landscapes incredibly beautiful and the experience unforgettable.
*Only 8 Very Private Cottages made of beautiful hand-cut stone offering true Rustic Luxury overlooking the Ewaso Nyiro river*
*The 2 Bedroom Family Cottage: The 'Hobbit House' with Tree house style 2nd floor bedrooms*
*4 Ensuite Bandas with private verandas and cosy swinging chairs looking on the river*
*Luxury River Camp :2 Large Cottages with a private kitchen, dining room//bar, fire pit and outdoor tub*
*Gorgeous high-roofed, thatched dining rooms with open log fires making every meal an experience to remember*
*Private dining available: vegan and gluten free menus on request*
*Open fire pits under the stars for tasty bitings and moonlit cocktails *
*Kenya's first eco-swimming pool with games room and volleyball*
*Swinging arm chairs with great views for bird watching and reading*
*Salt Licks and waterholes attracting wildlife close to camp for great game viewing*
Guests have almost total freedom and privacy here: whether you like to walk, fly camp under the stars, game drive, night drive, track on foot with guides, horse ride, fish, visit the working farm, pick your vegetables in our organic garden, have cooking lessons or engage with our wildlife conservation activities with the rangers, the El Karama Lodge team will make it all possible. Long stays are encouraged.
Kenya's first Bush School for children is embedded in the lodge activities: an adventure kids club focussed on educating and 'rewilding' children during their safari means families are well-catered for. As Covid-19 affects us all, we are offering families a Long Stay bush base for those wishing to relocate their children's Remote Learning activities to a safe place.
The Bush Kitchen: Our interactive barn-style kitchen and organic garden and farm set up ensures that farm to fork cooking classes are never far away and cookery courses happen annually.
The Studio: Murray Grant, the Lodge Founder and Co-Director of El Karama Conservancy has his private sculpture studio right next to the lodge. Interested collectors of Fine Art can stay in the lodge, learn about his process and seeing his bronze artwork and renowned photographic research. To find out more visit www.murraygrantbronzes.com
Our guests can enjoy unique day and combination trips with our partners to visit iconic community run Black Rhino havens or fly up in a private plane to an incredible Elephant Rehabilitation Sanctuary in the Matthews Range. Once in a life time Helicopter trips to fly-fish on Mount Kenya or to connect with remote fly camping and quad bikes in the sandy river beds of North Kenya with expert guides. We will share all our best knowledge and contacts with you to ensure that anything you do outside of El Karama keeps building on what you have done here.
To discuss our unique itineraries just email us:
The Ultimate Rewilding Experience: Hosted by some of Kenya's finest.
The wildlife experience here is world–class, offering immersive and very private experiences, with abundant daily sightings of iconic East African Wildlife including Leopard, Lion, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Grevy Zebra and Reticulated Giraffe and much more... Recognised as a Globally Important Bird Area, our guests can explore this stunning landscape on foot with experienced guides, by car in open canvas topped vehicles, on horse back and under the stars with our exclusive fly camp adventure. With only one lodge inside the conservancy, this level of privacy in Kenya is unparalleled.
Interactive conservation projects for guests to be involved here in include El Karama Lodge's unique Leopard Mirror Project, Lion behaviour research and monitoring through Lion Landscapes and a lodge-funded Reforestation and Seed Bank Project for the Acacia Nilotica tree species.
Families on safari can enjoy Laikipia's first Bush School for Kids!
The lodge is also a hub for Education Safaris and we offer courses led by expert tutors throughout the year, ranging from Yoga, Pilates, Cooking, Guide Training, Birding, Botany and Entomology.
OUR CONSERVATION MODEL
Protecting this habitat since 1964 through small sustainable business
This private conservancy has been stewarding this habitat since 1964 when it began. With a passion for protecting wildlife and supporting biodiversity through innovation, holistic management and long term strategies that focus on sustainability, a wildlife safari here is so much more than a holiday. This family-owned Lodge and its formidable team have reinvented the Kenyan Safari experience for their guests; from the pioneering use of renewable green technologies to the nurturing of entrepreneurs in the region through strict local procurement strategies.
The Lodge operations are not currently supported by any donor funding to operate. We believe in the power of small business and continuous innovation on the ground to ensure that if we rise, we rise together.
All guests who visit become a part of our journey and their stay contributes directly to conservation here.
Arriving at El Karama Lodge, is like walking into a unique bush home. The privacy, freedom, the authentic feel of a lodge that offers every comfort without feeling detached from surroundings.
You will head out every day in search of adventure, gazing over vast rollings plains, stunning riverine habitat, rocky escarpments and a dramatic waterfall, this landscape provides it all. Whether you like getting out on foot, in vehicles, sleeping under the stars, cooking on open fires or simply sitting patiently at the rock hide with your camera and binoculars waiting for hippos or water birds, our team will make it happen. Private vehicle use is no problem for us as are private meal experiences, day trips and well being (Massage, Yoga). ) Just let us know when you book.
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your stay at El Karama Lodge.
Since we first began building the lodge back in 2006, it has grown organically into a beautiful, self-sustaining eco-lodge well-loved by visitors from all over the world.
Sophie and Murray and their team have put time and energy into this very special place, and welcome their guests to enjoy a taste of life in the wilderness. Their hope is that time spent in natural world has the power to inspire, invigorate and create well-being for all travellers in search of that all import personal connection and adventure.
"Our core philosophy is sustainability. We have a collective responsibility as stewards of this landscape and welcome all guests to actively take part in this journey."
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Our primary goal as an eco lodge is to protect Kenya's wildlife through the revenue generated by eco-tourism.
Private conservancies that provide safe haven to wildlife in this country do so at their own cost and there are many different conservation models out there, ours is fairly unique in that we receive no donor funding or outside support in what we are doing,, choosing sustainable and diversified business as our models to implement our habitat management strategies. This habitat is home to 4 of the Big 5 and several endangered and indigenous species to Laikipia including Reticulated Giraffe, Grevy Zebra, Gerenuk and the Laikipia Hartebeeste. This small business was created to help cover the cost of protecting this habitat. Guests who visit us are therefore directly contributing to conservation by choosing to stay here. This conservancy has a dedicated anti-poaching team of trained rangers who are charged with protecting the entire eco system. The lodge also collaborates with national and regional organisations specialising in wildlife protection including Kenya Wildlife Service, Lion Landscapes, Mpala Research Unit and the Great Grevy Trust to ensure that our data collection and monitoring efforts are shared over the entire Laikipia landscape. The verified bird count here has reached 431 species including migrants and this landscape has been included as an Important Bird Area since 2018.
Protecting unique eco systems is something we do as a community. We believe that through small business and mutually beneficial working relationships we can make a positive impact over time. We have long-term employment strategies, training and development, education, strict local procurement strategies, ethical operations (accredited by Eco Tourism Kenya). This lodge works hard to prove that a commitment to sustainable activities is a powerful tool for change. We have self-funded annual 6 week internship at our lodge for 2 local students, giving a crucial insight into working life and creating mentoring opportunities within our team. We also welcome school visits throughout the year free of charge. We serve our community by creating an annual cultural events programme, resident offers and pop up days out, We engage in career mentorship and school visits with our team and incorporate this into our guest experience ensuring that this form of tourism has a positive 'ripple effect' for those not directly employed here. Our local procurement strategy ensures support to local producers only for anything we cannot grow ourselves. All infrastructure projects involve large amounts of employment and are instrumental feeding grounds for new skills development and opportunities to join the team. Our team of permanent staff now numbers 24 local Kenyan professionals.
Through the exclusive use of renewable energy, 100 percent water harvesting, monitoring and metering and responsible resource use we ensure our impact on our operation has a very low footprint for a business of its size. We operate on 100% solar energy, zero waste goals, we pioneered Kenya's first eco-swimming pool and our practices are accredited annually by Eco Tourism Kenya. We won the Eco Warrior Award in Kenya for our responsible consumption approach and our team are committed to and accountable for observing sustainable practice. The Lodge supports a number of research and monitoring efforts throughout the region and the wider region and contribute data annually to these through our own guide monitoring practices and annual census counts for species such as Grevy Zebra and Lion. We are pioneers of a new Leopard monitoring technique using stationary mirrors and trail cameras to ID leopard and have also created an exclusion zone here to protect important tree and plant species. In January 2020 we launched a new seedling planting and reforestation project to help stabilise the damage done by Elephants and climate change in this area. These are just some of the ways in which this tourism operation positively benefits the environment in which we operate.