Laikipia’s hidden gem and leader in sustainable family travel in Kenya
REWILDING GUESTS SINCE 2006:
'So Much More than a Safari holiday...'
El Karama Lodge is an intimate, owner-operated, award-winning lodge specialising in family safaris and small groups looking for adventure in the wild! Located in the heart of Kenya's most unusual wildlife area, the Laikipia, on 14,000 acres of private land and with access to over 60,000 acres. The wildlife experience here is world–class, offering abundant sightings of four of the Big 5 and over 430 bird species. With outstanding views of natural beauty; guests can wake up to the peaks of Mount Kenya and fall asleep to the sounds of the mighty Ewaso Nyiro river. It's all about freedom and privacy here: whether you like to walk, camp under the moonlight, drive, track with guides, fish, visit the working farm and organic garden or learn more about wildlife conservation in action with the rangers, the El Karama team will make it all possible. We also have Kenya's first bush school for children, which is focussed on educating and rewinding children during their safari with us.
A truly authentic safari experience hosted by some of Kenya's finest...
PROTECTING THIS HABITAT SINCE 1963
Although our journey at the lodge began in 2006, this working ranch has been protecting wildlife since 1963 when it began. With strong values and a passion for supporting biodiversity through innovation, hard work and long term strategies that focus on sustainability, a safari here is so much more than a holiday. This place and its formidable team has reinvented the Kenyan Safari experience, from the pioneering use of renewable green technologies to our 'stand fast' approach to small business and the nurturing of entrepreneurs in our region, this environment and its wildlife is being stewarded by a family and team who are committed to the long term sustainability of this incredible region that is called Laikipia.
Guests who visit become a part of our journey and their stay contributes directly to conservation here.
Our primary goal as an eco lodge isto protect Kenya's wildlife through the revenue generated by tourism. Properties that provide safe haven to wildlife in this country do so at their own cost. 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 eco tourism lodge 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 property has an outstanding anti-poaching team of trained rangers who are charged with protecting this entire eco system. The lodge also collaborates with regional research bodies annually run by Kenya Wildlife Service and independent organisations such as Lion Landscapes, Mpala Research Unit and the Great Grevy Trust to ensure that our data collection and monitoring efforts are shared over the whole landscape. The bird count here has reached 430 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 with our neighbours and entrepreneurs living in our area we can make a positive impact over time. Through long term employment strategies, training and development, education, strict local procurement strategies, ethical operations and decades of nurturing small business relationships in our neighbourhood, this lodge works hard to prove that a commitment to self-sustaining activities is a powerful tool for change. This small business runs an annual 6 week internship for 2 local students to study eco tourism and sustainability in-house, we welcome school visits throughout the year, create awareness through an annual events programme and pop up days out, we engage in career mentorship and school visits with our team as well as building business relationships with entrepreneurs in our immediate region. Our local procurement strategy ensures that we buy supplies from within a limited area to help provide direct benefits to our colleagues through business. All infrastructure projects involve large amounts of employment and are instrumental feeding grounds for new skills development and opportunity. 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. We train in all departments to ensure minimal waste and minimal water consumption is always a priority. The Lodge supports a number of research and monitoring efforts throughout the ranch 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 have also created an exclusion zone here to protect important tree and plant species in this area and will be launching a new seeding production project in 2020 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.