Laikipia’s leader in sustainable travel, family wildlife safaris and adventure in Kenya
THE ULTIMATE REWILDING EXPERIENCE
El Karama Lodge is an intimate, owner-operated, award-winning lodge built by one of Africa's most gifted wildlife sculptors Murray Grant and his wife Sophie who continues to actively run the safari business.
Specialising in sustainable travel, adventure and wildlife safaris, particularly suited to families and small private groups who love the natural world and who care about their impact on this planet. Winners of Kenya's Prestigious Eco Warrior Award for it's commitment to environmental good practice and sustainability, this lodge contributes directly to conservation in Laikipia.
The perfect African safari destination with complete privacy in the wild. We are located in the heart of a 14,000 acre private wildlife conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya's most diverse wildlife region. Home to several endemic and endangered species including the Grevy Zebra, Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Leopard, Cheetah, Hippo, Aardwolf and many other mammals, birds, insects and plants. The views are far reaching, the landscapes incredibly beautiful and the experience unforgettable.
*8 very private cottages including a family 'tree house' cottage and a small private camp for extra privacy with 2 luxury Rooms and private bar and dining area*
*Bush School for kids: activities to engage and educate young minds on safari so that parents can relax!*
*Guided walking activities*
*Private fly camp experiences under the stars with open fire cooking*
*Extended 2 day Fly Camping Adventures as an add on to Lodge Stay*
*Full day walking adventures at the waterfall or river*
*Game drives and Night Drives with wildlife friendly spotlights*
*Horse Riding with a neighbouring operation for experienced riders*
*Wildlife viewing hide for photographers next to a large dam and wetland*
*Fishing, Tracking, Farm visits*
*Interactive Wildlife, Birding and Conservation Activities*
*Farm to fork dining: visit the organic garden, orchard and working farm*
*Gorgeous high roofed, thatched dining rooms with open log fires making every meal an experience to remember. Private dining available*
*Open fire pits for moonlit cocktails and tall tales*
*Kenya's first eco-swimming pool with games room and cosy reading areas*
*Swinging arm chairs with great views*
*The Bush Kitchen for Cooking Lessons for kids and adults*
*Wellness area for massage treatments*
COVID-19 SAFE TRAVEL
Our Lodge has received all permissions to open and is now nationally certified as being safe to operate with all necessary Covid protocols in place by the Ministry of Health and the County Government of Laikipia. Click here to see more. We are offering EXCLUSIVE USE, LONG STAY and WORK AWAY options for guests wishing to escape the city and to find some space to work and learn and live remotely. We are committed to supporting our team and our community through employment and operations. We are a small eco-tourism business, this conservancy and the lodge receive no donor income or outside investment/revenue to operate. We as a lodge function solely on small sustainable business relationships for all our operations, outreach and impact. Staying on safari or booking in advance for a later trip in the future will help us to keep staff employed and suppliers in our local region surviving the effects of this pandemic. If your want to find out more, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The wildlife experience here is world–class, offering abundant daily sightings of the Big 4, incredible bird life, stunning landscapes to walk, drive, explore and sleep in under the stars. With only one lodge on this property currently the level of privacy within game sightings is impressive.
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 and of course Laikipia's first Bush School for kids! The lodge is also a hub for training and we offer courses throughout the year ranging from Yoga, Pilates, Cooking, Guide Training, Birding, Botany, Entomology and much more. For further information see our Events section at the bottom of the home page.
This precious habitat supports over 431 verified bird species and Northern mammals such as Grevy's Zebra, Gerenuk and Vulterine Guinea Fowl. With outstanding views of natural beauty including a spectacular waterfall, mixed habitat and direct views of Mount Kenya; guests can wake up to the peaks of Kenya's most exciting climbing peak and fall asleep to the sounds of the mighty Ewaso Nyiro river and hippo grunting!
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, 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 and we also offer longer Fly Camping and walking experiences tandem with a lodge stay for the more adventurous traveller.
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. Contact us to find out more.
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. Look out in 2021 for our first internationally hosted cooking course!
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 and spend time in the studio learning about his bronze artwork and renowned photographic research.
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 Helicopters to fly-fish on Mount Kenya or 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. Contributing to a new wave of sustainable tourism activities in Kenya's most prized wildlife region.
PROTECTING THIS HABITAT SINCE 1964
This private conservancy has been protecting wildlife since 1964 when it began. With a passion for 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 place and its formidable team have reinvented the Kenyan Safari experience for their guests; from the pioneering use of renewable green technologies and nurturing of entrepreneurs in our region to the protection of so many species, this unique habitat is being stewarded by a family and team who are committed to the long term stability of Laikipia.
Our model of conservation here is fairly unique in that it operates on small business and diversification, this also extends to the eco tourism model.
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.
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.