This lodge is an owner-operated labour of love. Murray and Sophie created this experience to share the magic of a very special place with guests from all around the world.
"We wanted to contribute crucial revenue to help cover some of the habitat protection costs of El Karama Wildlife Conservancy and to also offer livelihood opportunities and benefits to our neighbours in the immediate region. This operation is so much more than a safari lodge, it is a platform for learning, cultural exchange and adventure!"
Sophie and Murray Grant, Founders
Immersion, connection and love for the natural world is what we are all about.
All guests contribute directly to conservation here.
Come on, join our journey!
We take great pride in the team we have trained in the past 15 years and are privileged to have them by our side. All of them are Kenyans, some from nearby and some from further afield, all committed to high standards of service, hospitality and wildlife conservation. We have been together since the very beginning; indeed, our team hauled rocks with us, by hand, from the river bed to lay foundations and build the beginnings of this beloved lodge. As a result we are all deeply connected to the eco system in which we live and work together.
"It is this personal connection that makes safaris here so special: Sophie and Murray and their team are committed to the long term success of the conservancy, we as guests could feel it in every detail and conversation, this place is the real thing..."
Our team are your hosts while you are with us, which means all guests walk away with a richer understanding of local culture in Kenya. We all believe this is the most authentic way to experience the people of this country, so please, take the time to get to know us all on your safari.
Why is our lodge so special for families? Because it's run by one. The Grant family has a strong creative heritage that can be seen in every part of the lodge life from art on the walls to the sculptures in the shared areas. They believe in the power of the natural world to shape and inspire young people and their uniqueBush School activity is focused on bringing children a deeper understanding of the importance of protecting the natural world in their future. For multigenerational safaris we have the perfect combination of active safaris on foot and horse back and the quieter slower safari experiences like the Rock Hide and Sleep outs for those who prefer to take their time.
Sophie Grant, came to Kenya as a volunteer for the Good Earth Trust in 2006 and moved to El Karama in 2008 after falling in love with Murray. A Cambridge graduate passionate about sustainable small businesses that benefit people and the environment she has spent 13 years creating the El Karama Lodge experience and team (and more recently also El Karama Wild). A newly published author of 'The Bush Kitchen: Notes and Recipes from the Wild, her love for the food, cooking and growing is in evidence every day. Sophie oversees the Lodge from behind the scenes and loves meeting guests and sharing her garden and recipes!
Murray Grant, a renowned Sculptor of wildlife bronzes was born and brought up at El Karama. He is an active Director of the Conservancy and his private studio is located here in the bush. Interested collectors of fine art can book to visit him in person during a lodge stay. Murray is the original founder of El Karama Lodge and built the first parts of the lodge by hand back in 2006. Together with Sophie and the team he has supported the lodge development over 15 years, ensuring that it generates positively and consistently to this vital eco system. For more details on Murray's work please visit: www.murraygrantbronzes.com.
We have a collective responsibility as stewards of this landscape and welcome all guests to actively take part in this journey. All of our guests are welcomed like family. Our hope is that through all our safari experiences, we can share the true value of this incredible wild space and inspire all those who visit. To us, curiosity, a sense of adventure and self-sufficiency are the crucial ingredients for truly transformative encounters.
We want you to experience this life as we do; wonder at the tiny tracks of dik diks on a sandy path, marvel at the light across the plains after a rainstorm, delight in harvesting avocados for lunch directly from the tree and most important of all, to take a step back from the pace of modern existence.
Murray and Sophie built this lodge with their team, many of whom grew up here, beginning in 2006 and continuing on to this very day. The growth has been organic, holistic and it shows in the warmth and enthusiasm of every person who works here. Each building has been designed by us in-house and built by hand with the team, many of whom are our neighbours, using local materials and including hand-carved artisanal furniture and decor. All the artwork is donated by the Grant family, who are extremely creative.
We have tried to support as many small businesses as possible in the creation of our tourism experiences and in our day to day green operations, we use a strict local
procurement strategy ensuring that we buy local, eat seasonal and generate as much as possible for our local economy, believing this approach is truly sustainable tourism