Laikipia

El Karama Lodge

Overview

Family adventure

El Karama is a much-loved owner-operated safari lodge on a beautiful private wildlife conservancy in the foothills of Mount Kenya.

A passion project of contemporary wildlife sculptors Murray Grant and his wife Sophie with a purpose of protecting wildlife and supporting local communities in a truly sustainable manner. With its broad roster of activities, warm team and immersive wildlife adventures, it is an excellent lodge for families of all ages.

There are four unique cottages crafted from local river stone, carved fallen wood, thatch and canvas, as well as two two-bedroom cottages – the charming ‘Hobbit House’ and the Rondavel.

Shared areas include an open kitchen serving up wonderful organic produce, much of it from the farm, as well as a chemical-free eco swimming pool with wonderful views.

Facts

At a glance

  • Four bandas and two two-bedroom cottages

  • Swimming pool

  • Open kitchen

  • Spa

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Experiences

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    Game drives

    This is a surefire way to see wildlife on El Karama. Vehicles offer the best possible game viewing with no windows, a collapsible windscreen and a canvas top for sun protection. Because this is a private property night drives are always possible and can yield exciting sightings of aardvark, bush babies and predators like leopard and serval.

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    Walking safaris

    Walking safaris with experienced guides are one of the most amazing ways to see El Karama and nothing quite compares to this for connecting with the bush and understanding how everything connects.

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    Activities for younger children

    There are a range of activities on offer for smaller ones at the Bush School such as tracking, clay sculpting, baking, crafts, farm visits and more.

Community & Culture

Founders Sophie and Murray Grant see El Karama operation as platform for learning, cultural exchange and adventure. During its organic growth, each building has been built by a local team with local materials with many of the staff having played a part. The lodge aims to support as many small businesses as possible in the creation of tourism experiences and in day-to-day green operations, with a strict local procurement strategy supporting the local economy. El Karama funds internships for Kenyan students, creates mentoring opportunities within our team and welcomes school visits throughout the year.

Conservation

Private conservancies that provide haven to wildlife in Kenya do so at their own cost. El Karama was created to help cover the cost of protecting this habitat as part of a sustainable and diversified business that also improves local livelihoods.

This conservancy has a dedicated anti-poaching team of trained rangers who are charged with protecting the entire ecosystem. The lodge also collaborates with national and regional organisations specialising in wildlife protection including the 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 lodge team can share a report with interested guests that explains to see how impacts are measured here.

Footprint

Through the exclusive use of renewable energy, 100% water harvesting, zero waste goals and responsible resource use, El Karama ensures operations have a very low footprint. The lodge pioneered Kenya's first eco-swimming pool and practices are accredited annually by Eco Tourism Kenya, winning the Eco Warrior Award in Kenya for responsible consumption approach.

All our food is home-made, 90% is home-grown on the organic garden at the farm HQ and all meat is locally sourced if not from here then from within a 60km radius. The only fish on offer is locally sourced trout.

What makes us different

Why Niarra

Niarra Travel is a forward-thinking travel company headquartered in London born out of a passion to do things differently.

In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken by millions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the name Niara means "with utmost purpose" and our team are united by a passion for exploration and a belief that the right kind of travel can make the world a better place.

Our Travel Researchers are here to create incredible trips with a positive impact for you.

  • Unforgettable experiences

    Creating your trip is entirely collaborative and our Travel Researchers are here for every step.

  • Positive impact

    Curated sustainable experiences and accommodation that maximize the benefits to local people and place.

  • Fairness and transparency

    An open, competitive pricing structure that ensures more money goes to where it's needed in the destination.

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