On a recent safari one of the main attractions was a stay on Borana Conservancy in the Laikipia region in central Kenya. We flew in from Samburu Land towards Mount Kenya on a beautiful clear day, with a spectacular view of the snow-capped mountain.
It had been dry in Samburu and the rains and green landscape of Borana Conservancy were a welcome reprieve. Our home for the few days we were visitors was Borana Lodge, nestled amongst rolling hills and close to the original Pride Rock as featured in Disney’s Lion King, which we walked out to for sundowers on the first night of our stay.
Borana Conservancy is dedicated to the sustainable conservation of critical habitat and wildlife and has made its’ mission to provide a sustainable ecosystem, in partnership with their neighbours and community, for critically endangered species on the brink of extinction. This approach commits tourism, ranching and other enterprise to build local livelihoods and enhance ecosystem integrity. 2 years ago, rhinos were re-introduced to the ranch and have become a “flagship” species within Borana. As a result of this, the highly trained anti-poaching security team now numbers over 100 men, who are continually trained and deployed day and night to provide the eyes and ears to make sure that the wildlife in Borana is kept safe.
As Borana is a conservancy it offers guests the opportunity to experience wildlife beyond the game drive vehicle, which would not be possible within a national park or reserve. Our guests were keen explorers and eager to get out into nature. They started by hiking along the Ngare Ndare river, which runs through the neighbouring Ngare Ndare forest, the only indigenous forest in Kenya that has expanding canopy cover, with ancient African Olive and Red Cedar trees that are thought to be around 200 years old. The reward for our exertions was a swim in a beautiful natural plunge pool.
Borana is a working ranch and another highlight of the visit was horseback riding, one of their specialities. Our outing, on gentle ex-polo ponies, lasted about 2 hours and we were able to ride amongst giraffes, eland, zebra and even close to rhinoceros as well – all against a backdrop of incredible scenery!
For anyone looking to get off the beaten track on their next Kenya safari, Borana could not come more highly recommended.