Arijiju is incredibly beautiful, with pretty much every luxury and amenity you could wish for. Both tasteful and stylish without being over the top, Arijiju is arguably one of the best private houses in Kenya. This is a stunning establishment, inspired by the monasteries of neighboring Ethiopia, and places a lot of its focus on wellness. The spa is exceptional, the food is delicious with a strong eye on being healthy, the gym is well equipped, and we haven’t even mentioned the sporting equipment provided. The lodge offers a variety of sizes for all guests – you can walk into a room and choose from over 30 pairs of new trainers for running or tennis. Built into the earth of the Laikipia wildscape, this is as much a retreat as it is a safari lodge. Arijiju is far from the main crowds and its elemental design, melding seamlessly with the surrounding landscape, conceals the amazing extravagance within.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
Arijiju is in the Borana Conservancy, an enormous private game reserve in the Laikipia region of Kenya. This reserve starts at Mount Kenya, crosses the equator, and finishes in the semi-desert plains of the north. There are excellent game concentrations here – you can expect prides of lion, lots of cheetah, buffalo, zebra, elephant, giraffe, and even black and white rhino. The Borana Conservancy is a vital gateway for many animals moving between Mount Kenya and the northern lands. Guests fly into Lewa airstrip on a scheduled light aircraft, and then it’s an hour’s drive into the hills to the house. There is a private airstrip nearer the house, but this requires a private charter.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT ARIJIJU:
The rooms are exquisite. There are three suites in the main house and two cottages close by along a stone walkway. The position of the house was chosen for its views of Mount Kenya and specifically so that each bedroom gets a wondrous equatorial showpiece sunrise every morning! All rooms are super-elegant, featuring heavenly beds, copper bathtubs, outdoor showers, enormous windows, furniture designed by local artisans, open fireplaces, and even a ‘constellation suite’ on the roof for gazing at the vast African night sky. Old world meets the height of modern luxury, with nothing left to chance. While there’s a family home feel at Arijiju, they’ve put together a team of world-class operators – from the chefs, butlers, guides, managers, there’s not much they haven’t thought of here!
The facilities at the house are wide ranging. There’s a cinema, games room, squash court, football pitch, clay tennis court, gym, wood-burning hot tub, and yoga shala. The spa is a wonder of the world, complete with vaulted hammam. Relax with treatments from Frida and Eunice as they help you unwind with techniques from the Samburu and Maasai medicinal traditions. Up to six treatments per day are included with the house.
For those needing it, there is a spacious private office within the house, with state-of-the-art equipment – perfect for a long stay with a family member who needs to stay connected.
ACTIVITIES AT ARIJIJU:
As already mentioned, there’s a vast amount to do at Arijiju! Please note that some of the activities incur an extra cost, helicopters and quad bikes for instance. Do contact one of our Kenya specialists for more information on what is included with the house rate.
Horseback safaris- This is the best way to get close to the animals in Borana, as they are more relaxed around horses than 4x4s. Arijiju has access to three sets of stables and the lodge caters for all levels, from total beginner to advanced. Staff will actively encourage everyone to try a horseback safari at least once. It really is a special experience – and even for those who think they’ve done a lot of safari, this is next level! If you fancy a slightly less tranquil way to get around, they also offer quad bikes.
Expertly guided game drives- For when you don’t fancy being in the saddle, revert to a more conventional game-viewing method. Borana Conservancy and the Lewa Downs area are covered in game and offer an excellent range of wildlife. Highlights include lion, elephant, cheetah, leopard, buffalo, zebra, spotted hyena, wild dog, and lots of other predators and herbivores. This area is also one of the last strongholds of black rhino in Africa.
Games and sports- For a place that has exceptional spa and relaxation facilities, there’s also an enormous amount to do! Squash, football, clay tennis, mountain bikes, gym, board and card games, yoga, quad bikes.
Helicopter safari- At approximately $2,500 per person per hour, this activity is pretty pricey! But there are some stunning places to visit beyond the normal range of land vehicles. Heli-drop to fly-fish the lakes of Mount Kenya, explore the dunes at Suguta Valley, or traverse the rocks at Kenya’s Northern Frontier. Visit Lake Turkana and the volcanic surrounds, with the legendary Jade Sea and its many flamingos. Visit Reteti Elephant Sanctuary for a morning trip to feeding time, with a mountaintop lunch on the way back.
Walking safaris- Accompanied by an expert guide, as well as an armed scout for your protection, this activity is perfect for travellers who want to get to know the smaller lives of Borana, such as the park’s plants, insects, and hundreds of types of bird. You can occasionally track big game too.
Night driving- Head out on a torch-lit drive. Always an unforgettable experience watching what goes on at night! There are many interesting nocturnal species to spot – porcupines, bush-babies and aardvarks for example.
Conservation and culture- Visit local community projects on the edges of the reserve, and join the rangers in tracking radio-collared rhinos and lions.
*This property is unfenced and located in a wildlife area, so large and potentially dangerous animals do pass through. If you opt to stay here, always be alert when walking around the camp and request for a member of staff to escort you if you have any concerns. Any guest is escorted after dark as a matter of course.