Kifaru House: Our View
Kifaru House is part of the Elewana group, which is one of the best value luxury operators in East Africa and hascamps throughout Kenya and Tanzania. Kifaru House is located in the impressive Lewa Conservancy which offers some of the finest game viewing in the Laikipia region. Whereas Elewana’s other lodge in Lewa - Lewa Safari Camp - is an excellent mid-price option, Kifaru House is definitely in the high end luxury category.
Much loved by celebrities and the British royal family - this is where Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton (!) – Lewa Conservancy is probably one of the most prestigious reserves in Kenya. But underlying this glamourous image is a serious mission. In a region that is famous for its wildlife conservation, Lewa has been at the forefront - and one of its most significant contributions has been in rhino preservation. This dates back to the 1980’s when the Craig family, who owned the ranch, started converting land to wildlife conservation and introduced rhino. Protected by some of the most formidable anti-poaching teams in Africa, they have flourished and now around 10% of the rhino in Kenya are found in the Lewa Conservancy!
With only 5 thatched cottages Kifaru House is one of the most intimate lodges in Laikipia and offers a wide range of activities. It is not cheap and is probably one of the most expensive lodges in the region. But for clients looking for a truly luxurious, exclusive hideaway with very personal service and fantastic guiding, then it is a good option. Elewana’s extensive network of camps in East Africa is also an advantage for clients who want to do longer trips combining different areas in Kenya, as they also have camps in the Masai Mara, Amboseli and Meru. This makes it possible for clients to do multi night stays in Elewana camps and enjoy special offers and discounts from Elewana that provide even better value.
Kifaru House: Quick Facts
- 5 luxurious thatched cottages with ensuite bathroom with shower
- Superb location in the Lewa Conservancy, one of the best private conservancies in Laikipia
- Diverse activities offered including game drives and walking safaris (included in cost)
- Horse & camel riding, Ngare Ndare Forest, cultural & conservation visits at additional cost
- Children of all ages welcome although it is better suited for families with older children unless booking the lodge on an exclusive basis
- Good facilities including swimming pool and WiFi in room
- Massage treatments (additional cost)
- Access is usually by scheduled flight into Lewa airstrip
Kifaru House: The Details
The cottages at Kifaru House were originally built for the exclusive use of private donors to the Lewa Conservancy. But in 2018 Kifaru House was taken over by Elewana and is now operated as a high end lodge that anyone can book. The location is very beautiful with its own pretty gardens and stunning views onto the grass plains of Lewa. With just 5 cottages it is very intimate indeed. One of the cottages has 2 en suite bedrooms - a double and a twin - and would be ideal for families. The other 4 cottages have a king size four poster bed. All are very spacious and luxuriously furnished in a colonial style with dark woodenfloors, high thatched roofs, white walls with exposed woodenbeams and comfortable armchairs or sofa. The large ensuite bathrooms have a flush toilet and shower. Only one of them - the so-called honeymoon cottage - also has a bath, which is surprising. At this price level this is really something we would expect to see in all the rooms! The lounge and dining areas are equally gorgeous and elegant, each with log fires and comfortable sofas. There is also a covered veranda with sofas where clients can relax and enjoy the views. Other onsite facilities are the infinity swimming pool and it is possible to book massage treatments in the privacy of your room. The whole property is fenced which helps to keep bigger game away from the immediate vicinity of the lodge. However, there is still a lot of wildlife to see here, both close to the lodge and on the distant plains, so you really do still get the feeling of being right in the bush.
Apart from its luxurious nature, the major attraction of this camp is its location in the superb Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and we love the fact that there is still a real focus on the game viewing here as well. Lewa has a long history of conservation. The original owners of the ranch began setting land aside exclusively for wildlife in the 1980’s when rhino was introduced. This was so successful that they eventually dedicated the whole reserve to this and in 1995 the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy was created - a vast 65,000 acres of pristine wilderness with spectacular views of snow-capped Mount Kenya. Since then the fences with neighbouring Borana Conservancy have been removed to create an even bigger area for animals to freely roam across. The game viewing here is spectacular- the high numbers of rhino, which you are sure to see, are a real highlight but there arealso lion, leopard, cheetah, elephant, buffalo and giraffe and plentiful plains game including the rare Grevy’s zebra. The safari experience is also very exclusive. There are just a few small lodges in Lewa which have sole access to the area, so it is never crowded.
Activities here focus on game drives (both day and night drives) and walking safaris which are both included in the price. But there are many other activities available at a small additional cost. You can do horse riding and camel treks although they are subject to availability as they areoperated by another lodge - Lewa Wilderness Lodge. You can also do cultural visits to local Samburu villages and a guided trip to Ngare Ndare Forest. The latter is not really a game viewing experience but there are often elephants in the forest so a walking guide from the lodge will go with you - but it is fun to go on the canopy walk way and swim in the river there!