Deep in the wild country of northern Kenya is a place of sanctuary for man and beast. It’s somewhere to savour the gracious ways of old Africa, amidst prolific and rare wildlife. Somewhere special to gather with family or close friends to enjoy each other and the magnificence of wilderness conserved. Laragai House in the Borana Conservancy is that place, set amongst rugged and bushy hills in the renowned game-rich area of Laikipia.
The house is grand and spacious, under thatch and with a central verdant garden edged with tall trees. In every way it is thoroughly genteel. The eight en-suite bedrooms are all vastly spacious and the décor reflects colonial splendour and atmosphere. Throughout, the polished wooden floors and voluminous drapes, bay windows and raw rock feature walls give the home a sense of history and place. A tennis court and riding stables, along with the games room sporting table tennis, darts and croquet remind you of the good life in Africa. But since it is the 21st century, there is ‘African’ wifi and cellphone signal, a gym and onsite masseuse – and a TV room. But there is also a stately drawing room encouraging relaxation or game viewing over the waterhole.
Your time at Laragai can be as chilled or action packed as you choose. Game viewing by night and day is excellent and you can see the Big Five as well as unusual species like pinstriped Grevy’s zebra, Jackson’s hartebeest and the uniquely patterned reticulated giraffe. Black rhino also live here in protected safety, and you can track them on foot with a ranger. Actually, when Borana and neighbouring Lewa conservancies dropped fences between them in 2013, they created the biggest rhino sanctuary in East Africa. Both black and white rhino live here, with over 100 rangers protecting them.
You can game view on horseback too, spot 350 bird species, dip in the infinity pool or raise your pulse a little with stand-up paddle boarding, guided mountain biking or the ultimate scenic helicopter flip with an experienced pilot. Snow-capped mountains, desert, volcanic lakes and lush tropical forests can all be seen in a single day. Another day trip option is a canopy walk and picnic lunch at Ngare Ndare forest. And maybe a swim in a clear, blue pool of glacier water. Who could ever have imagined such diversity in Kenya, and all in and around the Laragai space – which is so evocative you may not wish to leave at all.
What we love!
- Laragai is steeped in elegance and authenticity.
- Huge rooms and oversized fireplaces remind you of yesteryear.
- Big vases of mixed, colourful flowers throughout are simply beautiful.
- The staff are professional and exude the renowned Kenyan warmth and hospitality.
- Views from the infinity pool are to forever, often punctuated by wildlife.
What you need to know…
- Charter flights land at Borana airstrip, 20 minutes from the house.
- Laragai sleeps 16 people, but a larger group can easily be accommodated with prior arrangement.
- The area is malaria free.
Reviewed by Keri Harvey