Home to Arijiju, Borana Conservancy is a vast private game reserve resting on the Laikipia Plateau. Stretching from the slopes of snow-capped Mt Kenya to the rim of the Great Rift Valley, Laikipia is one of Kenya’s lesser-known wildlife areas. Harbouring more endangered species than anywhere else in East Africa, this is the place to spot Grévy’s zebra, Jackson’s hartebeest and wild dog.
Nestled between an arid landscape to the north and ancient indigenous forests to the south, the 32,000-acre Borana Conservancy is a non-profit conservation area dedicated to the sustainable conservation of wildlife, habitat and building local livelihoods. The conservancy is home to both Black and White Rhino as well as a wide variety of other endangered species.
In 2013, a founding population of 21 Black Rhino were introduced to Borana Conservancy. Once they were settled and had established their territories, the fence between Borana and neighbouring Lewa Wildlife Conservancy was dropped to form one continuous landscape. This ecosystem allows the wildlife free rein over 90,000 acres of African wilderness. There is now a community of over 200 rhino (both black and white) across the Lewa-Borana Landscape. A milestone was reached in 2021 with the beginning of the third generation of black rhinos on Borana.
There are over 41 species of water birds across the landscape and the conservancy was ranked fifth birding hotspot in the country. Lions are split across the conservancy; in 2021 the highest lion numbers were recorded to date. Cheetah numbers were also up significantly whilst buffalo and hartebeest populations remained constant.
One of Borana’s core objectives is to manage the interaction between humans and wildlife. As a result, Borana invests heavily in the direct protection of wildlife with rangers on the grounds, but also in building local livelihoods. Since 2005, the Borana Mobile Clinic has been providing basic healthcare, HIV Aids awareness, antenatal advice, child immunisation programmes and family planning to Borana’s neighbouring communities. Borana also supports seven primary schools through its Borana Education Support Programme.
More recently, efforts to expand Borana’s community education reached new heights with the new Conservation Education Programme known as ‘Mazingira Yetu’. This exciting programme aims to deepen local people’s understanding of the importance of a healthy ecosystem for people, plants and animals. Students are taken out on guided safaris in the Conservancy and taught about a variety of topics, from the importance of soil health to food chains.
Arijiju and Conservation
Every visitor pays a $150 per adult per night conservation fee to Borana Reserve, with 100% of this conservancy fee contributing to local education, community and wildlife conservation projects. Arijiju has spearheaded a host of anti-poaching initiatives including educational outreach programmes and the introduction of highly-trained, anti-poaching rangers. It reinvests any revenue over costs back into the conservancy, therefore just by choosing to stay here, you are giving back.
“Arijiju works in harmony with the Borana Conservancy to ensure long-term conservation and create economic opportunities for local communities.”Arijiju
Arijiju Design & Architecture
Taking its name from the Maasai word for the hill on which it sits, Arijiju was inspired by the rock-hewn churches of Ethiopia and imposing Le Thoronet Abbe in southern France. From the outside, flat roofs have been planted with natural grasses to blend into the landscape. Vaulted archways, stone passageways and a central courtyard provide unique surroundings in which to relax. On the inside, European classicism blends seamlessly with an African aesthetic style. Bespoke furniture handcrafted by local artisans and craftsmen rubs shoulders with reclaimed antiques from all corners of the world.
With its pioneering conservation efforts, discerning design and unrivalled safari and wellness experiences, Arijiju is the ultimate sanctuary for an African adventure.