Little River Camp

El Karama Ranch, Laikipia
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Little River Camp
El Karama Ranch, Laikipia

“The cutest, quaintest, most intimate place – we spent our honeymoon here and we couldn’t be more pleased.”

A rustic-chic addition to Laikipia’s acclaimed El Karama Eco Lodge, the Little River Camp sits on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro river and consists of two spacious tented cottages with their own cosy living and dining quarters. It makes a lovely tranquil bush retreat for one or two couples or a small family.

Little River Camp accommodates up to four guests in two ensuite cottages

All About Little River Camp

“We were blown away by our entire experience – El Karama offers so much more than other lodges – you can get really close to all the animals and the diversity of wildlife was amazing.”

El Karama is an authentic and hospitable small wildlife lodge set beside the Ewaso Nyiro river in the heart of Laikipia. Guests have access to 14,000 acres of private bush and cattle ranch with a huge variety and quantity of birds, mammals, trees and plants. The Little River Camp comprises two lovely riverside cottages along with private living and dining accommodation.

Ideal for two couples travelling together, a family with older children or honeymooners looking to have a complete retreat in peace and comfort, the Little River Camp is just a short walk from the main lodge. Guests have access to all the facilities of the lodge including eco pool and can choose to be entirely private and independent or as involved in camp life as they wish.

Secluded and stylish, with a genuine ‘bush home’ atmosphere, the cottages have large windows stretching the length of the walls and high ceilings for extra space and light. Each has the option of a double or twin beds, both have a large writing desk and plenty of atmospheric lighting.

Bathrooms are spacious and well finished, with his and hers basins and a choice of bath or shower. One cottage also has a stunning outdoor bathtub made from river stones and cool grey cement. Outside are roomy verandas looking out onto the river and the surrounding bush.

Between the two cottages there is a private dining room and living room with bar – perfect for quiet evenings away from the heart of the main lodge. Here there are large candle lanterns, cosy sofas and views out onto the salt lick  Its own private kitchen means meals can be prepared, cooked and served on-site.

El Karama is owned and run by the Grant family who have lived and farmed on the ranch for several generations. Sophie and Murray Grant and their warm and friendly team of staff – some of whom have been at the lodge for decades – encourage guests to engage as much as possible in all areas of life at the lodge and ranch. Guests can fish in the river and dams or visit the cattle and herdsmen and experience milking, calving and other farm activities.

At the lodge there is outstanding game viewing and bird watching on foot, by vehicle – or even from your veranda. Guests can see over 80 mammal species including four of the ‘Big Five’ and over 400 identified bird species.  This stunning habitat boasts unusual mammals such as the Grevy Zebra, Gerenuk, Laikipia Hartebeest and African Wild Dogs – as well as Leopard, Lion, Cheetah, Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo and Reticulated Giraffe. Knowledgeable guides are always on hand to ensure that guests make the most of their stay.

‘Plains Game’ abounds and guided bush walks take guests close to herds of Burchill’s Zebra and Grant’s Gazelle and through gorgeous landscapes with views of Mount Kenya, the Aberdares and the Lolldaiga Hills. With six dams and waterholes on the property, guests can sit quietly bird-watching, wait patiently for predators or photograph elephant families at play. Night drives, bush meals, sundowners and other safari activities are all available.

The lodge has a strong commitment to eco-friendly practices, conservation and sustainable tourism, with the aim of preserving its unique habitat for the wildlife and people of Laikipia. Guests can stay at El Karama safe in the knowledge that the lodge has been designed holistically to balance the comfort of guests with a minimal footprint on the natural environment.

The lodge also aims to be as family-friendly as possible, with all kinds of fun activities available for children – from game tracking to fishing to sculpting with termite clay – and there is even a special arts and crafts gallery just for kids.

All the food at El Karama is homemade – 90% is home-grown in the substantial organic gardens and most of the meat is sourced from local ranches. All meals are hearty and clean, prepared with fresh herbs, fresh vegetables, fruits and salads and lots of flavour.

Summary
  • A delightful small extension to El Karama Lodge ‘the hidden gem of Laikipia’
  • Smart and self-contained safari accommodation for couples or very small groups
  • Access to all the facilities at the lodge including swimming pool
  • Individual and family-run – with a deep commitment to sustainability and community
  • Excellent game viewing across the picturesque 14,000-acre El Karama Ranch
  • Horse riding, walking safaris, fly camping, wellness retreats, bush spa – and more
  • Family-friendly – fun and engaging bush activities for children of all ages
  • Delicious, nutritious, home-grown, organic meals
Destination - Laikipia

Straddling the Equator and stretching from the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya to the eastern rim of the Great Rift Valley, the Laikipia plateau is one of Africa’s most exciting and exclusive wilderness safari destinations – with abundant wildlife, spectacular scenery, extraordinary cultural and bio-diversity and some of East Africa’s most successful nature and game conservancies.

Ranching, conservation and high-end tourism go hand-in-hand, with few of the constraints that often apply in Kenya’s national parks and reserves.  Night game drives, bush walks, bike tours, horse-riding, camel treks, scenic flights and helicopter safaris are a few the exhilarating pursuits on hand in the extensive private ranches and conservancies that make up much of the region.

Laikipia hosts a wealth and diversity of wildlife second only to the Masai Mara in Kenya. It has significant populations of predators and the “Big Five”, with over 50% of Kenya’s rhinos, thousands of elephants, about 25% of the world’s endangered Grevy’s Zebra, and an increasing population of rare Wild Dogs. The region is home to more at-risk species than anywhere else in East Africa.

Location - El Karama Ranch

tbc

In Detail

Lodge Amenities

  • Eco swimming pool – 14 x 7 metres
  • Adjacent children’s pool
  • Poolside loungers
  • Thatched poolside pavilions
  • Fully-stocked bar
  • Gift shop and art gallery
  • Laundry services
  • 24-hour solar-powered electricity
  • Hot water powered by solar or by burning harvested fallen wood
  • Wi-fi internet at the River Cottages, pool and reception
  • Intermittent cell phone signal

Activities

  • 14,000 acres to explore
  • Guided bush walks
  • Guided game drives
  • Open game viewing vehicles
  • Bird watching
  • El Karama has received ‘Important Bird Area’ status
  • Night drives
  • Sundowners
  • Swimming pool
  • Conservation activities
  • Farm and shamba visits
  • Horse Riding
  • Fishing
  • Wellness
  • ‘Fly camping’

Activities for children and teens

  • Tracking and plaster casts
  • Clay sculpting
  • Drawing
  • Safari diary
  • Fishing for catfish
  • Playing with bunnies
  • Collect the eggs from Sophie’s chickens
  • Visit the veggie patch and pick your own for lunch
  • Wildlife monitoring
  • Predator profiling
  • Bush photography
  • Cooking lessons
  • Sports (volleyball, running, bush football)
  • Walking with rangers
  • School Visit to Daraja Academy
  • Bushcraft and medicinal uses of plants
  • Behind the scenes tour of the lodge
Visitors' Book

“We were blown away by our entire experience – both from our initial welcome to the friendliness of all the staff. The River Cottages were way beyond our dreams, going to sleep at night with the wonderful sounds of the river below us and the buffalo on the other side. El Karama offers so much more than other lodges – you can get really close to all the animals and the diversity of wildlife was amazing. The bush school for the children was great – making leopard print casts, fishing and baking cookies. The food is unbelievable – homegrown vegetables, salads, fruits and herbs, totally home cooked. Can’t wait for the cookbook to come out! We were looked after by a great team – Craig, Lovii, Robinson the best guide, Jean the chef and Johnstone who made sure all our needs were met. It was amazing to meet Sophie and hear all their incredible plans for the future.”

“We have been on various safaris over the years but I am struggling to remember one as delightful as this! The ranch is beautiful and as soon as we turned into the gate we began to see wildlife. We enjoyed morning game walks, a night drive and sundowners overlooking the Lolldaiga Hills. We saw lots of elephant, lion and the resident hippo. The staff were all great company – so knowledgeable and approachable. We will definitely return.”

“We had a fantastic stay and the whole El Karama team, led by Sophie, were so friendly, welcoming and knowledgeable! As well as game drives and walking safaris, we enjoyed breakfast in the bush and finished the day with G&Ts as we watched the sun go down. 14,000 acres of private land meant we saw no other safari vehicles at all. The head guide, Joseph, was simply excellent – his knowledge of animals and birds seemed endless. We also enjoyed a tour of the farm where he pointed out the exciting projects coming to fruition –  El Karama is certainly a model of how sustainable land management, conservation and tourism can be combined to great effect!”

Rates

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All About Little River Camp

“We were blown away by our entire experience – El Karama offers so much more than other lodges – you can get really close to all the animals and the diversity of wildlife was amazing.”

All About Little River Camp

El Karama is an authentic and hospitable small wildlife lodge set beside the Ewaso Nyiro river in the heart of Laikipia. Guests have access to 14,000 acres of private bush and cattle ranch with a huge variety and quantity of birds, mammals, trees and plants. The Little River Camp comprises two lovely riverside cottages along with private living and dining accommodation.

Ideal for two couples travelling together, a family with older children or honeymooners looking to have a complete retreat in peace and comfort, the Little River Camp is just a short walk from the main lodge. Guests have access to all the facilities of the lodge including eco pool and can choose to be entirely private and independent or as involved in camp life as they wish.

Secluded and stylish, with a genuine ‘bush home’ atmosphere, the cottages have large windows stretching the length of the walls and high ceilings for extra space and light. Each has the option of a double or twin beds, both have a large writing desk and plenty of atmospheric lighting.

Bathrooms are spacious and well finished, with his and hers basins and a choice of bath or shower. One cottage also has a stunning outdoor bathtub made from river stones and cool grey cement. Outside are roomy verandas looking out onto the river and the surrounding bush.

Between the two cottages there is a private dining room and living room with bar – perfect for quiet evenings away from the heart of the main lodge. Here there are large candle lanterns, cosy sofas and views out onto the salt lick  Its own private kitchen means meals can be prepared, cooked and served on-site.

El Karama is owned and run by the Grant family who have lived and farmed on the ranch for several generations. Sophie and Murray Grant and their warm and friendly team of staff – some of whom have been at the lodge for decades – encourage guests to engage as much as possible in all areas of life at the lodge and ranch. Guests can fish in the river and dams or visit the cattle and herdsmen and experience milking, calving and other farm activities.

At the lodge there is outstanding game viewing and bird watching on foot, by vehicle – or even from your veranda. Guests can see over 80 mammal species including four of the ‘Big Five’ and over 400 identified bird species.  This stunning habitat boasts unusual mammals such as the Grevy Zebra, Gerenuk, Laikipia Hartebeest and African Wild Dogs – as well as Leopard, Lion, Cheetah, Elephant, Buffalo, Hippo and Reticulated Giraffe. Knowledgeable guides are always on hand to ensure that guests make the most of their stay.

‘Plains Game’ abounds and guided bush walks take guests close to herds of Burchill’s Zebra and Grant’s Gazelle and through gorgeous landscapes with views of Mount Kenya, the Aberdares and the Lolldaiga Hills. With six dams and waterholes on the property, guests can sit quietly bird-watching, wait patiently for predators or photograph elephant families at play. Night drives, bush meals, sundowners and other safari activities are all available.

The lodge has a strong commitment to eco-friendly practices, conservation and sustainable tourism, with the aim of preserving its unique habitat for the wildlife and people of Laikipia. Guests can stay at El Karama safe in the knowledge that the lodge has been designed holistically to balance the comfort of guests with a minimal footprint on the natural environment.

The lodge also aims to be as family-friendly as possible, with all kinds of fun activities available for children – from game tracking to fishing to sculpting with termite clay – and there is even a special arts and crafts gallery just for kids.

All the food at El Karama is homemade – 90% is home-grown in the substantial organic gardens and most of the meat is sourced from local ranches. All meals are hearty and clean, prepared with fresh herbs, fresh vegetables, fruits and salads and lots of flavour.

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