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Safaris and more – Activities at El Karama Eco Lodge

Walking Safaris

Walking safaris are one of the most amazing ways to see El Karama. Because of the high density of dangerous game like elephant and buffalo on this property, we choose our locations carefully. You’ll be taken on to the high, open ridges with an armed guide and will enjoy direct views of Mount Kenya, the Aberdares and the Lolldaiga Hills as well as the rolling and landscapes for which El Karama is renowned.

Your guide will show you all creatures small and large, focusing on tracks, insects and flowers as well as scanning for wildlife around you.

Turn off the engines, put on your walking shoes and enjoy the experience of being close to nature.

Advice: Please wear closed shoes, sunscreen, sunhats and drink plenty of water before leaving for your walk.

Walking on El Karama is one of our favroutie activities to share with guests. We recommend both the longer hikes that can take up to half a day and the 2-3 hour walks for those who are keen to stretch their legs and explore in a different way. The lodge will organize the timings of walks depending on what is happening that day and the weather! All walks are mapped out according to safety, wildlife activity and seasons. All guests will be accompanied by a professional guide and armed rangers, sometimes both depending on the area in question.



Driving Safaris

This is a surefire way to see wildlife on El Karama. We have over 80 mammal species here including Four of the “Big Five” and several endangered species – link here to list of mammals- so getting out and about at the key times should give you a safari experience you will not forget.

There are no guarantees for game sightings as you know, but El Karama is known for not just for the density of game, but also for the variety found here. Combined with over 409 bird species identified and the stunning landscapes, it’s hard to come back to camp sometimes!

All our cars are accompanied by our guides We recommend 4WD ONLY to get to El Karama (we do not accept minivans or matatu type vehicles.) On our full packages, you will be taken out in our custom-made, open game drive cars. These vehicles offer the best possible game viewing; they have no windows, a collapsible windscreen and a canvas top for sun protection. If you’re a photographer this is the only way to go. We like to strip things down to the bare essentials so that you can smell, hear and see the wildlife you’re watching.



Night drives: Because this is a private property night drives are possible, weather permitting. Chat to the staff when making your itinerary for the day and they will let you know what can be arranged. Cars must return to camp by 930pm latest.

Fly Camping Safaris

What is fly camping?

One of the unique things about El Karama Lodge is that it operates on completely private land and as such we have the freedom to walk and to camp under the stars. Nothing quite compares to falling asleep by an open fire listening to the sounds of elephant browsing in the distance or hyena calling to one another over the water. This activity is what safaris are all about.

Our fly camping set up is simple and designed for minimal impact on our environment. This is aimed at adventurous guests who like being outdoors and is particularly recommended for those guest staying with us for the longer visits. (recommended as part of 4-5 nights stays). All fly camps are guarded by an armed ranger and full time guide to help and host when needed.

Our Tentsile Tents give you the feeling of being in a tree tent; they suspend you above the ground and are designed to be comfortable for 1-2 people each. They are light weight and fun for families. We also have a bell tent and camp beds available for those who prefer this.

Fly camps are usually set up for a single night as part of a day outdoors and guests usually have the choice of walking in or driving.




filetype_pdfsmallDownload our Conservation Activities Brochure by clicking here.


Our swimming pool was completed at the end of 2013. It is a pioneering effort that has added something very special to our lodge. Not only does the pool area give you more space to explore, stunning and wide reaching views of the river, the Aberdares and the ridge beyond it has also proved popular with over 80 bird species who visit daily.

The pool itself comprises of a 14 m by 7m main pool with adjoining baby pool for little ones. It is chemical free and eco friendly: using the Eco Smarte system, which employs de-ionising for water purification rather than chlorine or salt, this pool is the first of its kind in Laikipia. We use solar energy from 9 panels to run the filtration system and the water can be recycled back into the eco system with no harmful effects. No chemicals are added and children and birds enjoy the clean water without side effects like itchy eyes or dry skin.

We are delighted as a family to be able to showcase this technology and it is just one of the many innovations we are dedicated to that fits with our vision for low impact, eco tourism.

There are two thatched houses on either side of the pool, both with deep fireplaces and comfy sofas. The larger mess house is a dining room with a bar where guests can take meals in smaller groups. We’ve stocked up on reading materials, baby toys and lots of candles and lanterns to create a cosy atmosphere in the evening.

All the wood details and furniture are hand crafted and made of fallen wood from the ranch and recycled cedar fence posts from the old cattle bomas. The pool is surrounded by a dry stone walling topped with indigenous, flowering aloes which keeps the wind out and the birds and butterflies happy!


The Farm

The property that you are visiting is a successful working cattle ranch. For over 50 years this ranch has produced high quality breeding stock for Kenya and the wider East African region. The herd also produces milk for commercial sale in the local area. The ranch prides itself of being an innovator and has pioneered holisitic grazing and moveable bomas in this area. For more information on this technique and what benefits it offers for biodiversity and conservation, please contact the lodge for more.

Guests may visit the ranch HQ, the cattle and herdsmen and some farming activity taking place: milking, calving and cattle inspections. This is extremely popular for families and groups interested in seeing more of the working ranch and we are delighted to be able to share it with you.


Kids Only!

We love family groups and believe that this environment is ideal for children and teenagers. For this reason, we have developed activities specifically for kids.


Our ethos is remove the distractions of modern technology and to bring children (and adults) back to nature. We show your children how to collect and make sculptures with termite clay, how to track and make tracks using plaster casts, how to fish with hand lines and much much more.

We provide all the kit needed for these activities as part of our package and would encourage parents with children at a writing age to get them writing and drawing.

Idea: Travel diaries for kids can be a great way to store memories, fill that elusive hour in the middle of the morning when the sun is too hot for swimming and to get your kids to absorb and record what they have seen.


Bush Meals

For guests who stay with us for 3 nights or more on our full package, we always fit in bush meals. Eating under the stars in the evening by a fire in the bush or under a Bosquia tree while giraffe browse nearby is a memorable experience. If you are interested in this experience, mention it when booking and we’ll see what we can do.


Day Trips

We are lucky that the lodge is located in the heart of the Laikipia region and as such we can organize and recommend day trips to nearby ranches, conservancies and attractions.

The day trips can take you on a camel walk, a half-day horse ride or a rhino retreat! We have tried to create ideas of things that are different to the activities offered here and therefore complimentary. (Please note all activities are organized through third party companies, read through our indemnity forms and information sheets regarding risk and liability.


El Karama is known as being one of the most picturesque properties in Kenya. It is a haven for photographers and in addition to the wider variety of mammals and birds here, El Karama has a stunning landscape to offer. Photographers can enjoy direct views of Mount Kenya, the Aberdares and the Lolldaiga Hills as well as having the Ewaso Nyiro flowing beside the lodge.

Many award winning professional photographers have taken photographs here including James Warwick, featured in BBC Wildlife Magazine and BirdLife International, Tui de Roy and Mark Jones, authors of the photography book Laikipia and many more.

Art and Writing – the landscape here has provided decades of inspiration to many painters already. The lodge can act as host for painters’ and writers’ retreats. If you are interested in these courses, please contact us and we will add you to our mailing list for these events