Meru National Park Hotels

Elsa’s Kopje Camp Hotel
Elsa’s Kopje Camp Hotel is a luxurious oasis in the wilds of Meru National Park, Kenya. Elsa’s Kopje hotel is a hidden jewel in the untamed wilderness of Africa and is Kenya’s best kept secret.


Outspan Hotel 
Facilities & Activities: Country hotel; fishing; golf; tennis court; squash court; conference room; swimming pool; visits to coffee farm; traditional dancing; visits to Aberdare Salient. Lord Baden – Powell’s cottage ‘Paxtu’ set in hotel’s pleasant grounds. Assembly point for visitors to Treetops.


The Mukutan Retreat Hotel
The Mukutan Retreat Hotel is a peaceful retreat set overlooking the mysterious and lush gorge of the Great Rift Valley and situated at the western perimeter of the Laikipia district


Outspan Hotel

Location: Nyeri
Total beds: 88
Total rooms: 44
Suites: 6 with bath
Cottages: 4 with bath
Facilities & Activities: Country hotel; fishing; golf; tennis court; squash court; conference room; swimming pool; visits to coffee farm; traditional dancing; visits to Aberdare Salient. Lord Baden – Powell’s cottage ‘Paxtu’ set in hotel’s pleasant grounds. Assembly point for visitors to Treetops.

The Mukutan Retreat Hotel

The Mukutan Retreat Hotel is a peaceful retreat set overlooking the mysterious and lush gorge of the Great Rift Valley and situated at the western perimeter of the Laikipia district. A thriving jungle awaits you when you arrive from a short flight you can take in a small plane.

The Mukutan Retreat Hotel is perched on the cliffs overlooking the spectacular Mukutan Gorge on the edge of the Rift Valley of Kenya.  It is located on the extreme west of the region of Laikipia on the ranch of Ol An Nyiro, a 100,000 acre ranch where conservationist and author Kuki Gallmann's haunting autobiography, 'I Dreamed of Africa', is based. With the now available movie, I Dreamed of Africa, audiences will be awed by the sweeping majesty of Ol Ari Nyiro, the 100,000-acre ranch that envelopes the Mukutan Retreat and takes center stage in the film starring Kim Basinger. Born in 1943, Kuki Gallmann was raised just outside of Venice, Italy, but always had a longing eye for Africa.

Her dreams were realized in 1972 when she moved to Kenya with her husband, Paolo, and her son, Emanuele.But her fairytale existence was shattered by tragedy in 1980. Paolo was killed in an automobile accident as he was returning to Laikipia. He had carried with him a crib, specially built in the shape of a boat for the child they were expecting. Despite the pleas of her relatives, Gallmann chose to remain on the rugged land she had shared with Paolo. But unthinkable tragedy would next strike Emanuele, just after his 17th birthday. Gallmann had always been concerned about her young son's passion for snake handling, and those fears proved warranted when he was killed by the poisonous bite of a puff adder.

At that moment Gallmann, who formally became a citizen of Kenya in 1997, could rightfully have abandoned Africa. But her resolve only intensified. Her soul had been scoured, her understanding of the essence of life elevated. And so began Kuki Gallmann's dedication to preserving the mysterious continent that had so captivated Paolo and Emanuele.

Ol an Nyiro is renowned for the variety of its landscapes, from open savannah to steep gorges, endless vistas of hills covered in wild sage and thorn trees; for its herds of elephant, buffalo, antelope and its many lions.  The ranch is sanctuary to the largest known population of undisturbed indigenous black rhino outside National Parks.
The unique setting, the silence and the evocative sounds of Africa, make of the Mukutan Retreat an exclusive hideaway for discriminate travellers, who wish to find a total communion with nature.

The Mukutan Retreat Hotel Accommodation
Waterfalls, palms trees and thermal hot Springs makes this sophisticated luxurious accommodation a unique setting. The cottages are exquisitely designed with ample comfort. The Architectural Digest did an entire article on the accommodation. Commune with nature whilst you stay in the spacious and private cottages of Mukutan Retreat. The lodge is small and can only accommodate up to 8 guests - each visitor is considered a valued guest and friend. All three cottages offer romantic and luxurious fireplaces, each with an open plan veranda. The bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms are adorned with African antiques and furnishings. Open on one side, each room enjoys comfortable beds with luxurious European linen under mosquito netting.

3 large cottages, with a spacious central building provide accommodation for up to six people. All rooms have a double fireplace, verandah, bathroom and double beds.From the untamed wildlife to the rugged terrain to the guest cottages constructed solely from native materials, the Mukutan is quintessential Africa - undisturbed and unpredictable. The retreat is situated more than a mile above sea level on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, the cradle of mankind. It is located in the heart of Ol Ari Nyiro, the 100,000-acre wildlife reserve of world-renowned conservationist Kuki Gallmann.

Lodging is provided by three traditional dwellings, perched at the edge of the gorge and patterned after native African rondavels. Each hut offers luxurious accommodations with double beds, a fireplace and a private veranda overlooking the cliffs.                                                                                                                                                             Each is dressed with Swahili and Lamu Island furniture and built of local stone, papyrus and native woods.
The paradox of the Mukutan Retreat is that it remains exquisitely civilized, yet it is the very ant ithesis of civilization.

There is no electricity at the Mukutan Retreat; the obtrusive hum of an electric generator is forbidden. Power is collected by solar panels, although most illumination is by candlelight.
In fact, upon reaching the Retreat, the last several hundred meters are covered on foot to eliminate the sound of vehicles and preserve the ancient silence of the Mukutan Gorge.
The bellhops are camels, carrying luggage to the cottage doors. Mukutan proprietor, Kuki Gallmann, has painstakingly modeled the Retreat to be the penultimate African destination. Every object is a hand-selected part of a perfect puzzle that delivers the lore of Africa in its authentic sense.

The Mukutan Retreat Hotel Restaurant
The central lounge and dining area have the pleasant atmosphere of a private home where every item has been individually selected: from the antique cutlery, hand blown glass, old chests, ethnic artifacts and African books to the copper and brass lamps which lend the place a magical atmosphere at night.

At Mukutan Retreat the food is exquisite and the company superb. Al fresco picnics are enjoyed as both breakfast and lunches. Enjoy a swim after a long day of activities in the waterfall pool. The mineral rich thermal hot spring is an escape in itself and pure extravagance for under the African sky. Turkana baskets are filled with wild sage, which is a natural bug repellent and keep insect away.                                                              

Renowned cuisine at the Mukutan is a mixture of exotic tastes and classic Italian gourmet dishes. All ingredients are grown organically on the ranch. Food preferences can also be catered to on an individual basis upon request.                                                               

Natural springs surrounding the retreat make for abundant drinking and bathing water. All drinking water is filtered. Bottled water is available. Mukutan Retreat hotel food is known for quality and flair. It is Italian in style with some exotic touches. All our products are organically grown on the ranch. Please let us know your food and drink preference or restrictions, so that we may cater for this on an individual basis.

The Retreat lies at approximately 6,200 ft above sea level. The days are warm and the nights are cool. The coolest period of the year is from May to September and the warmest period is between November and March.

During the day dress code is informal. On walks we are entering an animal Kingdom where we do not want to attract attention or interfere. Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes are a must as are khaki or camouflage classic safari clothes. During the evening smart casual is advised, ladies may like to wear a long caftan and a warm shawl. Also bring sunscreen, lip balm, bathing suit and long trousers for riding

Of all the pastoral tribes of Kenya, the tribe of Pokot is possibly the least known. Living out of the hidden tracks with no tourism yet in their area, the Pokot have managed to keep their traditions alive in a changing world. it has taken Kuki Gallmann twenty-five years living next to them to develop a unique rapport of mutual trust and respect with this proud and secretive people. From time to time, thanks to this relation, it will be possible for visitors to have a glimpse of their ceremonies and dances.

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Kitich Camp is one of Kenya's oldest tented camps, tucked into the highland forests of the Matthews Mountains, northern Kenya.

Elephant Watch Safaris Camp offers our guests the chance to be taken right into the midst of the elephant world where you will spend time with elephant families.
Loisaba Hotel - On the edge of the Laikipia plateau with views of Mount Kenya, Loisaba is an eco-lodge with unrivalled wildlife

Il Ngwesi Group Ranch is located at northwest edge of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and is owned by Il Ngwesi community of the Mukogodo division of Laikipia district.

Elsa’s Kopje Camp Hotel

Elsa’s Kopje Camp Hotel is a luxurious oasis in the wilds of Meru National Park, Kenya. Elsa’s Kopje hotel is a hidden jewel in the untamed wilderness of Africa and is Kenya’s best kept secret. The lodge blends into the hillside of Mughwango Hill, and the word ‘Kopje’ means ‘small hill’. Meru is vast with arid, open plains dotted with Doum Palms and Baobab trees and lush vegetation. Here you will see a more diverse range of species than in any other Park or Reserve. From the hotel you will be taken out on morning and afternoon game drives in a 4 wheel drive safari vehicle with an experienced tour guide who is based at the camp and knows the Park well.. A swimming pool is a welcome facility for guests during the heat of the day.
The lodge is named after Elsa the lioness, made famous by George and Joy Adamson’s biographical film “Born Free”.

Elsa’s Kopje Lodge is almost invisible to the eye as you approach the hotel on Mughwango Hill. Access to Elsa's hotel is by road or charter air flight. Air Kenya operates a schedule service to/ex Meru 3 times a week on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, ideal for getting to Elsa's Kopje and connects on to Samburu and the Maasai Mara.
Elsa’s Kopje Camp is owned and operated by Cheli & Peacock group of hotels and is a sister camp to Tortilis and Laikipia Camps. Elsa's Kopje guests virtually have Meru National Park to themselves, the park is the driest in the country and the landscape is incredible, with the parks thirteen rivers running off the mountains cutting green pathways through the dry brown valleys.

Elsa’s Kopje Camp Hotel Accommodation
The accommodations are what makes Elsa's Kopje hotel so special. The 9 stone and thatch guest cottages are crafted around the natural features of the hill. Paved paths, lit by lamps at night, lead from each cottage to the comfortable open bar, lounge and dining room. There is a sense of space, style and pure relaxation. The ultimate pool with a view looks out across the plains, perfect for chilling out after a game drive or guided walk in the bush.

Every cottage is uniquely designed. The generous double or twin beds are romantically swathed in netting. The bathrooms are sumptuous: showers or baths made out of stone, modern flush toilets, bidets and double basins.
One double cottage is set slightly apart from the others, ideal for families with children or a group. It has a double bedroom and a twin bedroom (bathrooms en-suite).

Elsa’s Kopje Private House was completed in June 2005. Built by the original designer of Elsa’s Kopje. Elsa’s Private House is set apart from the rest of the lodge, providing complete exclusivity and privacy. The house consists of one double bedroom with en-suite bathroom with a large bath-tub. There is a spacious twin room, with en-suite bathroom. The living area spills into your very own private swimming pool. The pool falls neatly into the horizon beyond the Meru plains. Elsa’s Private House provides guests with their very own piece of Kopje paradise. One of Kenya’s best pools with a view!

The honeymoon suite is a 3-tiered cottage with a double bedroom, a sitting room and private deck united by a sweeping staircase.
Soft drinks, beer and house wines are included in the room rate. Laundry service is included.

Elsa’s Kopje Camp Facilities
The atmosphere induces a feeling of peace thanks to a highly trained, unobtrusive team of staff and a skilled host who manages the lodge. Each cottage is attended by a butler who also waits on the guests at mealtimes. The food is traditional Northern Italian cuisine blended with a selection of local and international dishes, fresh baked bread, crisp salads and locally grown vegetables.

Activities include game drives in open-sided safari Land Rovers, driven by knowledgeable driver-guides, all members of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association. Guided walks are led by a Professional Safari Guide and accompanied by a Ranger.

In terms of wildlife viewing, it is an excellent place to see several rarities, including the black rhino. Food, accommodation and guiding are all to a higher standard than its only real competitor, Leopard Rock Lodge, but it is correspondingly expensive and suitable only to the best-heeled visitors. Stays of four days or longer attract substantial discounts.

Other attractions include bush breakfasts and sundowners and visits to the Tharaka tribal village on the Southern Boundary of the Park.

  • Elsa’s Kopje Camp Rate includes
  • Local airstrip transfers
  • 2 Extended game drives per day
  • Full board accommodation
  • Limited Laundry
  • Bush breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Fishing
  •  Night Game Drives
  • Soft drinks, beer, house wines and non-luxury spirits
  • Swimming pool
  • Fishing

Rate excludes

  • Park Fees
  • Champagne, luxury spirits and select wines
  • KWS activity charge
  • Exclusive use of vehicle
  • Spa

This most aesthetically satisfying of bush camps is aimed at those seeking a holistic bush experience and the opportunity to explore this untrammelled corner of Africa in the company of a knowledgeable guide.

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