The review:

Arijiju Retreat

A sensational private-hire house hewn into a hillside of Laikipia’s Borana Conservancy, Arijiju is an architectural hideaway with views to Mount Kenya.

An exceptionally stylish private safari house, Arijiju is a low-profile, grass-topped structure that blends seamlessly into the surrounding plateau of the Borana Conservancy of Laikipia, with extraordinary views stretching to the distant snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya.

"With five bedrooms, Arijiju offers an exclusive safari retreat, the 20 resident staff provide delicious meals, spa treatments and anything you might need. Daily life revolves around the safari activities on offer, but Arijiju is much more than a safari lodge, it is a bespoke property with the service and activities to match"

Things to do

Surrounded by the rolling hills and plateaux, Laikipia’s diversity of wildlife can be explored by 4×4 vehicle with Arijiju’s experienced guides & rangers at a time to suit you. Discover the conservancy by horseback, bush walks or mountain biking. The wildlife on the Borana Conservancy is thriving thanks to the conservation ethos of this unique arrangement. Arijiju only exists to promote further conservation work with all profits being directed back into the Conservancy, a truly holistic approach to luxury in the wild. Borana is famed for the success of its rhino conservation work, numbers of both black and white rhino are rising consistently free from the threats of any poaching. Alongside these flagship species is an extraordinary breadth of diversity, from the big cats and elusive wild dogs to endemic species like reticulated giraffe and Grevy zebra.

Like every other aspect of your stay at Arijiju, you get to control the pace and flow of your safari. Long picnic lunches in the shade of an ancient Fever Tree, or a day in the spa are just as acceptable as getting out game viewing with the rangers at first light until sundown. For the more adventurous there are waterfalls to swim in and explorations of the Ndare Ngare canopy forest to undertake.

The ultimate adventure would be to board a helicopter and take flight over dormant volcanoes and mountain lakes filled with flamingos or travel further north to the extensive deserts of Northern Kenya.

Back at Arijiju, experience the house’s extensive wellness facilities including spa, Hammam, gym, yoga deck, tennis court and squash court plus a dedicated on-site spa team. As night falls, savour the night sounds over a candlelit dinner on the roof terrace followed by a film in the cosy home cinema.

Sleeping

Defined by the colour of the surrounding elements and characterised by block work stone and chunky timber, Arijiju’s five bedrooms are fittingly impressive with vast lead-framed windows and full height doors that can left open to hear the dawn chorus. Decorated in an interior design remit that sees European classicism meets African style, rooms come to life with the use of reclaimed antiques, handcrafted furniture and local art. The impression is a combination of Tuscan villa meets monastery meets exceptional soft edge design. Sleeping up to ten with room for extra children, your guests will be incredibly comfortable with fireplaces, indoor and outdoor showers, plus bathtubs, or if you prefer, have a bed made up on the roof terrace for the ultimate sleepout experience.

Food & Drink

With a full complement of staff from butlers, chefs, gardeners, spa therapist, guides and rangers, you won’t want for anything. And this certainly extends to how you eat and drink here. Despite its remote location, the range of food is astonishing, much of it sourced from the house’s organic garden. Arijiju’s forte is healthy but delicious food, expect fruit, smoothies and muesli for breakfast alongside fresh eggs from Arijiju’s own chickens. Lunch and dinner tend to be colourful sharing style platters of North African inspired salads and grilled, organic meat, served out in the bush, in the garden or up on the roof terrace. Having said that, the menus are versatile and if there’s something you’re craving, the head chef will gladly cook it for you.

What We Think

Some people come to Africa and travel all over, experiencing a range of camps, lodges and diversity of wildlife. And while that is an incredible experience, we can see that Arijiju encapsulates all you that you need for a unique safari, with your home a design masterpiece, wildlife on your doorstep and a wealth of ways to enjoy Laikipia’s diverse landscape. However, some may prefer to experience a traditional luxury tented safari first; a natural combination could be a safari in Masai Mara.

Best For

At Arijiju it’s just you and your chosen group, miles away from anyone else, which makes it the perfect setting for a special birthday gathering or family get together. If you cherish privacy, seclusion and exceptional service then you will fall in love with Arijiju. Also, to be noted is Arijiju’s architectural style, built in conjunction with architects and interior designers over 10 years. This is a passion project and those with an eye for design will appreciate this sunken hideaway which magically feels light and airy.

The Verdict

Isolated and architecturally stunning, Arijiju is the safari home you won’t ever forget. From waking to the dawn chorus to sleeping on the roof terrace, Arijiju will get under your skin. Plan ahead – this one gets booked up months in advance.

Ben Oxley-Brown

Personal Travel Designer

01488 689700 Read Ben’s profile
Ben Oxley-Brown

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