Elsa’s Kopje is a luxurious oasis in the wilds of Meru National Park. Elsa’s Kopje was named after Elsa the lioness made famous by George and Joy Adamson in the film ‘Born Free’, released into the wild here in Meru. The word Kopje means ‘small hill’. The lodge blends into the hillside of Mughwango Hill, site of George Adamson’s original camp. Meru is vast with arid, open plains dotted with Doum Palms and Baobab trees and lush vegetation along 13 rivers, like green ribbons, bisecting the Park. Here visitors will see a more diverse range of species than in any other Park or Reserve. Regular sightings include Beisa Oryx, Gerenuk, Elephant, Grevy’s Zebra, Reticulated Giraffe, Lesser Kudu, Grant’s Gazelle, Leopard, Lion, Cheetah, Rhino and the rare, elusive Greater Kudu. Meru is famous for its bird life, including riverine and forest species as well as the arid dry country species.
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 provides employment for local people and their guides are highly qualified with two of them having the impressive Silver Level KPSGA qualification. The lodge buys fresh produce from local farmers and has a close relationship with the 'Tharaka' people near the southern park boundary, selling their handicrafts in the lodge shop and financing a local school. The lodge has been awarded worlds coolest pools - Daily Telegraph (2205), 101 best hotels - Tatler Travel Guide (2007), Best development, CNBC Property awards (2008)
Things to do
Gamedrives and guided walks
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. Other attractions include bush breakfasts and sundowners and visits to the Tharaka tribal village on the Southern Boundary of the Park.