Perched on a hill overlooking the Meru plains, Elsas Kopje is as enchanting as any boutique hotel. Its 11 luxury cottages and suites blend in perfectly with the environment and are barely visible from the plains below. Elsas Kopje is one of only two lodges inside Meru National Park and is the destination for the safari connoisseur. This Chic Retreat has gained the reputation of being one of the most elegant luxury lodges in Africa, with the most spectacular setting. The lodge is named after Elsa the lioness, made famous by George and Joy Adamsons biographical book and film Born Free. The cottages and main buildings that house the bar, lounge and dining room are beautifully decorated; polished wooden floors dotted with Persian inspired rugs, comfy chairs, sofas and old black and white photos create a stylish and laid-back setting. Across the lawn is the sparkling infinity pool and adjacent spa treatment areas, all with the most stunning views across the plains of Meru National Park. This boutique hotel sits above the Adamsons original camp in the very heart of the park.
Activities at Elsa Kopje are focussed on game drives. Meru National Park is unrivalled; its diverse terrain varies from dense thickets and wooded grasslands through to craggy hills, rivers and open plains, and it is this variety that provides the home for Merus incredible wildlife. Guests may see elephants, lions, cheetah, leopards, giraffes, Grevys zebras, gerenuks, Somali ostriches, buffalo, hippos, lesser kudu and greater kudu. Meru is also a Rhino sanctuary and houses over 70 black and white rhinos, making Meru the best high-end destination in Kenya to see rhino in their natural habitat. Bird watchers will not be disappointed either; the bird life is extraordinarily colourful and abundant here with over 400 species of birds. The lodge uses open game vehicles that have been cleverly designed with viewing, comfort and photography in mind. The guides pride themselves on their knowledge, and their enthusiasm for the Meru lions and leopards is infectious. They are keen birders and mad about plants too, taking the time to find and explain the medicinal properties of the different plants in the area. All the guides hold at least a Bronze or Silver Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association certificate.
Guests are encouraged to get closer to the bush and the lodge can organise guided bush walks and cultural visits to the local Tharaka communities. You can also enjoy the thrill of a night drive or spend some time fishing in the nearby rivers. Back at the lodge one can relax by the pool or enjoy a massage whilst soaking up the magnificent views.
Dining at Elsas Kopje has an elegant, boutique hotel feel to it. Guests dine at their own candlelit table under the stars. The polished stone floors and huge natural rocks form the centrepiece of the serving table and gives the room a rustic feel, yet this simplicity has an undeniable elegance to it. The Italian inspired dishes are renowned and the lodge has its own garden meaning the salads and herbs are handpicked and deliciously fresh. If pasta isnt your thing, there are plenty of other options. For a real treat, experience a Bush Breakfast; your table is set up out on the plains, so you can enjoy a delicious breakfast surrounded by the beautiful landspape and awe-inspiring wildlife.
The chefs at Elsas are happy to cater for special diets and only ask that guests advise them of their needs prior to arrival so that the camp managers can make the necessary arrangements.