History and bountiful nature at Elsa’s little hill
By Harold Ayodo
We sat at the balcony of Elsa’s Kopje honeymoon suite enjoying the scenery and the game of the Meru National Park.
The architectural marvel that is Elsa’s Kopje sits on gigantic rocks and is almost invisible as you approach the Mughwango Hill, deep inside Meru National Park.
The lodge is shaped into the curves of Mughwango rock, with an open front overlooking the vast plains that form the expansive park.
The eco-lodge, constructed using local materials, won the Best Safari Hotel in Africa award this year.
Every cottage is the ultimate 'room-with-a-view', uniquely designed and crafted to incorporate the natural features of the rocky hillside.
Each cottage has spacious double or twin beds with ensuite bathrooms.
Suite 10, the honeymoon suite, is a triple level room with a large ensuite double bedroom complete with a spacious sitting room and small private deck.
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Just like the other eight cottages, it is thatched with reeds from the rivers below it, which explains its flurry of environmental awards.
The den, with an exclusive access to a rich and varied landscape, is secluded and private but linked to the lodge and personal butler via walkie-talkie.
Those with a little more cash to spare can opt for the Elsa's Private House, which has an ensuite double bedroom, ensuite twin bedroom, sitting room, private garden and swimming pool.
The main lodge has an open bar, lounge and dining room and an exceptionally inviting infinity pool overlooking the Meru plains.
It blends into the rocky crags of the ‘kopje’ (small hill) built above the site of George Adamson's original campsite.
From the swimming pool outside the main dining area and bar, guests can look out over Meru plains for hundreds of miles.
Honeymooners are pampered with moonlight dinners set on the manicured lawns of the hotel.
Apart from game drives, bush breakfasts and sundowners, other activities to take part in are cultural visits to a nearby Borana Village and excursions to Tana River that include packed lunches and line fishing of catfish and barbell.
Honeymooners also take day trips to the George Adamson Camp at the nearby Kora National Park.
Chocolates, wine, champagne and baskets of fruits are also given to the newly-weds.
Honeymooners can get to Elsa’s by flight through Mughwangho airstrip that is a five-minute drive away from the lodge. Alternatively, they can use Kinna airstrip and enjoy a 45-minute game drive to their exclusive love nest at Elsa’s. There are also scheduled flights to and from Nairobi and Nanyuki.
Owing to the good roads, honeymooners can also enjoy the five-hour drive from Nairobi.
Conservationists adore Elsa’s as a honeymoon destination following its rich history. It is seated where George Adamson and his wife Joy released their first lioness Elsa, before writing the book, Born Free, about its life.
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