Situated at the foot of Mount Kenya on the Laikipia Plateau, Laragai House is a private family home offering guests a considered and intimate base from which to explore one of the country’s lesser-known protected areas.
Built during the 1980s, Laragai House is a colonial-style property set in a remote part of Kenya that is also home to the Borana Conservancy — a private conservation area covering over 32,000 acres and known for its work in protecting both black and white rhino. Simple in design and warm in feel, the house is a large palm-style thatch build and is surrounded by a lush garden, and consists of eight bedrooms, a dining room, a lounge with fireplace and bar area, and a drawing room. Other shared areas include a clay tennis court, a swimming pool with adjacent pool house, and fitness facilities. With room for up to 16 guests and available to book on an exclusive basis, it’s ideal for multi-generational families or a large group of friends. Wi-Fi is available across the house.
Food & service
Menus are centred around the farm-to-table concept, locally sourcing ingredients from a neighbouring organic farm for meals. Breakfast is fresh fruits, pastries and a hot option, lunch is family-style, and dinner is over three courses around the dining table. Given enough notice, it’s perfectly possible to cater for most food preferences and dietary requirements. Guests decide where to dine: al fresco on the veranda overlooking the garden; out on a wildlife drive; or under the stars. From chef to restaurant floor to guide, the service is excellent.
Spacious, beautifully decorated, and designed with families in mind, Laragai House consists of eight bedrooms: four ensuite double rooms, two ensuite twin rooms, and two twin rooms with a shared bathroom suitable for children. The furniture is custom-made or locally sourced, and the decor features antiques, 19th-century gold mirrors, the finest Rajasthan rugs, and walls adorned with artwork collected over decades.
Activities at Laragai House include horse riding for both beginners and experienced riders, privately guided night and day drives, guided walking safaris, picnics and bush dinners, mountain biking, helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft journeys, fishing excursions to Mount Kenya, and the rare opportunity to engage and witness the extraordinary work of the rangers in the Borana Conservancy. Guests can expect top-level guiding in an area considered one of Kenya’s most important wildernesses.
All earnings retained by the lodge are reinvested into the conservation schemes. These include training rangers, monitoring endangered species – black and white rhino and gravy’s zebra among many others – and operating a mobile clinic. Perhaps most impressively, the lodge funds a substantial education programme; provisions are made for primary school equipment, teachers’ salaries and even sponsorships for children.
The Seven Elephants Tree Nursery has catalysed reforestation efforts. This tree nursery now produces more than 30,000 trees annually for reforestation efforts on the ranch and in the surrounding communities.
The Borona Conversancy boasts a quite remarkable 97% local employment rate (the majority of staff are from communities on the Conservancy’s border) and has organised a livestock-to-market programme which advocates for sustainable farming practices. Hide and Sheep Ltd employs a talented group of blind and physically disabled people from the local community, who together create an impressive variety of top-quality sheep and calfskin products.
Local children are encouraged to study conservation-minded subjects, helping to safeguard the future of the Conservancy for the next generation. The mobile clinic, which assists the Kenyan government in vaccination and family planning programs, is registered with the World Health Organisation.