Elsa’s Kopje is named after one of Africa’s most famous cats, Elsa the lioness, who was hand-reared by naturalists George and Joy Adamson and became the first lioness ever to be successfully released back into the wild. The lodge is set just above the Adamsons’ original campsite in Kenya’s Meru National Park, where they taught Elsa to hunt and fend for herself in preparation for her reintegration into the African bush.
Offering breathtaking views of the Meru plains, where palm trees and baobabs are studded amidst a watery web of 13 rivers, Elsa’s Kopje is one of the country’s most elegant safari lodges.
Here, luxury and indulgence are fused with a rugged, authentic bush experience – guests can combine 4×4 trails, game viewing, hiking and massage in one day.
The lodge was constructed with careful attention to the environment, using natural, sustainable materials wherever possible. An intimate cluster of nine rustic cottages are built into the rocky outcrops and acacia groves of a small hill (kopje), their stone walls and palm thatch roofs blending in beautifully with the surroundings. Each cottage has its own butler to provide five-star service around the clock.
Just a short distance from the main camp, Elsa’s Private House is ideal for groups wanting a more personalized experience of the African bush. This stylish, two-bedroom house is ideal for families or friends traveling together: Set in its own tranquil area, it has en-suite bathrooms, a private garden and an exquisite natural rock pool overlooking the savannah lands of the Meru National Park.
Endowed with a wealth of wildlife, the Meru is known as a prime spot for viewing rhinoceros in their natural environment and is also considered one of the best places to see the elegant big cats – cheetah, leopard and lion. The reserve is also renowned for its birdlife, with its wetlands, woodlands and arid grasslands supporting a kaleidoscopic mix of avian species.
Cultural visits can be arranged to the Tharaka Tribal Village in the south of the park, while the onsite spa offers indulgent opportunities for pampering and relaxation. And at the end of the day, there is no better place to unwind with a drink in hand than the lodges “Hardrock Cafe”, a flat rock ledge with spectacular sunset views