Private Wildlife Reserves – Isiolo, Central Highlands, Kenya

In the Shadow of Mount Kenya

In the foothills of Mount Kenya in the Central Highlands, a few fortunate guests can revel in spellbinding views of ridge after ridge and the freedom to see wild game on boundless private properties – vast herds of everything from elephant and giraffe to zebra and ante­lope.

Borana Lodge and Wilderness Trails, two neighboring cattle ranches comprising more than 100,000 acres in northern Kenya, offer game drives led by excellent native trackers and guides; you’ll rarely see another vehicle, an almost unheard-of luxury in the comparatively crowded national parks of East Africa these days. Both offer horseback expeditions on patient steeds that allow very close encounters with the resident wildlife, and exhilarating night game drives under a canopy of stars to spot what you may have missed during the day. The conservation-minded Craig family, owners of the sprawling 60,000-acre Wilderness Trails at Lewa Downs, has transformed a parcel of their farm, along with some adjacent govern­ment land, into the Ngare Sergoi Rhino Sanctuary for that endangered species.

Thirty-six black rhinos and white rhinos are now protected from poachers by guards with walkie-talkies. Neighboring guests at Borana Lodge are welcome visitors.

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