Playing Chicken with an African Buffalo in Kenya

Borana Lodge was my second stop on my Kenyan safari this June.  The feel of this place was completely different than any lodge/camp I’ve had the pleasure of visiting.  It’s a family-run lodge (the Dyers) and we met a whole bunch of the family, from grandparents to grand kids, during our stay.  We also met old family friends staying at the lodge, who turned out to be mid-life party boys.  The scene was very social and everyone intermingled and had fun. Here’re a few highlights:

1. On the airport transfer to Borana, we drove through the conservancy Llewa Downs.  By the lake there were hippos and rhinos - I couldn't tell where to look.  Then, all of a sudden, two cheetahs walked by.

Borana cheetah

2.  Riding Rose Dyer’s Somali and Ethiopian ponies literally right through a herd of giraffe.

Borana ethiopian giraffes

3.  On our safari through Llewa Downs, we encountered the mild-manner white rhino.  We got a bit too close to his wife and baby, so he 'mock charged' us in the jeep.

Borana Rhino charge 2

4.  Racing up a tall, steep hill on a thoroughbred named Abracadabra.  He was booting it but we were overtaken by an English lad and a horse named Glenda.  When we got to the top, we paused to catch our breath and take in the scenery.  I realized we were above the clouds.

Borana abracadabra clouds

5.  Siobhan telling me over sundowners that she watched a pride of lions check me and the other riders out.

4.  Playing ‘chicken’ with a huge, African buffalo bull.  I’d heard that lone bulls could be challenging – they are known to be the most dangerous animals in Africa.  We encountered one on a path while riding.  Our guide approached him step by step until he was finally scared up the hill.  He gave us very dirty looks as we walked by.  It was great to experience this encounter while being very carefully taken care of by Flick and the Borana guides.

5.  Sitting down to lunch on the terrace and having new guests land in front of the dining table, in a HELICOPTER.

I highly recommend Borana for the riding, the gorgeous lodge, private chalets with roaring fires, stunning breakfast menu, French service at dinner and even the fly-camping.  I got talked into camping in the wilderness because there were 10 men catering to our every need.


Trip details:

Borana Lodge - Lodge site

Booked through In The Saddle.

Date of safari: June 2012

I visited three locals in Kenya, and each experience was completely different.  Read about the other two: Ol Donyo and Richard’s Camp.