Reviews of Elsa's Kopje
Wildlife sightings and reviews
11 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Elsa's Kopje and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Surprising Meru; Elsa’s Kopje review"
The rains were generally intermittent light showers, mainly in the morning, and they didn’t particularly interfere with our drives. Interestingly, our guide Moses mentioned that the lions had taken to climbing trees to avoid the soggy ground and numerous insects that were flourishing (but few mosquitoes), and we did indeed find a lioness and several cubs up in trees, which were special sightings for me. The protected rhino sanctuary is also well worth a visit. A cordoned-off part of the National Park, it is completely wild in feel, and there are points within the fenceline that are designed to allow animals other than rhinos to traverse freely between the sanctuary and the rest of the Park, so there is plenty to see in the sanctuary besides just rhino. Reticulated giraffes browsing amongst the Dr. Seuss-like palms, gerenuk, a few Grevy’s Zebra (at a far distance), and Vulturine Guinea Fowl were a few of the Northern specialties that we saw. We also saw a lot elephants.
The chalets at Elsa’s are huge (ours was split-level), and the facilities are spread out. If you are mobility-challenged, it might be a bit daunting. The place is also a bit more formal in tone than we normally prefer, but I must say that the management did an excellent job in pairing us up with other guests who, like us, wanted to emphasize time on game drives rather than time in camp. Picnic breakfasts were prepared for us so that we could stay out all morning. There definitely were other guests in camp who preferred more pampering, and I have only praise for the balancing act that the management pulled off. A chef-catered bush breakfast and a few chef-catered sundowners with other guests were nice touches, and fortunately they blended in nicely with our game drives. If we had been required to abandon a sighting in order to make those, however (and we were not), I might feel differently." See all these reviews: 14n in Kenya
My expectations for a safari lodge were more than met. The room was spacious and always clean and comfortable. I had a wonderful thoughtful poem on my bed each evening: food for thought. I could hear the animals in the evening and did not see any other cabins once I was in my lodgings in the evening.
The manager and assistant manager took the time to visit with me and talk about the charity work that the lodge supports. The lodge used environmentally friendly materials every day and tried to lesson their impact on the environment.
My only suggestion would be to not use those juice boxes with the plastic wrap and straws - just put some juice in a glass jar and call it good. Cloth napkins were used and thus very little waste throughout the trip." See all these reviews: 9n in Kenya
"Excellent property in need of some updates"
From the moment the plane landed, we knew that we were in a special place.
Our excellent guide Moses was there to greet us and his keen eye and really pleasant personality was a great asset throughout our visit.
Tonny, the manager, upgraded us to room #1, a larger size unit with a stunning view.
Food prepared by Chef Philip was excellent and service throughout was great.
However, Elewana should definitely invest some money in needed upgrades however. Screens and mosquito netting had holes, the room’s white decor had lots of marks and signs of squashed bugs, etc.
Looking at the big picture though, we really enjoyed our stay. Game drives were surprisingly interesting and productive especially given the weather and we left with lots of good memories" See all these reviews: 15n in Kenya
"Stylish with substance. "
Meru had experienced heavy rain for two weeks prior to our arrival so the game had dispersed deep into the bush. When you did see game on a drive the animals were very skittish. This is largely explained by the fact that Meru NP has a history of poaching which is still current though we were told the level of poaching is lower than previously experienced. We also found some of the game drives quite frenetic in the search for elusive game!
The relief manager had an excellent knowledge of both wildlife and birds and also the structure of the national parks and reserves in Kenya.
In summary, Meru is an interesting and attractive NP to visit but you have to be prepared for limited game sighting. That said on two separate occasions we had very good sightings of both white and black Rhino." See all these reviews: 10n in Kenya
While it would be fair to say you need to concentrate on game drives to get the most out of them, we were delighted with the game we saw, particularly the 'northern specials' including very many of our favourite reticulated giraffes, plus several lesser kudu which we had not seen before. And it was also great to be able to visit the rhino enclosure where we had several close up white rhino sightings and an excellent if brief sighting of a black rhino mum and baby. We also very much liked the landscape, complete with doum palms and the way in which the hill on which Elsa's is located was such a dominant feature.
But perhaps what made the visit extra special was getting a sense of the strong commitment there has been to restoring the park and to maintaining it as a beacon of conservation, as was evident from things such as the condition of the roads under foot to the presence of KWS/IFAW surveillance planes over head. Many thanks to our guide Anthony who was great.
The camp itself was beautifully and cleverly moulded into the hillside and the accommodation was extremely comfortable though a little bit more clothes hanging and storage space would have been good. The camp seemed to be no more than a maximum of half full during our stay, which suited us fine but I would anticipate that the atmosphere (and number of vehicles departing down and returning up the hill for game drives) would be pretty different during high season when they are much more busy." See all these reviews: 7n in Kenya
" A really special place"
It was great to have a pool which we made use of in the afternoons.
The guides were excellent, making sure they showed us as much as possible. The wildlife was good but more difficult to find than in the Mara - you had to go looking for it, and we didn’t come across a cheetah or leopard. We did know before we went that the wildlife would not be as extensive as in the Mara so this is not a complaint, just an observation.
There’s a lovely atmospheric feel to Elsa’s that’s quite hard to define but is key to its appeal. It’s a very charming place that we would seriously consider going back to a second time." See all these reviews: 12n in Kenya
"Barely another jeep in sight . . ."
Meru covers a huge area and a large part of it is off limits anyway because of the density of the bush. During our stay we didn't see any vehicles other than from the camp or driven by rangers.
This property is immaculately maintained and housekeeping second to none (thank you Christopher!).
All the staff were extremely helpful and friendly and the lunches very good for us as vegetarians. Dinners were a bit hit and miss (a bizarre main of rice and mashed potato for instance). Breakfasts were uninspired compared to Kicheche. We liked the individual dining as a change.
Sightings here were not as prolific as at Laikipia and Samburu but there were huge herds of buffalo, plenty of elephant and giraffe and a brilliant tally of birds, which guide Simon was expert in spotting.
We also saw two separate pairs of honey badgers (one racing off with a snake in its mouth), a striped hyena (which helped us find two lionesses and their four teenage boys) and a bachelor group of gerenuk. A visit to the protected rhino area (which is well worth visiting) yielded a total of 10 southern whites, including a very young one.
Particular features of the park are the huge palm trees and the number of rivers and streams running through. While some were dry, many were not and attract all manner of wildlife from insects and birds to hippo, elephant and buffalo. This offers great photographic opportunities.
Although there is quite a bit of memorabilia from the Elsa/Born Free story around the camp, very little is made of it when out on the drives." See all these reviews: 16n in Kenya
"Wonderful time at Els's Kopje"
"Very Special Camp"
The game is excellent as are the birds. The camp itself is beautifully situated on the Kopje with lovely rooms and incredible views, and a beautiful infinity pool that looks over the plains. The food is delicious and the whole camp is run extremely well.
We enjoy going into the Rhino enclosure to spot the rhino and always find it amazing that considering how many rhino are in there, it is still hard to find them!" See all these reviews: 8n in Kenya
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