Sirai House, Borana, Kenya

w: Icon Private Collection

Sirai House, Borana, Kenya

Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House, Borana, Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya
Sirai House Borana Kenya

Sirai House, Borana, Kenya

A private home in the Borana Conservancy in the Laikipia region of Kenya, located at the foot of snow-capped Mount Kenya, Sirai House sits in a secluded 250-acre estate, high on a ridge with spectacular views in all directions, surrounded by indigenous forests and game-rich Kenyan hills and plains.

For several years, the owners of Sirai had searched Kenya for the perfect site to build a contemporary East African lodge. In 2009, a serendipitous meeting with Michael Dyer, a third-generation member of the Kenyan family who established the Borana Conservancy, provided the seed from which the project grew. They became shareholders in the Conservancy, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the sustainable conservation of critical habitat and wildlife.

Working with neighbours and the community, Borana’s mission is to provide a sustainable ecosystem for critically endangered species. It takes an holistic approach to ensure tourism, ranching and other enterprise fund the building of local livelihoods and enhance the ecosystem integrity.

Built by Kenyan craftsmen with local materials, the house celebrates a love of architecture, design and location. Sirai takes its name from the Maasai word for the euphorbia tree, which, along with the wild olive trees and cedars, dot the ridge on which the house sits.

To the north the panorama stretches across Lewa Downs and the country’s northern frontier towards Samburu, to the west the vast expanse of the Conservancy and to the south, ancient forests and the iconic outline of Mount Kenya.

More than 35,000 acres in size, Borana is just 17 miles north of the equator and is at an altitude of around 6,500 feet – which means the weather is warm during the day and cool at night all year round. The high altitude also means the region is malaria free.

The location of the house, one of the highest points in the Borana Conservancy and with 360 degree panoramas, is utterly unique and provides guests with staggering views from every room. Despite the spectacular position, Sirai, like a pride of lions perched high on a mountainside, sits gently in its surroundings, at one with its native African flora and fauna.

BEDROOMS

At the end of the warm day, when the sun sets and the air cools, the stars shine down on Sirai. Sated from dinner, with the day’s wonders still placing a smile on your lips, it is time to retire to one of our sumptuous bedroom suites.

Our staff will light your way along the path to your room where you will find a log fire crackling and a hot water bottle tucked between crisp linen. Each cottage stands apart for privacy and seclusion, creating a personal space to retreat yet always in contact with the main house by phone for anything you require.

MASTER SUITE

As befitting the principal bedroom suite, this room is unrivalled for space and comfort. Next to the bedroom and sitting area is a large dressing room.

Beyond a glass wall of retractable doors, a private terrace and infinity pool leads the eye out across the plains of Kenya that lay below Sirai.

MASTER BATHROOM

The magnificent vista sweeps the life of the African bush into the room as you recline on the bed or laze in the opulent marble tub.

SUITE 2

This elegant suite is only a short distance from the terrace of the main house. The warmth of the furs and fabrics are stunningly offset by tranquil tones of stone and sky.

SUITES 3 & 4

Providing yet another solution to how you use the limitless space of Sirai, and how you wish to interact with your fellow guests, these two suites join onto a large shared drawing room. Invite friends and family around for cocktails, snacks or play cards while our staff bring along drinks or snacks for you.

These suites can be a wonderful private retreat to lounge, read, work or simply sit out on the veranda and drink in the sweeping views of Borana.

SUITES 5 & 6

Like suites 3 & 4, these rooms have the added advantage of a shared drawing room between them and all the versatility and seclusion that brings. Furthest from the main house these suites are a magical hideaway, set amongst the tree-tops with a private wooden walkway down to a secret viewing platform.

FEAST

“Come to the watering hole for more than water; friends and dreams are there to meet you.” ~ African proverb

What you eat, where you eat and when you eat at Sirai is at your discretion but our pledge is to make each meal an experience of delight and wonder. Our menus start at roots level with our commitment to self-sufficiency and sustainability.

KITCHEN

Nearly all the fruits and vegetables used in our kitchens are grown in our wonderful shamba, the Kenyan cousin of the English cottage vegetable garden. Eggs and poultry are from our own chickens, beef is from the Borana cattle herds and all game is locally sourced. Even the honey is from our own bees.

When all this delicious produce reaches our kitchens it is welcomed into the arms of head chef George whose knowledge and enthusiasm are evident on every plate. His hand-picked kitchen team is extensively experienced in cooking for all tastes and nutritional choices. Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and sugar-free are all happily catered for with a passion to give you the very best food we can, no matter what your dietary requirements.

THE WINE CELLAR

Great care has been taken to select some exquisite house wines that will accompany George’s wonderful food. We also have a spectacular cellar, dramatically situated behind glass at one end of the dining room, housing more than three thousand fine wines from around the world that can be viewed or purchased at any time.

UNDER AN AFRICAN SUN

With Sirai’s almost perfect weather, clear skies, a bright sun and a cool breeze, you will be able to enjoy its grounds at any time of day and find many diversions for everyone in your party.

THE POOL AREA

The exquisite pool area provides an oasis for outdoor lounging. On the flat lawns beside the pool edge stand large double daybeds, each with a shaded parasol and a view across the Borana Conservancy and the Kenyan plains beyond.

There is a cool, seating area beside the poolside bar for reading, playing cards or chatting. Showers and robes can be found in our changing rooms so there is little need to leave the area before drinks or lunch in the loggia.

LAWNS & GARDENS

Our lawns can be set up for croquet, the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea. A stone table-tennis table stands beside the pool ready for long-fought contests near the hub of group life. For a more sedate, lengthy battle of skill you will find a wonderful boules pitch near the shade of the cedar trees and only yards from the seats of the boma, providing an excellent viewing gallery.

TERRACES AND GARDENS

Terraced gardens of fragrant planting surround the house, gradually merging with the wild flowers and grasses of the bush. Make time for the simple pleasure of wandering the grounds at your leisure, finding hidden views and beautiful flora at every turn. On the main veranda stands a powerful automatic digital Meade LS8 telescope to spot game during the day, and gaze at the glorious night sky in the evening.

ON THE ESTATE

Explore the Sirai grounds a little further from the house along the perfectly raked paths leading you up to the kitchens where a member of George’s kitchen team will be happy to show you around the wondrous kitchen garden, the shamba, or take a stroll to visit our chickens or our bees and learn about them from their keepers.

THE STABLES

Even for those who do not ride, a visit to our stables is a wonderful experience. Stroke the velvet muzzles of the beautiful mares and their foals in the stables and paddocks, or watch them being schooled in the ménage. A warm welcome awaits from Venetia and her team and they will be glad to show you around. In the stable yard stands our shop, an excellent place to take tea and browse locally-made goods before returning to the house.

SECURITY

Sirai House is set within a 250-acre gated estate, protected by 3m electric fencing. A team of askari (guards) patrol the grounds day and night and are in constant radio contact with the Borana security team. Borana Conservancy itself benefits from a 3m high 7,000-volt electric fence and is patrolled 24/7 by a 50-man security team to protect the wildlife from poachers.

GAME DRIVES

If you wish to experience a real connection with big game, to hear a male lion’s breath from thirty meters, to watch a baby elephant snap twigs from the other side of a bush you could reach out and touch, you may do so at your whim day or night. Completely secure within our luxurious custom Land Rovers, our KPSGA-registered guide, Boniface, will share with you his knowledge, his heritage and his love of the abundant wildlife and flora to be found within the Borana and Lewa Conservancies.

WALKING SAFARIS

Armed with binoculars, you will silently creep behind Boniface as he leads you through the land. Stepping lightly and talking in whispers, the thrill of observing large game on foot will be a memory made in Sirai that will never leave you. Boniface carries two things with him that ensure your safety: many years of experience and a rifle.

RIDING SAFARIS

Experienced riders can delight in exploring Borana from the saddle; an early morning hack, riding out to follow an elephant herd or cantering up to the brow of a hill for sundowners around a fire. For the ulitmate riding experience, ask us to prepare an overnight safari with exhilarating, adventurous days on horseback and nights in our luxury campsite where none of the comforts of Sirai are left behind.

FLY CAMPING

If you yearn for the true wilds of the African bush, let us arrange an overnight camp where the comfort and service found at Sirai makes this an overland adventure without sacrifice of luxury. Let our tents with wooden beds, our campaign-table bar and dinner beneath the African night sky evoke memories of a distant era where attention to detail and quality brought glamour to the wilderness.

PICNICS AND SUNDOWNERS

When you trek down river from the Blue Pools or cross the rope bridge to find, on a wooden platform perched amongst the tree-tops, a lunch table laid with linen and smiling staff holding silver platters of food.

When you arrive at the top of a hill by Land Rover or horse back and find a circle of chairs around a fire, with warm shawls and chilled drinks awaiting you and all of Kenya lying beneath you before the setting sun – then you realise Sirai is more than a house, it is a standard of excellence and splendour that follows you wherever you venture during your stay.

EXCURSIONS

From your base at Sirai, all of Kenya calls to you with a warm welcome. Take a short drive or a breathtaking helicopter flight to see more of this very special part of the world.

THE BLUE POOLS

At Borana’s southern boundary on the foothills of Mount Kenya, our guides will lead you through the Ngare Ndare forest. This is the corridor used by elephant as they travel from the Lewa Conservancy to higher ground on the mountain. After walking beside the river or across the treetop walkway the trees part to reveal the stunning azure waters of the pools. Swim, climb the waterfalls and leap into the water as sunlight glimmers through the canopy high above.

MOUNT KENYA

“An ethereal mountain…a blue-black tooth of shear rock inlaid with azure glaciers, austere yet floating fairy-like on the near horizon… For hours afterwards I remained spell-bound.” – (mountaineer Felice Benuzzi of Mount Kenya). This UNESCO World Heritage Site is accessible from Sirai by helicopter. Gaze down on its forests, ridges, glaciers and peaks or land beside Lake Alice or Lake Michelson for fly fishing or a picnic at 3,550m.

THE SINGING WELLS

Travel to witness people of Ol Donyo Wasin fetch precious water from these deep wells and hear them sing as they pump it for their livestock in century-old tradition. As the song changes, each animal knows when it is their turn to come and drink.

LAKE BOGORIA

Take a short flight by bi-plane and peer down at the nesting site of one of the world’s largest flamingo flocks. Fed by the Sandai and Emos rivers, with 200 hot springs, this volcanic lake is their chosen home. Watch the heat haze shimmer with bright pink as legions of birds take flight from the rippled water’s surface.

SUGATA VALLEY & LAKE TURKANA

Follow in the footsteps of Count Teleki’s 1888 expedition that reached the shores of the lake, now named to honour its reclusive indigenous people. It lies in the Great Rift Valley, created by a jagged fault that tore across the crust of the African continent 20 million years ago, still considered by many to be the birthplace of mankind. On this special part of our earth you will camp beneath magical night skies and see large colonies of Nile crocodiles as well as the myriad species of migratory birds that travel this route.

THE ECOSYSTEM

Sirai House is one of six shareholders in the Borana Conservancy which collectively fund the operational costs of the conservancy to the tune of $1million each year which is spent on the security and conservation of the flaura, fauna and ecosystems, with all profits reinvested in the Conservancy.

Borana is dedicated to the sustainable conservation of land and wildlife, taking a holistic approach to building local livelihoods and enhancing ecosystem integrity.

CONSERVATION

Borana is home to an abundance of wildlife including many critically endangered species, most notably the healthy populations of black and white rhino which are flourishing here, thanks to the security and conservation measures in place.

Conservation is ingrained in the DNA of Sirai House; we feel a tremendous sense of responsibility to contribute to maintaining the wonderful environment we are so privileged to enjoy.

In addition to contributing to funding the operational costs of the conservancy, The Borana Conservation Trust, established by Sirai House, has donated over $400,000 over the past five years to various specific projects which aim to conserve the region’s flora and fauna, while supporting the local communities through education and health initiatives.

WILDLIFE

Borana and neighbouring Lewa afford excellent game viewing – as well as black and white rhino, you are likely to encounter herds of elephant, the endangered reticulated giraffe, the rare Grevy’s zebra and the better-known Burchill’s zebra. Big cats include lion, leopard, cheetah, serval cat and civet; with spotted and striped hyena, wild dog, jackal and bat-eared fox adding to the list of predators living here.

PLAINS GAME

As well as zebra, there are large herds of buffalo and a host of antelope species ranging from Africa’s largest, the eland, to the smallest, the dik dik – and many others in between such as the greater kudu, oryx, impala, Grant’s gazelle, gerenuk and hartebeest.

BIRDING

With more than 300 species of birds in Borana, there are too many to mention by name – but every game drive or walking safari will almost certainly be punctuated by flashes of colour as one or another of Borana’s feathered residents swoops in to view. Specialist birding guides can be arranged.

GETTING HERE

Borana is a four-hour drive from Nairobi and a one-hour drive from the town of Nanyuki.

There are daily scheduled flights by Safarilink and Air Kenya from Nairobi Wilson Airport to neighbouring Lewa Downs Conservancy airstrip from where we’ll collect you. It’s about 50 minutes’ drive to Sirai House, during which you are likely to be greeted by rhino, elephant, zebra and giraffe amongst the many species which live here.

TRANSFERS

There is also an airstrip on the Borana Conservancy for private charter flights, taking about an hour from Nairobi, flying past Mount Kenya, followed by a 20-minute drive to Sirai House through the Borana Conservancy.

Private charters can either be booked from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport or from Wilson Airport, Nairobi’s domestic airfield. We can arrange transfers to facilitate travel between Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Wilson airport if required.

If you take an overnight flight from Heathrow, you can expect to be at Sirai for a late breakfast. The negligible time difference means it is perfectly possible to enjoy Sirai for a long weekend from Europe.

We also have a helicopter landing pad within our grounds and will arrange helicopter transfers if required.

  • 6 Suites
    12 Guests
    Price on application

powered by Typeform

2855 words

Leave a Reply

Comments are closed.

Private Island Villa, Tanzania

8 Camps Bay, Cape Town, South Africa

Morokuru Ocean House, South Africa

Sign up for exclusive updates and content

© Legend - A Handcrafted Misfit Theme

ICON PRIVATE COLLECTION

Captivating villa on Platinum Coast, Barbados

The Beachfront House, Barbados

Architectural gem on Long Bay Beach, Turks & Caicos

Mansion in north Mallorca, Spain

Exquisite Estate near Taormina, Sicily, Italy

Beachfront Luxury Villa in Little Harbor, Anguilla

Palazzo in Forte dei Marmi, Tuscany, Italy

Stunning Beachfront Home, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Casa in Punta Mita, Mexico

Ultra Modern Mansion, Cannes, France