The vision behind Arijiju, after a painstaking ten years in the planning and construction, was to build a remarkable and enchanting family home, atypical to a classic safari lodge. The collaboration of various world-renowned architects, coveted interior designers and local creative teams has resulted in this magnificent Kenyan home that is like no other.
Etched into the rock bed, Arijiju, with its wild grass roof and conscious design, disappears into the landscape akin to a leopard slumped over his chosen branch in a nearby tree. Within, polished concrete and exposed stone walls, stunning in their calming simplicity, allow the oversized chandeliers, sumptuous furniture and opulent trimmings - such as the splendid copper bath tubs and enormous French mirrors - to do the talking. Central to Arijiju is a cloistered courtyard inspired by a 12th century French Abbey, flooded with light that feeds into the living areas and bedrooms that flank it. Three of the suites, including the master suite, are situated in the main house, flanking the central courtyard, and a further two are found nestled into the olive groves that surround. All are generous in size and have private bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers.
Outside, you're immersed in Laikipia's diverse plains, where nomadic Maasai tribes endlessly shepherd their herds and wildlife roams. Working tirelessly in close alliance with the neighbouring Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Arijiju raises funds to support important local conservation work. The arrival of 22 black rhinos relocated from other national parks in 2016 further cements Arijiju as a truly special place to discover and explore.
THINGS TO DO AT THE PROPERTY:
- Enjoy a morning yoga session taking in the calming views across the valley
- Cool down in the stunning infinity pool, keeping an eye out for passing game
- Play a game of tennis on the clay court, or expend further energy in the gym or on the squash court
- Unwind in the Retreat – an inviting wellness space with a hammam, hot tub, plunge pool, treatment rooms and in-house spa therapist
- Take pre-dinner drinks on the candle-lit roof terrace
- Feast on delectable, farm-to-table cuisine prepared by the expert chef
- Settle in for the evening with popcorn and a film in the cinema room
THINGS TO DO NEARBY:
- Go off-the-beaten track on memorable game drives, in search of lion, leopard, rhino and elephant
- Set out on an early morning riding safari, followed by a gourmet picnic breakfast in the reserve
- Discover the flora and fauna of the Ngare Ndare forest on a treetop canopy walk, then cool down with a dip in the waterfall pools
- Join the team of rangers to track rhino and learn about the important conversation work taking place in the region
- Uncover the smaller creatures of the bush on a guided nature walk
- Delve deeper into the pristine landscapes on a mountain biking or quad biking adventure
- Marvel at the snow-covered peaks of Mount Kenya by helicopter
- Cast a fly in the mountain's most remote Lake Michelson and Lake Alice, only accessible by helicopter
- Challenge yourself with a run along the 15-mile Arijiju Trail
WHY WE LIKE IT:
When it comes to design and style, Arijiju stands in a class entirely of its own. It is not just the house itself that stands out, however. The attention-to-detail, exquisite cuisine and wealth of activities on offer in this untouched stretch of Laikipia wilderness make the experience at Arjiju quite unlike anything else.