Elsa’s Kopje - the key is in the word ‘kopje’
We drove across the plains of Meru National Park in Kenya, stopping to observe the Cape buffalo and gazelle as we went. Off in the distance loomed a towering outcropping of stones also known as a kopje. Our driver mentioned that we should be at the lodge in about 15 minutes and continued to drive towards the imposing mound.
Then the penny dropped. Elsa’s Kopje was built into the side of the kopje. Built on top of the kopje. In fact, you need to be a mountain goat to get to your room.
Actually, it is not as bad as it sounds. Of course, my room was the best suite, perched at the tippy top of the kopje.
The suite has exceptional panoramic views of the vast plains beyond. Fully open at daytime and just screening put in place at night, it was airy and refreshing throughout the day. My sleeping room had a large king bed under generous mosquito netting. The sitting room had two divans that could be made up as beds with nets that could be put up from ceiling hooks so it was perfect for a family of four. The massive bathroom featured an open shower of stone with a half height privacy wall inside and open spaces to the outside. Privacy came in that it overlooked an area that only the eagles could see.
Other rooms had similar facilities and views and through strategic positioning, offered the same privacy.
There is small reception at the foot of the kopje where guests receive a brief orientation and are assisted to their rooms. Most of the time at the lodge is spent either in the rooms or at the central lounge area which includes the dining area. The lodge offers an all inclusive meal plan, so all meals and house beverages are included. House beverages include soft drinks, bottled water, juice, coffee, tea, domestic beer, house wine and non-premium spirits.
The food was geared towards western tastes. Chicken, fish, pasta, fresh vegetables and salads. Service quite professional.
I opted for a massage by their resident masseuse. She was very professional and through and some of the bumps of the day were worked out nicely.
Though I had arrived with my own safari vehicle, we did have an opportunity to experience their game drives in their open 4x4. There are of course benefits to the open vehicle as well as having a driver/guide that is resident to the area and extensively knows the history and patterns of the wildlife.
One thing interesting is that the lodge shares its residency with the rock hyrax. If you are not familiar with the hyrax, it is a small creature not too unlike a rodent but is the closest relative to the elephant. After the first day there we went to collect a member of the group who was joining us late. One the way back, he saw one and wanted to stop and take a picture. I told him that he would have lots of opportunities,
Elsa’s Kopje is part of the Cheli Peacock group located in Meru National Park in Kenya. You can arrange to visit this property by visiting www.africasbestsafaris.com.