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“'Born Free'....This is a Must!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Elsa's Kopje

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Elsa's Kopje
Certificate of Excellence
Leicester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“'Born Free'....This is a Must!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 June 2014

What a spectacular setting to have such a magnificent lodge. With rooms that reminded me of Tolkien's 'middle earth', but perched not in valley but around a rock outcrop that itself had panoramic views of the Meru National Park, Elsa's Kopje is indeed a spectacular place to visit, relax and soak up the history that it possesses.

Made famous for the story of Joy and George Adamson and their 'work' with Elsa the lioness, I really enjoyed the rooms and bathrooms, dining experiences, walks and above all the friendly and helpful staff. Thank you for ticking yet another one of my 'Bucket List' and I hope that those reading this add it to theirs if it isn't already there.

If you thinking of coming - 'don't think just do' - make sure you read the book or watch the film 'Born Free' before you arrive. The story of the Adamson's and the relationship to the Kopje will only add to what is an exemplary experience.

Room Tip: I stayed in a room across a rope bridge... not sure of the number but with quite breathtaking views.
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  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jasobar007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elsa's Kopje, responded to this review, 17 June 2014
Thank you so much for your glowing review, we are delighted that you enjoyed your stay at Elsa's Kopje. The 'Born Free' story is indeed such a special legacy for us and something that we're very keen to weave into all we do today. It certainly makes a difference having read the book - good tip!

Do come back and visit us again soon.

Warmest wishes
Thomas and Jana (Relief Managers) and all at Elsa's Kopje
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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223 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
Date | Rating
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  • English first
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English first
Banff
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 June 2014

Wow! From the lodge staff to the driver/guides, Elsa's Kopje truly impresses. We stayed for 2 nights in June and loved every minute of it. We could have stayed forever. The accommodation is unique and delightful and is truly a part of the natural surrounding in which it has been developed. The stellar commitment of C&P to the environment is obvious from the moment you arrive. The shop is stocked with beautiful handicrafts made in the local area. The pool area is magical - a delightful place to while away the heat of the day while watching the giraffe in the bush below. The food in the restaurant was fresh and uncomplicated - the true flavours of the food really comes through and you can sense the culinary staff's passion in every bite. Each and every staff member was professional and knowledgable. Our game drives were wonderful, with the driver/guides working closely with our Micato guide to ensure an exceptional experience. Although Meru National Park doesn't have the quantity of animals that you find in some of the other parks and conservancies, what it does have is spectacular. Hippos, white rhinos, giraffes, elephants, dikdiks and more, in addition to some wonderful bird life. Our time at Elsa's is a highlight of our time in Kenya and should be on any safari-traveller's Bucket List. It is incomparable. A big thanks and congratulations to the management team for creating such a magical spot.

  • Stayed June 2014, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MountainGirlHikes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elsa's Kopje, responded to this review, 12 June 2014
Thank you for your lovely review - we are delighted that your stay at Elsa's Kopje was the highlight of your trip to Kenya. We, and all our staff here, very much enjoyed meeting you. Do come back soon!
Warmest wishes
Thomas and Jana (Relief Managers) and all at Elsa's Kopje
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Johannesburg, South Africa
Level Contributor
15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 April 2014

I always talk about the “wow factor” which you get at some very selected lodges. At Elsa’s Kopje you definitely get it. Our suite (we learned later that it is the Honeymoon Suite, room number 10) had the full on Wow factor.

Upon arrival at Elsa's (the only commercial lodge in the reserve) we were greeted by the managing couple Philip and Charlie, and you notice immediately that they love what they do – and that they are extremely good at it! After a short introduction we were led to our room. No – room is not the right word: a suite that sprawls over three levels, with a sundeck including two sun loungers, a lounge area with sofas and coffee station on the second level (here it is also possible to accommodate 2 children) and a beautiful bedroom with en-suite bathroom on the bottom level. Oh, and have I mentioned, the views from each level are to die for; extensive views over the plane, and there are no walls to interrupt them; just some netting that is being closed during the night. The toilet deserves the term “loo with a view”, as you can enjoy some serious game viewing from that very private spot.

Meru is a national park, famous for its enormous diversity of game. It not only has the “Big 5”, including white and black rhino, but also cheetah, wild dog and the highly endangered “Grevy Zebra” a beautiful animal with narrow stripes and a white belly, as well as the Reticulated Giraffe, with very pronounced patterns.
The terrain at Meru is very different to Amboseli, with much more vegetation, palm trees (Doum Palms) and quite a few rivers to cross.
The mountain ranges you can see on the horizon certainly make it even more spectacular.

I highly recommend a combination of Elsa's with one or two camps in the Masai Mara.

Room Tip: room number 10 is spectacular, but every room has some very special features. I prefer the rooms clo...
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Angela M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elsa's Kopje, responded to this review, 28 April 2014
Thank you so much for taking the time to write your review. We love it when guests share the ‘Wow factor’.. its what Elsa’s and Meru is all about!
Warmest wishes
Philip & Charlie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
Level Contributor
27 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 April 2014

So so much to say about wonderful Elsa's though I will keep it short and sweet....
Firstly, Sammy our guide for 3 days, brilliant from the moment we arrived until the very last minute we sadly said goodbye. Incredibly knowledgable on all wildlife, flora and fauna and knew all the answers to the 100s of questions I asked. Thankyou Sammy...
Phillip and Charlie for being the most fabulous hosts. Always there to greet us of a morning before early game drives and on our return. Lovely chatting with them at lunch and dinners and checking on our every need which was fantastic.
All the staff in the dining and bar area were so friendly and the food was absolutely delicious for breakfast lunch and dinner!
Accommodation, Meru, game drives, meals, picnics, staff, pool area, Sammy all 10/10
Thankyou to all at Elsa's and Kenya!

  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank diesy8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elsa's Kopje, responded to this review, 28 April 2014
So pleased you enjoyed your stay. We really hope to see you back before too long. Very best wishes, Phillip, Charlie & Sammy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 March 2014

My wife and I spent 6 nights at Elsa's Kopje this past January. We were met by our guides and transported to lodge. It was absolutely magical experience. We were greeted upon arrival by Charlie and Phillip, the managers of the lodge. Our accommodations were excellent and the food was fantastic. The staff were extremely friendly and very discreet. Our guide Simon was superb and was intimately familiar with the local flora and fauna. The hosts Charlie and Phillip were wonderful and attentive. I cannot say one negative thing about our experience at Elsa's Kopje. I would strongly recommend this place to anyone. We felt perfectly safe in Kenya and throughout our trip. All in all, a wonderful experience that we shall soon do again.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank KitNBJohnson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elsa's Kopje, responded to this review, 11 March 2014
Thank you so much for taking time to write your review. It was an absolute pleasure hosting the 2 of you - hope to see you again!
Warmest wishes
Philip & Charlie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Townsville, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 March 2014

I was collected at the airstrip by Sammy my driver and enjoyed my very first game drive back to the boutique lodge. How exciting was this when I saw elephants, giraffes and zebras by the time I had arrived at the lodge. I was impressed with how each of the cottages were built into the granite rocks with little disturbance to the natural environment. From my verandah I had wide sweeping views of Meru National Park which were uninterrupted and breathtaking. I continued to be wowed at every activity I engaged in. The delicious Italian gourmet meals, beauty treatments in a room opening out to the vast plains with wildlife just passing by and sundowners at locations reminiscent of the movie Born Free. The whole package was magical. Lazing by the infinity pool watching the wildlife in the distance was such a unique experience.
The very best experience of my 3 days at Elsa’s Kopje was meeting Abdullah a very large but at the same time super cool elephant who enjoys meeting the passing vehicles and providing a natural speed bump in the road. This would have to be one of the most amazing experiences I have had on any of my world travels. The rhino reserve was so special with the rhinos being protected from poachers, and sipping sundowners in the reserve with the rhinos in the distance.
My days were busy but relaxing at the same time with my every wish being attended to by staff who are dedicated and passionate about the very unique wildlife. I would highly recommend this lodge to anyone seeking the ultimate African safari experience.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Katrina V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elsa's Kopje, responded to this review, 11 March 2014
Thank you so much for your lovely review. Abdullah really is a crowd pleaser - think he knows it too!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ascot, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
35 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2014

We stayed at Elsa’s Camp for three nights with my parents.

Contrary to advice prior to my visit (probably by people who have never been), Meru is a very beautiful National Park with a lot of interesting and varied game. I have travelled a fair amount in Kenya and I think it is now one of my favourite parks.
Our safari guide Philip was very personable and extremely conscientious. His knowledge of birds was first rate. He was always careful to approach all bird and game sightings slowly (where possible with the sun behind us) in order for everyone to have a good sighting/photograph.
We travelled with my parents who are a little older, Philip always took care to take portable steps on the LandCruiser so that my parents could get on and off the vehicle with ease.
Philip was an absolute joy to spend time with out in the bush.
The lodge is situated on a large Kopje. It has been designed in sympathy to the surroundings and with great views.
Our large room was wonderful, very airy, open with a panoramic view over Meru.
Martin looked after our room with great dedication and attention to detail. It seems that every time we left the room he checked everything, tidied and topped up our drinking water. In addition he brought our coffee in the morning and I swear he must have waited outside our door with a stopwatch to wake us at exactly the right time every morning! Thank you Martin!
The food was very tasty and plentiful. The guys in the restaurant were very friendly and professional - Thanks Alex and the team.
I also particularly liked the cake before the afternoon game drives!
On a personal note, the seated bush breakfast situated in an opening surrounded by trees was a highlight for me. It was my favourite meal in the two weeks we spent in Kenya!
My partner has a wheat intolerence and after discussing this with (the excellent Relief manager) Lucy, she was always advised on what she could or could not eat by the staff and indeed she regularly received an enjoyable dedicated meal. The attention to detail was such, that she was even given her own special cake/biscuits with early morning coffee and afternoon tea. She has asked me to thank everyone for this kindness.
The lodge also offers walks up to the peak of the Kopje. Unfortunately I only decided I wanted to go when we had virtually run out of time. As an example of Lucy’s professionalism, she of course said it would be fine and 10 minutes later we were hiking up to the top. We were guided up there by one of the trainees, Titus - he did a great job pointing out the differing flora, insects, birds etc. The view from the top is amazing.
I thoroughly recommend Elsa’s on every level and would like to thank Lucy and all the staff for their attention to detail that made our stay there absolutely fantastic.

Room Tip: All rooms look great
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank rjm50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CheliPeacockKenya, Manager at Elsa's Kopje, responded to this review, 11 March 2014
Thank you so much for your fabulous, detailed review. We're so lucky with our team here at Elsa's - not only are they good at their job but they're a joy to work with!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Elsa's Kopje

Property: Elsa's Kopje
Address: Mughwango Hill, Meru National Park, Kenya
Region: Kenya > Eastern Province > Meru National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 6 Speciality Lodging in Meru National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:5 star — Elsa's Kopje 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Elsa’s Kopje is almost invisible to the eye as you approach its home on Mughwango Hill. It blends into the rocky crags of the "kopje" (small hill), built above the site of George Adamson's original campsite. Every cottage is the ultimate 'room-with-a-view,' uniquely designed and crafted, incorporating the natural features of the rocky hillside. There is also an open bar, lounge and dining room with an exceptionally inviting infinity pool overlooking the Meru plains. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Elsa`s Kopje Hotel Meru National Park

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