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BORANA CONSERVANCY, LAIKIPIA, KENYA
Arijiju was designed to lie low in the wilds of Borana-Lewa Conservancy’s Sieku Valley in Northern Kenya. Partly sculptured into the rock-bed with grass roofs, there’s a low-impact beauty that seeps through the entire Arijiju experience. The five-bedroom private house is acutely aware of its interconnected relationship and dependence on the thriving ecosystem, cultures, and communities that surround it. Monthly contributions to Borana Conservancy’s 90,000 acres help to fund the protection of 14% of Kenya’s Black Rhino population, alongside over 300 elephants, flourishing lion prides, cheetah, leopard, giraffe, and many other endangered species.
Arijiju offers a range of different activities and encourages guests to stay for longer rather than the usual hopping from one safari camp to the next. This allows guests to have a slower and more enriching stay, peppered with experiences that are owned and led by the surrounding villages and communities. Alongside the carbon-efficient and sustainably built thatched spa, fresh kitchen garden produce and ethically reared meat, biking safaris, and hiking through Ngare Ndare Forest, there’s the chance to visit local villages and enjoy football matches with the Arijiju community team.
The owners say, ‘Our mission is to provide a space that people can come to and completely leave behind the stress of their everyday life. We want our guests to leave with a sense of revival whilst also knowing how important it is to travel to places that strive to make a positive impact on their environment. Arijiju aims to support the Borana Conservancy and greater Laikipia region as much as it can.’
Arijiju joined The Long Run in 2020 embarking on a sustainability journey committing to a holistic balance of the 4Cs – Conservation, Community, Culture, and Commerce – as a means to contribute meaningfully to the biodiversity and the people of their local region.
The 4Cs are Arijiju’s guiding principles:
The 4Cs have been embedded within Arijiju from the start. Built on the Borana Conservancy, Arijiju is acutely aware that the value of wildlife must be treasured not only by guests and employees but also by Borana’s local community. At Arijiju and the wider landscape, each person and business are co-dependent on each other and on the ecosystem that is the underlying natural capital within this connected landscape. Conservation must extend beyond the conservancy’s boundaries. Wildlife must be valued by members of the local community to continue to exist.
Borana Conservancy along with Arijiju’s support has undertaken several pragmatic conservation and management programmes aimed at securing its population of threatened species, mainly the black rhino.
Arijiju was built in 2015 after the owner was offered an investment opportunity to Borana Conservancy and all relevant partners. The owners had been visiting Arijiju for the past 12 years before getting the chance to invest in the Conservancy and building Arijiju House. Arijiju along with the 4 other investment partners pay a fixed monthly fee to the Conservancy regardless as to whether there are guests staying at the properties or not. This ensures the Conservancy has a fixed income generated from the four partners and contributes directly to the running costs of the conservancy, community outreach programmes and the protection of the ecosystem.
Arijijus Environmental Practices:
Arijiju believes that employees are its biggest asset. Not only would the house not be able to function without them, the bigger picture Borana conservancy needs the support of the local communities for a sustainable and resilient long-term future.
Arijiju is proud to celebrate the cultures that surround them and show support for the people and traditions that are part of its DNA. Some activities they offer to highlight this include:
Arijiju provides monthly contributions to Borana Conservancy irrespective of occupancy success, which in turn supports the protection of the landscape, ecosystems, wildlife, and people of the area.
Hidden away in a valley on the Lewa Borana Conservancy in Kenya, Arijiju is a beautiful private house, available for exclusive hire for groups of up to ten. Designed by a combination of leading architects and interior designers, the house opened in 2016.
Arijiju offers a range of different activities and encourages guests to stay for longer visits rather than doing the usual Kenya safari itinerary of staying at different lodges or camps for two or three days before moving on to the next. This ensures more money during a guest stay goes to experiences that are owned by the local community.
The Borana Conservancy is built on a unique sustainable conservation funding model that relies on a combination of visitors paying conservation fees and a shareholder commitment to underwrite budgeted shortfalls for core conservation costs. The shareholders share a commitment and commonality of purpose and the overall objectives are to continue to secure natural capital in perpetuity and ensure that Borana alongside Lewa and Il Ngwesi acts as a stabilising influence within the wider landscape. Much of what needs to be done in protecting and nurturing nature is too big for any one entity and increasingly it is recognised that preserving and expanding intact wilderness on our planet is also a collective global responsibility.
Arijiju is a shareholder in Borana, the leaseholder of the underlying land asset with one share and Arijiju contributes 1/9 of the annual core conservation budget direct to Borana Conservancy.
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