Elsamere is a haven for lovers of nature, set in Acacia forest on the banks of Lake Naivasha, in Kenya's Rift Valley. It is the former home of the late Joy Adamson who, together with her husband George, became world famous for their pioneering conservation work and relationship with the lioness Elsa, as told in her best selling book and subsequent film, BORN FREE.
The Adamsons devoted their lives to wildlife conservation and Elsamere continues to be maintained as a functioning conservation centre. By staying at Elsamere you have the unique opportunity to visit an active base for local conservation projects and a chance to experience life in one of Kenya's most historic homes. Many of Joy's paintings still decorate the house.
The centre provides accommodation for 16 people in cottages set in the gardens around the main house. Each cottage has a veranda and faces towards the lake. The rooms are bright and attractive and all have ensuite bathrooms. Guests may also choose to stay in the main house in the Joy Adamson bedroom, which has easy wheelchair access.
Elsamere prides itself on its warm hospitality and home like atmosphere. The day starts with a hot breakfast, lunch is buffet style with plenty of outdoor tables and chairs for alfresco dining. Dinner is hosted each night and it is the perfect opportunity to get to know other guests, many of whom may be visiting researchers and conservationists
Elsamere does not have a bar facility. Guests are invited to bring their own alcohol.
Elsamere is open to the public each day between 3pm to 6pm. Visitors are invited to watch a video, "The Joy Adamson Story" and visit the museum and shop. A traditional afternoon tea is served at 4pm.
The museum contains a small collection of Joy's paintings and artifacts. Memorabilia from the film Born Free and a range of photos documenting Joy and George's work with wildlife are also on display.
The Elsa Trust shop stocks a variety of T-shirts, jewellery, books, earrings and prints of Joy's works are also for sale
The video library of conservation and wildlife documentaries.
Guests may hire boats or arrange a guided tour to view birds and other wildlife on the nearby Crescent Island.
Early mornings at Elsamere are a special time, the African Fish Eagles herald the dawn with their memorable ringing cry and the chorus of bird song continues through-out the day. Elsamere is a bird watcher's paradise, over 200 species of birds have been recorded and rare species such as the Verraux's Eagle Owl are regularly sighted.
Morning boat rides are an ideal time to spot the many species of water fowl and brilliantly coloured kingfishers. The lake is home to the largest water fowl population in Kenya.
Elsamere has also become quite famous for its resident troop of black and white Colobus monkeys which visit the centre regularly. Guests may easily view the troop from the lakeside lawn. Other frequent visitors to the centre are a pod of hippopotami which often graze on the lawn at night. Lake Naivasha is of great ecological importance .
The conservation centre provides information on the lake ecology and regularly hosts research programes to monitor the lake and the local wildlife.
Elsamere is conveniently located near many local attractions.
Hells Gate National Park is one of the only parks in Kenya that permits walking. The park has a wide variety of game including a large number of raptors and the scenery is quite spectacular.
A trek up Mt. Longanot, a 2,800 metre extinct volcano, is another interesting day's outing.
Visiting Crater Lake with its emerald green coloured water is yet another option and there are also many unique handicraft shops in the area.
Elsamere Conservation Centre
P.O. Box 1497
Phone: (00254) 0311 21055
Fax: (00254) 0311 21074
Field Study Centre (Education)
Elsamere Field Study Centre
P.O Box 1497
Phone: (00254) 0311 21247
Fax: (00254) 0311 21248