The Stunning Tassia Lodge: Laikipia’s Best Kept Secret
Perched on an escarpment somewhere in Laikipia’s hilly countryside sits the stunning Tassia Lodge. The minute I saw the photos online, I just knew I had to be there. It seemed like a combination of everything that I love and more, so I reached out to my friend Christine who put together a package and it was a done deal.
Here is what went down.
Tassia is located about five hours from Nairobi. The Lodge is in Lekurruki Conservancy, in Laikipia County.
Getting to Tassia
We left Nairobi at around 9:30 am. The road is fairly smooth, save for the stretch between Karatina and Marua, which is under construction. Expect several diversions, hopefully, the road works will be done by the time you visit. Past Marua, it’s a smooth ride. At around 1 pm we made a quick stop at Nanyuki for some light shopping. Mt Kenya graced us with her lovely presence, elevating the already scenic view.
We passed by wheat farms and later through Borana Conservancy, where we got to see some game such as elephants, gazelles, giraffes and of course, beautiful views of rolling golden hills. From Borana, we proceeded to Mukogodo Forest which was pleasantly cool.
The journey past Mukogodo Forest is where things took a left turn. The road was fairly good up until that point but it got progressively worse, and this is coming from people riding in a 4WD. We got to a dead end and figured out we were lost. Thankfully, we got some directions from good samaritans. Turns out we had missed our turn, which cost us an hour. Yet another reminder that Google Maps should not be trusted outside cities. All in all, we got incredible views of the area and a shot of adrenaline in our systems.
We arrived at 4:30 pm, dusty and fatigued, but we could not help but marvel at the place. The Lodge blends perfectly into the brown Laikipian hills, with a lovely pop of sky blue from the gorgeous infinity pool. Our lovely hosts Simon and Amos welcomed us and after a quick briefing handed us waivers to sign. You see, Tassia Lodge is smack in the middle of a wildlife conservancy.
It is not fenced, and while there have not been any incidents, I’ll let your imagination conjure up a list of things that could possibly go wrong. We, however, could not sign the forms any faster. The view had already seduced us and all we could think about was where the elephants were hiding.
Tassia Lodge has spectacular views of the Lengishu Plains, Nesarge and Lossos Hills. It overlooks a watering hole, and we could spot a number of elephants from the lounge. The decor is very rustic with boho chic touches. It was built around nature and incorporates nature, so there has been minimal destruction to the environment.
Several rooms in the Lodge are carved out of rocks, and you will notice Rock Hyraxes running around the place.
The infinity pool overlooking the watering hole was a fantastic addition, given how hot the area gets. The Lodge has open spaces which allow for the free flow of air, regulating the temperature in the living spaces. You will notice that there are no doors and windows, which makes for a seamless indoor-outdoor experience.
Tassia Lodge reminds me of Koija Community Starbeds, which is probably why I was so drawn to it in the first place.
The Lodge has several lounging spots, all designed for comfort, and relaxation and to encourage conversation. There is a dining area, a rooftop deck, lots of seating, a book collection, a bar area and of course, the poolside cabana.
There are eight rooms at the Lodge and because we were the only guests at the time, we got to choose our rooms. While the layout of the rooms is generally the same, each room is different. You get an entirely different vibe from each room but they all overlook the Conservancy, so you get 180-degree breathtaking views from the rooms and bathrooms.
My Room is aptly named Soito, which means Rock in Maa. It has a huge bulging rock by the bed.
Showering (and doing your business) with a view of elephants grazing a few metres below is a top-tier experience.
We spent the rest of the day marvelling at the view, trying to spot elephants. You’d be surprised at how well the majestic creatures can camouflage! Seeing our struggle, Amos assured us not to worry, as we would see over sixty elephants the following day. We had sundowners at the magical rooftop and later enjoyed a delicious dinner over hearty conversations and sounds of the wild.
I must confess though, I took forever to sleep, and no, it was neither cold nor windy. I let my wild imagination take over and managed to convince myself that a hyena was outside my room. Needless to say, I was terrified. My mind wandered to crazy thoughts such as, how I would escape if a leopard jumped into my room. But being an adventurous girl I decided to embrace the sounds and I slept like a baby. It helped that the bed was very comfortable.
I woke up bright and early to catch the sunrise and it did not disappoint. The golden rays emerging from the hills are a sight to behold. The conservancy comes alive and herds of elephants stream in and out of the watering hole. Birds singing (more like screaming for the Hornbills!), rock hyraxes screeching. It was a lovely treat and the best part is, you can catch all the action from your bed.
At eight we headed out for a guided walk around the Conservancy, accompanied by a Community Ranger and our guide for the day, Amos. We got to learn about various plants and the way of life of the Mukogodo Maasai. Did you know that Mint grows freely in the wild? It was really interesting to identify wild animals by footprints and droppings. We got to see footprints of elephants, giraffes, guinea fowls and homo sapiens. The best time to go for a walk is between 7 and 8:30 am before the heat becomes unbearable.
Back at the Lodge we had a tasty breakfast and proceeded to do nothing.
The agenda for the day was just relaxing. We spent the day by the pool, chatting away, and of course, spotting elephants and rock hyraxes, (which you will notice poking their cute little faces out of rocks all around the Lodge). Happy to report that Amos was right, we did see over sixty elephants, which is astounding. I have never seen so many elephants in my life! The view is out of this world, we simply could not get enough.
Evenings at Tassia Lodge are best spent at the rooftop deck, where you can see the pastel colours in the sky, vibing with your people and later, star gazing. The stars are absolutely beautiful from this side of Kenya. You can’t help but wish for such opportunities in the city. But that’s the thing with city life, it makes you cherish every moment spent away. Evenings are windy but not cold. You can request for a bonfire to be lit if it is not too windy.
Same old same old, I woke up bright and early to catch the sunrise and it was well worth the early wake-up call. Being the last day, we did not have any activities planned. Our last hours were spent savouring the view and just chilling.
Heavy-hearted, we left the Lodge at around 11 am and this is where the proverbial shit hit the fan. Long story short, we got terribly lost and it was a hot mess. Luckily Amos came to our rescue, bless his heart. On the plus side, we got to see Ostriches, Dik Diks, Giraffes, Greater Kudu and Gerenuks. We were supposed to pass by Buffalo Springs Reserve but given how much time we spent trying to find our way, we shelved the game drive for a future trip. Our drive back to Nairobi was very picturesque, we got to see sunflower, wheat and canola fields, Mt Kenya and a beautiful sunset.
My favourite thing about Tassia (aside from the view), is that you can book it on a self-catering basis. Meaning, you bring groceries with you and have the resident chef prepare meals for you.
Adults: Ksh 6,500 per person per night
Children (5 to 12 years): Ksh 3,250 per person per night
Adults: Ksh 13,000 per person per night
Child (5 to 12 years): Kes 6,500 per person per night
The Lodge can also be booked on a full-board basis. Rates are Kshs 10,500 for Residents and Kshs 18,000 for Non- Residents.
Alternatively, reach out to Christine to plan a trip for you. This particular trip was Kshs 23,500 and included full board accommodation for two nights and transport.
Things to do in Tassia Lodge
- Guided Walks
- Game Drives
- Bird Watching
- Star Gazing
- Cultural Immersions
Things to note about Tassia Lodge
- I would recommend using a 4WD. The roads to and from the Lodge pass through luggas and the area is generally rocky. Our journey back to Nairobi was on a 2WD and while we made it, it was treacherous on the vehicle.
- The nearest stops from Tassia are Nanyuki and Isiolo towns so please stock up before getting to the Lodge to avoid any inconveniences.
- There is no network at Tassia Lodge. So it’s an amazing place to go and disconnect. They do have Wi-Fi, but it is restricted to the dining and rooftop areas. I reckon Tassia would be an amazing remote working location.
- On that note, if you are a person who likes to keep yourself entertained, I would recommend downloading movies and shows to watch offline.
- Bring games with you- board and card games would be a hit.
- There is electricity at the Lodge as well as a fridge.
- Carry drinking water. The Lodge uses water from a borehole but it has salty water.
- Pack snacks and drinks.
- Carry mosquito repellent and toiletries
- Sunscreen and a hat are a must. The sun is no joke.
- Lastly, carry a shawl or light jacket for the windy evenings.
Visit Tassia with an open mind, ready to relax and disconnect. Also, please note that it is an open place by design. Understand that there will be insects and animals roaming in and out of the Lodge. Case in point my room had a resident rock Hyrax on the roof and the dining area had resident tree Squirrels. So if that is not your vibe, it is probably not the best place for you. However, if you are a person who enjoys nature, then you will have an absolutely magical stay.
Tassia Lodge would be good for a small group of friends or family and for couples.
The team at Tassia were all so warm and kind, they took good care of us. When you visit, let them know that Ivy sent you!
I loved Tassia, truly! It was everything I expected and more. I can confidently say that it is the best place I have stayed at. To top it all off, I was in amazing company. Being my first trip of the year, Tassia has set the bar very high and I cannot wait to go back.
I cannot recommend Tassia Lodge enough. Look out for the video to catch a glimpse of my experience and all the other shenanigans.
Let me know in the comments below what strikes you most about the Lodge.
Until next time,