About Elsa’s Kopje

Elsa’s Kopje was designed and built by Stefano Cheli, and opened in 1999 by Dr Richard Leakey, and Virgina McKenna, the star of the 1960’s film “Born Free”, and then founder of the “Born Free” foundation.

Read more about the history of the Born Free Foundation.

The lodge can be credited with single handedly saving this beautiful National Park which until our investment, had suffered from little or no income from visitors. Before the opening of Elsa’s Kopje and subsequent income from visitors, there was talk in government of de-gazetting the park and turning the well-watered fertile land into rice plantations.

Considered one of the most spectacular locations and lodge designs in Africa, Elsa’s is built round a granite hill, each cottage was individually designed to take advantage of the stunning views, and the natural curves, rocks, and trees on the hillside.

Being passionate about the environment, Stefano designed a lodge that was not only elegant, but deliberately hard to see, uses minimal power, and received the first Eco-rating in Kenya in 2003.