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Our History

Learn more about Laragai House, and the unique history that surrounds it, from manager, Jay Macleod.

 

Our History

When our guests arrive, often after a long, hot, sometimes bumpy, journey, Laragai House can look like a small slice of heaven. Green, lush, gardens, views that go on and on, and the big thatched roof that towers up and flanked by our famous palm trees.

Our house, the gardens, and the characters who have called it home over the years provide a fascinating story, and one I cannot wait to share with you.

Laragai House, in almost the same form that it is today, has stood for nearly 30 years. It was in 1993 that brothers, Lord Michael and Lord Valentine Cecil, become member of the Borana community and the first stones were laid.

The idea for the house was to feel like a home; somewhere the two brothers could come to to escape the winter cold in England or the hectic business meetings of Nairobi, invite their friends and enjoy spending time together. The house was built to reflect this lifestyle, and the owner’s English tastes. With high ceilings, big fireplaces, a huge Drawing Room and silver service dinners, the original Laragai House would not have looked too out of place in the English countryside!

The house itself was built by Andy Roberts – longtime friend of Borana Conservancy, and my uncle – who was passionate to bring the brother’s vision to life.

Andy, and his wife, my aunt, Caragh, lived in what can only be described as a shed on the site for nearly three years while the build happened. Both their children were born in this time and lived in the shed for their first years of life. Andy remembers having to put up double strength wire across the windows to stop errant leopards from trying to break in for a tasty snack on their one-year-old, Angus, and only months old baby, Kerry.

Over the years, the house has been improved, renovated and expanded (with a new cottage recently finished in 2018, also built by Andy) over the years, but in reality the charm and baronial feel has not left. In 2015, Laragai House was bought by the current owners, George and Lucilla Stephenson, and more improvements were put in.

I have lived and worked on Borana for over a decade, and my wife also works here too. I know this house, with its opulence, quirky features and incredible views, like the back of my hand, and it is my pleasure to welcome you to my home; Laragai House.

— Jay Macleod, manager of Laragai House

Explore our Activities

Here at Laragai House we offer our guests a wide array of different activities to enjoy, from horse riding to helicopter trips.

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