Kenya Exploring: Part One
Hi, Katie here! Welcome to part one of my Kenya exploring blog. My role at Encompass Africa is Guest Services, and many of you may know me as the person who sends you all your itineraries and travel packs.
After so much time spent living vicariously through guest itineraries, I though it was about time to build one for myself. So last year Gen and I created an itinerary for ourselves and headed off to explore the beauty and wonder of Africa’s original safari country, Kenya.
The safari experience was born in Kenya, and as such there is a certain charm and character to a Kenyan safari that is unlike any other in Africa. The guides here are world class, and have a deep understanding of their country’s wilderness and wildlife.
Let me share with you some of the stunning properties and breath-taking wilderness that we were blessed to experience on our adventure with Kenya Exploring part one….
Chyulu Hills National Park
Ol Donyo Lodge
Located in the Maasai owned Mbirikani Group Ranch on the border of Chyulu Hills National Park, Ol Donyo Lodge boasts stunning diverse landscapes and views towards the famous Mount Kilimanjaro.
Part of the Great Plains Conservation portfolio, Ol Donyo Lodge is an effortless blend of traditional Maasai style and culture and contemporary design. With six suites and 1 two-bedroom family unit, each with their own plunge pool and star beds, Ol Donyo is perfect for both couples and families alike.
One of our favourite things about Ol Donyo, and certainly one of its biggest attractions, is the variety of activities available to guests. Mix up your 4×4 game drives with exhilarating walking safaris, authentic cultural visits, hiking, mountain biking, delicious bush breakfasts and dinners, adventurous sleep outs and fly camping, and exciting horse back safaris. It is impossible to be bored at Ol Donyo. And we can’t forget the creature comforts, with an infinity pool, massage facilities, open air hide, and superb dining.
Simply put, Ol Donyo Lodge is a must for those looking for both adventure and luxury, and it remains one of our favourite properties in Kenya.
Image courtesy of Great Plains Conservation
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
Elewana Lewa Safari Camp
Elewana Lewa Safari Camp is located in one of the most stunning wilderness landscapes that I have ever had the privilege of visiting. With rolling hills and grassy plains, it is quintessential Africa and truly humbling.
The camp itself is lovely, with a warm and welcoming main area and traditional safaris tents with canvas walls and thatched roofs. Enjoy a drink inside the cozy sitting room after a long day on safari or take in the views from the camp fire.
Along with excellent guides, game drives, bush walks, and camel rides, one of the best activities on offer at Lewa Safari Camp is the conservation visits. As the only safari camp owned by the Lewa Conservancy itself, conservation is truly at the heart of the camp. A visit to the Conservation offices gives you real insight into the efforts of the Conservancy, and if you are lucky (and they aren’t busy) you may also have the chance to visit the Tracker Dog Unit.
Our time at Elewana Lewa Safari Camp also gifted us some of the best rhino sightings we had ever seen. A registered rhino conservancy, the Lewa Widlife Conservancy, combined with neighbouring Borana Conservancy, covers 93,000 acres and is home to 14% of Kenya’s entire rhino population.
Image courtesy of Elewana Collection
Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Laikipia
Kicheche Laikipia Camp
Experience life on the equator at Kicheche Laikipia Camp, located in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in the heart of the Laikipia. With only six luxurious tents, this intimate, eco-award winning tented camp is exactly what a Kenya safari experience should be.
The Kicheche properties have always been a favourite of ours at Encompass Africa, thanks to their rustic luxury, classic safari activities, and excellent value. To experience Kicheche Laikipia Camp, and Kicheche Bush Camp a few days later, only reinforced our love for these properties.
The camp offers a wealth of activities including 4×4 game drives, night drives, bush walks, horse riding, canoeing, and the chimpanzee sanctuary visit. Guests to Kicheche Laikipia can also visit the Ol Pejeta Endangered Species Enclosure, home to the last two female Northern White Rhinos in the world. Najin and Fatu, mother and daughter, are watched over 24/7 while scientists work to save the species from extinction.
Image courtesy of Kicheche Camps
Time to visit
One of the unique facts about the Ol Pejeta Conservancy is that the Equator passes right through it.
So here you may experience the distinct pleasure of jumping from the northern hemisphere to the southern, and standing with one foot on each side.
Just a little extra fun to add to your Kenya adventure.