Chui Lodge and Kiangazi House – Rift Valley, Kenya
(Oserian Wildlife Sanctuary – Lake Naivasha, Great Rift Valley)
Located on the privately owned Oserian Wildlife Sanctuary, Chui Lodge is an exclusive retreat, epitomizing the meaning of the word ‘Oserian’, which in Maa, the language of the local Maasai, means ‘the place of peace’. Standing on the floor of the great rift valley, the lodge is built from local stone and acacia, Leleshwa and olive woods. The internal décor makes use of locally crafted batiks and bark cloth. A dedicated wilderness area, the sanctuary offers white rhino, leopards, cheetahs, buffalos, elands, giraffes, topis, Grevy’s zebras, hartebeest, Beisa Oryx and greater kudu. Also on the sanctuary is Kiangazi House, a private retreat offering five double bedrooms.
Acacia House – Masai Mara
(The Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya Safari)
Acacia House is a small private safari house, which stands at the foot of Kipileo Hill in the Olchorro Losit Valley, a community conservation area just north of the Masai Mara Game Reserve, Kenya. Simply constructed but spacious, this small safari hotel overlooks the Rekero waterhole and stands in extensive gardens, which also feature a swimming pool.
Ideal for a Kenya safari, the safari house offers two spacious bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms and a third attic bedroom which is ideal for children. There is a large sitting and dining room with fireplace and a small office with TV and DVD player.
The house has its own dedicated chef who is proficient in a wide range of dishes and uses primarily locally sourced produce. Also included are the services of a dedicated safari driver guide.
Gibb’s Farm – Ngorongoro, Tanzania
(The Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, Tanzania)
At the edge of a forest facing the Mbulu Hills to the southeast, this charming 80-year old Gibb’s Farm farmhouse set in lush gardens and is still a working farm and coffee plantation. Originally built by German settlers in 1929, it retains almost all of its original atmosphere and now offers 22 luxurious farm cottages, all with private verandas, garden bathrooms and open fireplaces.
The Gibb’s Farm restaurant produces excellent meals using organic vegetables grown on the farm. Gibb’s Farm also offers a spa, where a traditional Masai healer provides treatments made from local plants and materials. Gibb’s Farm offers numerous activities, cultural tours, guided walks and more.
Loldia House – Lake Naivasha, Kenya
Lake Naivasha – The Great Rift Valley, Kenya
Nestling under acacia and wild fig trees on the green western shores of Lake Naivasha, Loldia House is an old farmhouse on a ranch, built around a courtyard while its main archway frames a stunning view of dormant volcano Mount Longonot. The lawns that surround the house are grazed at night by hippos from the lake.
As well as offering unrivalled tranquility, personal service, home-cooking and magnificent views, Loldia also offers the chance of walking the farm, horse-riding through the cattle and ostrich or taking the house’s boat onto the lake – either to fish, bird-watch or hippo-spot. The house is also immediately adjacent to Hells Gate National Park and just a short drive from Lake Nakuru National Park.
Loldia is a house in the old colonial style, magnificently situated on the shores of one of Kenya’s most beautiful lakes, Lake Naivasha. Built by Italian prisoners of war from local volcanic stone, it stands on a 6,500 acre farm that was originally established by one of the first pioneers, a Boer ‘trekker’, who arrived from South Africa with his ox cart after the Boer War. His descendants own the farm today – which features both cattle ranching and the commercial ostrich farming.
Lukuba Island Lodge – Lake Victoria, Tanzania
Lukuba Island Lodge is situated on a small archipelago of rocky islands, that lie in the extensive waters of Lake Victoria, just west of Musoma in Tanzania. This enchanting lodge offers just five stone bungalows with grass thatched roofs, that stand just a few steps away from a deserted lakeside beach.
Shaded by fig trees and ringed by enormous rocks the cottages enjoy stunning views, a soft sand beach, unrivalled bird watching and plenty of activities. At the centre of the cottages is a central mess tent, with lounge, bar and dining area where all meals are served. There is also a small swimming pool set within the spacious garden grounds.
Countless species of birds flock to the granite boulders of this island retreat such as fish eagles and snowy egrets, while the rocks also attract Nile monitor lizards and spotted neck otters. In the extensive grounds, enormous fig and mahogany trees create a lush green canopy which not only filters the equatorial light, but also provides a home for the vervet monkeys and agama lizards that frequent them. Existing in total harmony with its environment, Lukuba Lodge is unique in its calm beauty and untrammeled tranquility and offers the perfect complement to a Serengeti safari.
Malewa Ranch House – Naivasha, Kenya
(Kigio Wildlife Conservancy, Naivasha – the Great Rift Valley, Kenya)
An original colonial farmhouse, Malewa Ranch House was once the home of a member of the infamous ‘Happy Valley’ set. This lovely old house stands on the banks of the Malewa River, between Naivasha and Nakuru. Standing within the Kigio Wildlife Conservancy and with access to all the many activities on offer there, the house offers 5 bedrooms, a lounge, and a generous verandah.
Leaving or passing Naivasha and continuing northwest on Kenya’s Trans-African highway into the central Rift is the Kigio Wildlife Conservancy, the Malewa River lodge and Malewa Ranch House. Also nearby is Gilgil and Lake Elementaita.
Mukima House – Laikipia, Kenya
(Nanyuki, Laikipia – Kenya)
Deep in the heart of Laikipia, Kenya’s most pristine and privileged tourism arena, stands historic Mukima House, its twin gables and cedar-framed windows gazing across rolling lawns towards the glittering spires of Mount Kenya. Set on velvet lawns dotted with pepper trees, skirted by broad stone terraces, fringed with lavender beds and embellished with a shaded tennis court and an oval swimming pool, this half-timbered mansion in the old English style could just as easily stand outside London as at the heart of Laikipia. Except for the fact that in front of it rise the jagged peaks of Africa’s only Equatorial volcano, Mount Kenya; and that should you take an evening drive on to one of the neighbouring wildlife conservancies, you can be surrounded by elephants within thirty minutes.
Serene, impeccably maintained and beautifully presented as your own house for the period of your stay, the Mukima experience is sublime. Eight ensuite bedrooms, a gracious drawing room, dining room, study, pool terrace, garden terraces, upper gallery and baronial entrance hall are yours to enjoy, as is the 360-acre wilderness in which the house stands. Meanwhile the staff have been trained to offer the finest cuisine and the most meticulous, yet unobtrusive, service.
Mutamaiyu House – Laikipia, Kenya
(Mugie Ranch, Mugie Game Conservancy – Laikipia, Kenya)
“Heaven on a hill”
Mutamaiyu House is on Mugie Ranch situated at the northern end of the Laikipia plateau in northern Kenya. Described by a recent visitor as “Heaven on a Hill”, it is a magnificent family owned house built in a grove of ancient, twisting olive trees.
Named, by one visitor, “Heaven on a Hill” Mutamaiyu is a magnificent family- owned house that is named after the Swahili name for the ancient twisted olive trees that grow around it. Blending into the rock-strewn hillside, Mutamaiyu House is part of Mugie Ranch, a 49,000 acre working farm that rolls out across the plains of the Laikipia plateau, on the edge of the Great Rift Valley. The ranch is home to all the ‘Big Five and is one of Kenya’s newest rhino sanctuaries.