Loading...


By MARYANNE GICOBI
More by this Author

Tucked away in the middle of lush bush and towering acacia trees in the Loita Hills at the vast Maasai Mara Game reserve is Olarro Lodge.

Olarro is a peaceful place that is ideal for reflection on life. It was a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Olarro is a four-hour drive from Nairobi or a 30-minute flight from Wilson Airport to Keekorok Airstrip, followed by a one-hour drive through the expansive Maasai Mara to Maji Moto. The lodge also has three helipads, and is located atop one of the hills giving you a bird’s view of the conservancy.

We arrived at lunch time to a warm welcome from the lodge team. We freshened up and had a lunch of lamb chops and potato chips.

The lodge is intimate, with just 15 rooms built close together.

The rooms have small details that enhance the experience, giving you the impression that the construction was well thought out: From the “his” and “hers” washbasins in the bathroom so you do not have to wait for your partner to finish using one, to the much-needed hot-water bottle that they put in your bed at night.

The room service was efficient, cleaning up without inconveniencing guests, and replenishing the towels and the minibar, which was free.

The organic soap and the solar-heated rain showers show that the lodge is keen on sustainability.

However, the WiFi was fluctuating, although the hotel manager warned you in advance. This could be a problem for those who want to be online when on holiday.

We had dinner and breakfast at the upper deck bar, where we saw animals come to the watering hole.

Loading...

Elephants and zebras came to quench their thirst while we had breakfast. Breakfast was sumptuous, with a wide range of freshly baked bread, juice, and spring rolls. The menu is a la carte.

A short distance from Olarro lodge is Olarro Plains, another luxurious property that is private and family-friendly. Olarro Plains has double and twin rooms, ideal for children, and great views of the savannah.

The interior décor of the lodges shows great taste. The couches are from Bali, Indonesia, the laundry baskets from Rwanda and there are paintings from Zanzibar.

From the infinity swimming pool, you can see the expansive 20,000-acre plains.

Annie-Marie, the lodge manager, says they also offer nanny services to leave you to adult away and enjoy your holiday.

Early in the morning, we went on a game drive. The Olarro game drive is unique as it is through a private conservancy. We had exclusive access to all the animals without crowds of tour vans and other holiday makers.

Olarro is ideal for public figures who want some privacy.

Rangers track animals in advance, especially the cat family that is difficult to spot, so you do not have to go around the park on a wild goose chase.

The rangers inform the van drivers where to take the guests. Other big game roams freely in the reserve, which has elephants in abundance due to rescue efforts by the conservancy.

Head of the conservancy William Hofmeyr said they use a smartphone application called Wild App to track the elephants.

“We put it on the lead elephants in every herd, then monitor how they are moving. From screens in the office, we are able to tell where they are at any time. We are proactive on the elephants and hence the large population in this conservancy,” he said.

Over the past six months, they have treated 25 elephants for injuries.

Olarro is truly luxurious. The room rates range from $555 to $830 per person per night, all inclusive.

Loading...