The Family-Fun Escape, Island Camp, Baringo, Kenya

On Island Camp, Lake Baringo, The Great Rift Valley, Kenya

After a little, interesting and beautiful drive (1.5 hours from Nakuru) dipping down and down into the Great Rift Valley, we arrived at the Island Camp jetty. Nothing fancy, just a jetty in fact, lovely and warm. The moment I get ‘happy inside’ is the moment we jump into a boat and get driven to the island; it’s warmth, there are birds everywhere, a croc skulking under the reeds and we didn’t see another soul (apart from the local fisherman in their canoes) …. and relax!
Arriving at Island Camp is always that of mixed emotions, we are always so, so happy to arrive, but I know I have to walk up 100 steps to get to our room/tent. There are endless porters who help with our luggage but invariably there is a child in arms….sweaty and knackering.
This is when the fun starts though.
Our days were spent in the warm air, chilling on the sunbeds by the pool-with-a-view, splashing around in the pool playing piggy-in-the-middle, water polo, human Eiffel-towers …..
Lunch usually consists of delicious home cooked white bread rolls, a cold soup, a warm dish such as pasta, curry or moussaka with a selection of salads and then something like mandazi’s with honey and fruit salad. The highlight of lunch is invariably the weaver birds coming for their share of fresh bread and the little mongoose that likes to share your lunch too.
After a bit of quiet-time (sounds idyllic, in reality is always stressful!!) in the room, we either went back to the pool or took a little boating excursion in the early evening (with refreshing sundowners for the adults and kids supper for the kids). We saw so much!!! Excitable Njemps children washing, playing and fishing, incredible scenery, the worlds most beautiful birds (we even fed the fish eagles), monitor lizards scuttling along the island shores, the evil crocodile sunbathing, the yawning hippo and even a giraffe on Ruko Conservancy…. What a brilliant way to spend ‘unhappy hour’ with toddlers… whilst the Dad’s slipped in a little waterskiing!
This was enough for the kids to fall straight to sleep so the adults could have a great evening, with a little wine, too much food and lots of giggles.
The highlight of our Baringo break was the boat trips, which are so always entertaining and teaching the kids to waterski, either around the swimming pool, on the grass or in the swimming pool.

Practicalities:
Island Camp – I love it, it reminds me of everything fun, from my childhood through my teenage years and now my children love it. It is essentially still a wonderful product but not as well kept as it was, the new rooms are beautiful but quite expensive, the old (cheap) tents are a little shabby, not enough space for more than two of you, but affordable. The pool is great. The food is tasty. The owner, Perry doesn’t love kids but does have his own and is hilarious. The staff are amazing!
Lake Baringo – Is an excellent place to visit for birders (458 species) and for families (it’s always warm and there’s lots of fun to be had in the pool and on the lake).
For those travelling to Kenya with kids – I highly recommend you spend some time on a Great Rift Valley lake and this is the best place for families & birders.
For those who live in East Africa – get a few families together and GO!!! You’ll have a scream.
Weather – It’s beautifully warm during the day and usually warm but windy at night.
What to Pack? – High SPF sun cream, hats, swimming costumes, sarong/Kikoy and light clothes for the day. Mossi repellent, long trousers and shirts for the evenings… and light pijamas. Remember life jackets if you have them.
Price – From USD285 per person per night, sharing or Kshs14,000 for residents sharing in a triple…. Including full board accommodation (wake up coffee and biccies, breakfast, lunch, tea and cake, supper).
My advise – There are hippos and crocodiles in the lake but people do water-ski/banana/donut here. If you love watersports, take your kit and have fun. Take pool toys as there aren’t any here. Don’t forget to have a ‘Baringo Special’ drink .. it’s packed full of sugar, so maybe share one with the kids.

A Private Family Adventure in Laikipia

At Enasoit Private Camp, Enasoit Private Game Sanctuary, Laikipia, at the foot of Mt. Kenya, Kenya.

Our adventure was going to happen at Enasoit Private Camp, a luxury camp on a private game sanctuary, the biggest and bestest sales point is that it is 100% private and it overlooks a busy wildlife watering-hole. We were visiting with three other families and we had taken over the whole camp (there are no other options).

Enasoit is located in Laikipia, 100 miles north of Nairobi… of course many fly here, we drove! Three hours of beautiful, interesting and educational drive, we arrived to the warm smiles of Pete and Karen Glover, the hosts with the most at this warm and wild family ‘home’. Enasoit Private Camp, with 6 tented cottages, is indeed welcoming, you indeed feel like it’s your home for your stay and it really is magical.
Our stay was indeed magical, the sanctuary is terribly beautiful with typically dramatic Laikipia scenery, the camp is not OTT, it’s indeed very comfortable, warm and relaxing. Much of the day is spent eating or drinking overlooking the watering hole … the watering hole, the watering hole … barely 50 metres away from the dining and sitting room, this is the very best place to be, in the world, with toddlers, you simply never have to get into a car as the stream of incredible wildlife at the waterhole (giraffe, zebra, gazelle, elephant and buffalo, and fabulous bird-life) is out of this world; there is also their saved friends Mable the ostrich, Ziggy the zebra and Piggy the warthog, what an experience!
If things couldn’t get any better there is also a secret, beautiful swimming pool a little walk (or drive) away from the camp at the Pool House, nestled beside one of Enasoit’s dramatic rock outcrops and set within an aloe garden, this is a great place to spend daytime fun and frolics and relaxed afternoons.
After a ‘relaxing’ afternoon, as relaxing as an afternoon can be with toddlers, we leaped on the vintage safari car and were treated to a memorable game drive. We saw tonnes of great game and tracked wild dog, before stumbling across a surprise ‘sundowner’ picnic and supper for the little ones, overlooking a view to bring tears into your eyes.
A delicious, home-made supper was served after a couple of snug hours whiling away the hours around a campfire and when bedtime was beaconing, the cottages are beautifully warm, cosy and very safari-attractive, each with the comfiest beds in the world, piping warm water, a deliciously warm fireplace…..and a private verandah overlooking this incredible place.

What a wonderful experience.

Practicalities:

Enasoit Private Camp – I love it. Wow what an incredible experience for a family or three or more families travelling together. You simply own your own piece of incredible, unruined Africa for the duration of your stay!!!

Enasoit Game Sanctuary – Is an excellent place to visit for families. There is so, so much to do here from swimming in the pool; wonderful little, or long, guided game-walks; wonderful game drives in the old traditional safari vehicle … you can even go at night to look for nocturnal wildlife, such an excitement for little ones!; go for bush picnics and sun-downer drinks; they have horse-riding available, a wonderful way to see the landscape and get up close to the wildlife; of course there is massage and spa treatments.

For those travelling to Kenya with kids – If you are on a top-end family safari and are looking for privacy, I highly recommend you spend some time here.

For those who live in East Africa – get a few families together and GO!!! You’ll have an incredible and private time.
Weather – It’s beautifully warm during the day and quite chilly at night, so take your winter woollies. Enasoit has two rainy seasons, the long rains are in April / May and the short rains in November. This can be a lovely time to visit as the land is green and lush and the rain generally comes as shorter showers. Enasoit is closed for the long rains in May.

What to Pack? – High SPF sun cream, hats, swimming costumes, sarong/Kikoy, walking shoes and light safari clothes for the day. Warm clothes and a fleece for the evenings… and cozy pyjamas.
Price – From USD4,350 for 6 guests, exclusive use including full board accommodation, house wines and spirits, beers and soft drinks; game drives day and night, guided game walks, horse riding, bush picnics and bush dinners under the stars, massage treatments and laundry. Enasoit airstrip transfers. For resident rates, please contact safaris@thesafaricoltd.com

My advise – A benefit of Enasoit’s relatively high altitude is that the risk of malaria is very low, however all guests should seek professional advice first. Whether you are from East Africa or not, get a few families together and come and stay here, it’s an incredible place. If you want a reduced rate, contact safaris@thesafaricoltd.com