Real Culture, Real Wilderness, Real Kenya … & kids love it! Lentorre is my new favourite cultural find…. shhhhh don’t tell anyone ;o)
I am constantly asked ‘where’s your favourite place in Kenya?’ or ‘where can I experience the “Real” Kenya?’. Honestly I simply can’t choose one .. or two .. or even five; there are so many incredible places suited to every different dynamic of person or group … but my new favourite cultural experience for my little family, is indeed Lentorre.
Receiving an invitation to visit Lentorre, with my family, at the end of a long summer holiday all seemed a little hectic to me, we were shattered and we simply didn’t know what to expect; the website was not completed, they didn’t have professional photos yet and I just didn’t know what to expect … but not wanting to appear rude …. we jumped in the car and went on our merry way, covered with smilie faces.
My travel and tourism career started 25 years ago co-managing the incredible Rusinga Island Camp on Lake Victoria (another incredible experience full of happy memories), but my marketing-tourism career begun at Shompole, just next to Lentorre, so driving here welled up incredible emotions for me of happiness and pride … after 15 years or so, it’s great to be back!
What an incredible drive it is, from Nairobi through the Great Rift Valley, over flamingo-covered Lake Magadi and through the Maasai & cattle dotted lands to the incredible Olkirimatian Conservancy where our incredible real Kenya experience begun.
We spent two incredible nights here and boy oh boy, what an awesome time we had.
The lodge itself is truly delicious in a hundred different ways. It is indeed attractive in a perfectly Kenyan way, each room enormously spacious, light in colour and a truly wonderful atmosphere. Our bedroom is the same size as my entire home (bigger actually) with our very own baths (yes baths with an s!!), a view of a highly popular watering hole in the foreground and Mt. Shompole in the distance and our very own swimming pool. We had landed in heaven.
The food is unique, healthy and delicious …. coconut and avocado soup, heavenly home-made chocolate ice-cream, yummy home-made juices …. mmmmm, really yummy.
Then it came to the activities … I am so, so excited to tell you about these!! Anyone interested in experiencing real, un-spoilt, un-ruined Maasai culture, this is it! Lentorre is a community lodge, each and every member of staff here comes from the local area, so you simply spend your time here doing what they have been doing all their life …. as well as some wonderful game drives of course; oh and an amazing swimming pool … plus one in each room; and an amazing sundowner (clinking and clanking glasses to celebrate the end of another wonderful day) and a bush breakfast (having a delicious picnic breakfast to celebrate the beginning of another wonderful day), so basically you do everything amazing that you have ever wanted to do on a cultural safari. Over our 36 hours we:
- went for a glorious walk through the arid lands of Olkirimatian with incredible guides who are simply amazing with kids (another ‘best-ever’ experience!), who kept the kids interested throughout, even if they did have to carry them for much of the way.
- went fishing for cat-fish in the neighbouring river.
- cooked the fish we caught, traditionally, on the banks of the river.
- bow & arrow lessons
- herded the cattle into their boma for the night
- milked the cows (or viewed it to be exact)
- chatted to the wonderful Maasai family members and played with the kids
- went on the best night drive I have even been on in my 40+ years in Kenya … where, as well as the usual fabulous Kenyan wildlife, roaming free, we also saw all these amazing nocturnal animals – 6 genet, 1 wild cat, 1 spotted hyena, 4 bat-eared foxes, a honey badger, … and a leopard drinking from out waterhole when we got back to our room!!!!!
What an experience for all of us. What surprised me most on this wonderful safari was how I found myself pondering in a Maasai Manyatta (homesteads made from mud) … that rather than feeling pity for this family being ‘less fortunate’ than I, I was wishing I lived their life. They’re happy, truly happy; they live an incredibly happy family-friendly lifestyle, all together, they chat a lot, cook together, milk the cows together, play together; they told me they don’t get stressed or worry about anything, except when there is a drought .. and even now they cant really change anything. I wondered what happened to us ‘educated’ folk. Why have we ruined our wonderful family units? Why do we have to answer emails within 2 seconds of them being sent? Why do we have to keep up our social media posts? Why do we have to watch the news? Why do we have to chose the right hue of Farrow & Ball paints for our kitchen? Why? Why? Why?
Lentorre – Will forever remind me of a truly uplifting cultural experience, kids swimming for hours in our room … and I’m dreaming of their food right now!
Olkirimatian Conservancy – Deep in the heart of the Great Rift Valley, beyond the volcanic lunar landscape surrounding the soda lakes of Magadi and Natron, lies this oasis. Fed by crystal clear springs running off the South Loita and Nguruman escarpments, Lentorre provides the perfect spot to relax and soak in the wonders of a wild and untouched Africa.
For those travelling to Kenya with kids – Do it, it will be the best cultural experience your kids will ever experience .. and they LOVE kids here, they cater for kids perfectly!
For those who live in East Africa – get a couple of families together and GO!!! You’ll have an incredible time…. and their resident rates are appealing!
Weather – warm days and warm nights … delicious … no need to wear jumpers even on night game drives.
What to Pack? – A good camera and binoculars, high SPF sun cream, hats… and clothes for a lovely warm environment (shorts and a t-shirt).
Price – USD860 per person per night which includes it all; all your meals, all your drinks (apart from champers), your game drives, walks, bush meals, amazing guiding etc. you will just need to pay extra for the boma visits … which all goes to the boma. Contact Lilian to book!
My advise – People go on holiday for very many different reasons, if you are looking to experience incredible culture, please do come here!
Book your real life family adventure in Kenya here!