The Ultimate in Family-time & Relaxation … The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille, Laikipia

At The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille, the scenery is exceptional, nature is natural, the private villas allow for unspoiled family-time, memorable activities & serious relaxation.

Our adventure began in the farming town of Nanyuki. The drive to Ol Lentille from Nanyuki is indeed beautiful and un-challenging; achievable in under a couple of hours and when you arrive, the views are enough to bring tears to your eyes (seriously!). At the reception they have a very well-placed ‘slide’ for the kids, whilst you can just breathe & take in your incredible surroundings.

Firstly, I would love to share the story behind this unique place. Pioneering indeed, The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille is the only all-villa property i.e. it’s not a lodge where you have to eat with or even speak to other guests, you have your gorgeous villa all to yourself (happy husband)!!  Secondly, it is a community and conservation experience unlike anything else in Kenya. The team along-with (not bossing them around, along-side) the local communities, have created, conserved and protected over 40,000 acres of wilderness as well as supporting the local community, since the lodge opened 10 years ago they have raised over USD5 million!! A rare example of how private partnerships with a community can work. Having been in the Kenyan safari industry for 24 years, it’s not often that I admit someone has changed my way of thinking. John and Gill have.

I digress, back to our weekend of family-fun. We were allocated the Colonels House (the best of the houses in my opinion) as our home for two nights, a two-story house with a little plunge pool, a verandah, dining room, sitting room, two huge bedrooms both with massive baths … and did I mention the views? We were then introduced to our butlers Bonny and Rose … I confess, I immediately thought that this would be annoying having people hanging around, NOT A BIT OF IT, they are the most charming, helpful and unobtrusive pair of delightful people.

Staying here, in this environment, with these people was indeed a “holiday”, yes I have two toddlers and we rested … together! Imagine that? I felt uncomfortable with the downtime initially as I’m just not used to it but after sniffing out the board games, we sat playing games, plunging in the little plunge-pool, swimming in the swimming pool, playing boules, croquet, sunning, eating cake and telling stories whilst admiring the wonders of our surroundings, the wildlife footprints, the resident Rock Hyrax (no we still can’t take one home Billy), a weaver-bird weaving his nest, the Verreaux’s eagles ‘acquainting’ themselves with the Hyrax, a Leopard Tortoise came to visit us, the caterpillars rearing their beautiful hairy-selves with the rain, the camels on the opposite hill, we even fed the resident Kudu orphans … heaven on earth!!

Then the serious activities began.  May I add there are endless activities for those travelling with kids a little older than ours; walking safaris, Quad bikes, mountain biking, horse & camel riding and unlimited spa treatments. We booked ourselves into the more toddler-friendly game drive (beautiful with the charming and interesting Timothy), the most exceptional sundowner/kids supper I have ever been on where we were quite literally on top of the world with space for the kids to charge around and release any energy they may have remaining! Plus a Manyatta visit at the end …. hmmm, so this didn’t happen because the accident-prone three year old decided to slice her chin open which resulted in Mummy having to steri-strip a 2 inch chin opening .. so rest and relaxation ensued again, heaven.

With a philosophy of “Having fun, doing good”, it’s a perfect family holiday. we can’t wait to return to Ol Lentille!

Practicalities

The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille – Very special times. Having your own personal home, with no other guests, no wifi … where you get to spend valuable time together, as a family. …. whilst benefiting a community and conservation area. We loved it, but it is even more ideal for those with older kids (over 16) so the horses, camels, quad bikes etc. are utilised properly!
Laikipia, Kenya – This is the ultimate if you are looking to experience Laikipia at its finest. The rugged, unspoilt landscape whilst staying in a lodge of extreme beauty, this is up there.
For those travelling to Kenya with kids – For honeymooners or family who live a busy life, this is the perfect first stop on a Kenyan safari. If you are looking for privacy and the finer things, whilst being comfy, I highly recommend you spend some time here.
Weather – The weather was beautiful with cool nights and clear, warm days.  The hottest month is usually December, January. The wettest month is usually April.
What to Pack? – Shorts for the day with a shirt, a jumper and jacket, trousers and jumpers for the evening …. and swimming costumes for the brave and lots of suncream.
Price – In Laikipia, you pay for exclusivity … a 4 night all-inclusive stay starts at USD1,500 per person for 4 nights (yup, staying in stunning villas with private activities and unlimited spa treatments). For Kenyan residents, the rate is Kshs20,000 including everything!!! For rates or to book, please contact me.
Awards – Andrew Harper Readers’ Choice 6th best safari lodge in the world and number one in East Africa & Ecotourism Kenya Community Conservancy of the Year 2016
My advise – Stay here, with your kids. Not only is it amazingly beautiful, you are supporting a positive community project, a successful conservation project and you will spend proper valuable family-time….. a rarity in this day and age.

The Best Lodge for Family in Lake Naivasha, Kenya.

Kiangazi House, in my view, is simply the most ideal lodge in Naivasha if you’re travelling with kids. With a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, endless interesting and unique activities around both Lakes Oloidien and Naivasha, it is even perfect if you’re mad enough to travel with toddlers!

We set off for our adventure in order to arrive at Kiangazi on a Saturday morning. After Kenya’s testing display of driving and traffic-jams, we arrived to peace, calm, cool Kiangazi, with the biggest smiles you ever did see!

It really is a little gem. A beautiful 7-bedroom old ranch-style house (some rooms in the house, some are external cottages) with panoramic views across a green lawn, heavily populated waterhole (warthog, eland, zebra and impala), over Lake Oloidien and into the blue hills in the distance.

We could go here on every holiday. The place is peaceful and beautiful. The staff are simply incredible, they aren’t over the top, but nothing seems too much. The food is extremely tasty, home-cooked fare… and the activities, the activities, the fun was all about to begin.

Their swimming pool, I mean ‘oasis’ is something for a toddler to explore within, not just swim in. The lawns are rolling and perfect to exhaust the over-energetic.

The game drive / sundowner / kids supper expedition is unforgettable; all piled up high on top of the 4×4  with Bernard, the most calming, interesting and informative guide, off we went to explore Oserengoni, our very own wildlife sanctuary (OK we’re sharing it with one other tiny lodge, Chui Lodge).  This sanctuary was created in the 90’s with the sole purpose of giving the resident wildlife a place of safety as the flower farms & population increased. The first animal we saw, can you believe it was a Zonkey (work that out!). We then saw endless warthog with hundreds of the sweetest little piglets, eland, impala, bush buck, zebra, buffalo, wildebeest… a surprise ‘sundowner’ met as equipped with marshmallows ready to BBQ, amazing kids supper, the most delicious ‘bitings’ and much needed glass of wine. All this merriment were followed by an exciting night game drive back to a rosepetal bath!!

An activity not to miss is the crisp morning drive to the lake shore, followed by a lovely refreshing walk along the shore where you discover a fabulous bush breakfast (fresh fruit, pancakes, donuts, omelettes, piping hot coffee … mmm) all being prepared for you by the lake by the smiling chef. After we were sufficiently full, we were whisked off on my favourite drive by the lake, under all the Yellow Fever trees, again full of plains game and then to our boat. What an interesting hour, along the shores of Lake Naivasha full of beautiful vegetation, fisherman hard at work, the Colobus monkeys lolling around in the morning sun and general life on the lake… pheow, what a morning!

Time to leave already. We didn’t have time to visit the Oserian flower farm, but its always good to leave something for next time!

Oh … I forgot to say, we were given two beautiful bunches of roses on our departure …. how’s that for delicious!

Practicalities

Kiangazi House – I love it, we loved it. It is a great fun place for adults and children of all ages.
Lake Naivasha, Great Rift Valley, Kenya – It is important to spend time on a lake in the Great Rift Valley and with the added bonus of a private sanctuary and the flower farm, this is up there.
For those travelling to Kenya with kids – If you are looking for privacy and the finer things, whilst being comfy, I highly recommend you spend some time here.
Weather – The weather was beautiful with clear, warm days when we were here in January 2017.  January is generally warm in the days and chilly’ish at night. The hottest month in Naivasha is usually December. The wettest month is usually April.
What to Pack? – Shorts for the day with a shirt, a jumper and jacket, trousers and jumpers for the evening …. and swimming costumes for the brave and lots of suncream.
Price – The rates are currently USD240 which includes full board accommodation in this lovely personal house and all these amazing activities. For rates or to book, please contact me.
My advise – Spoil yourselves, stay here, it is a really great place, it’s comfortable with children of all ages and you will dream of being back there afterwards. If you want a reduced rate, contact me.