Kenya is the birthplace of safari and home to the magical Masai Mara, one of Africa’s greatest wildlife reserves. This makes Kenya, as a safari spot very hard to beat. The word safari originated in Swahili meaning ‘’journey’’ and we think that describes Kenya so perfectly. For your first visit to Kenya, it is truly eye opening with the wildlife around and bush homes which are run by the kindest families. With varying budgets and style desires it can be tricky to select the right lodge for you so we have pulled together our 7 best safari lodges…
Ol Seki in Swahili language means ‘’blessed’’, and we couldn’t agree more! Located in the private Naboisho Conservancy with views over the Mara plains, this sensational safari spot is something very special. Due to Ol Seki being situated in a private conservancy, this means that the big five game viewing is that much more exclusive than other camps around, with a considerably lower density of vehicles. To get the most from your experience at Ol Seki, there are twice daily game drives and the chance to also enjoy walking safaris, night and off-road drives making wildlife sightings even more memorable. Choose one of the six spacious Nina tents, all of which are positioned on extraordinarily elevated platforms with lavish designs and comfortable furnishings.
Turquoise tip: Ol Seki is one of few lodges that you can enjoy year round game viewing so pick the month of your choice
Located in the heart of northern Kenya on the 85,000 acre Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, in the shadow of Mount Kenya, is Lewa Wilderness. A true home away from home, Lewa is still ran by the original Craig family who’s children still welcome each and every guest. Lewa is renowned for its conservation work with it being home to one of the largest populations of the Grevy’s Zebra with many other initiatives. The lodge has nine exclusive rooms overlooking Lewa’s Eastern Marania Valley, featuring furniture which was built and made on Lewa’s site using local materials from the surrounding communities. All the wood that is used is from trees that have been knocked down by elephants!
Turquoise tip: Lewa is home to endangered species such as the rhino. Be sure to look out for one!
Ol Malo is one of the original bush homes in Kenya. This privately owned family game sanctuary is located in Kenya’s wild Northern Laikipia Province, home to the Samburu tribe. Located high up on a ridge overlooking 5,000 acres of magical bush country, it wouldn’t be uncommon to spot antelope, zebra or elephant whilst having your evening sundowner. Ol Malo was built using natural materials including rock and olive wood creating the perfect balance of luxury and feeling at one with nature. It is the kind of lodge where you can do as much or as little as you wish. From early morning game walks with a hot bush breakfast to camel riding! Or just chill out by your private pool and watch the bush world go by.
Turquoise tip: Make sure you visit the Samburu trust and meet the local tribe
Saruni Mara is the smallest permanent lodge in the Masai Mara with just six cottages and one private villa. This sanctuary offers a combination of wilderness and adventure whilst being in harmony with the Maasai warriors. A Saruni safari is different to other safaris due to its authenticity and being away from busier parts of Kenya. All activities are tailored to match the guests desires so whatever you are looking for form your safari experience, Saruni Mara team will deliver.
Turquoise tip: get your binoculars out and keep one eye out for the big cats
Another of our favourite lodges is Kicheche Bush Camp located in the Masai Mara within the Olare Motorogi reserve. The luxury tented camp offers incomparable wildlife sightings of elephant and giraffe and many more. For us what is special about this camp is the extra experiences you can do during your stay. Kicheche Bush Camp’s part ownership with Paul Goldstein is seen with the emphasis on activities that offer incredible photo opportunities, such as game drives with open sided vehicles, with plug sockets available! You can also do an over night camping out in the bush, an armed ranger is on hand 24/7!
Turquoise tip: be sure to experience the Balloon Safari
Located in the Maasai Mara, Little Governors Camp has 17 en-suite tents dotted around a large watering hole in the in a large patch of beautiful forest bordering the Mara River. Watch wildlife drink form the watering hole just meters from your tent, with a gin in hand what could get better! Being at the heart of the Maasai Mara, Little Governors Camp is unrivalled with year round wildlife. For the wilder beast be sure to visit July through to October.
Turquoise tip: Keep your eyes on the water look out for the resident family of Warthog
Located on one of the highest peaks in Laikipia, in Northern Kenya, is the beautiful and exclusive lodge of four private villas. This is a place to re-charge and relax in lodges own words your ‘’Own Place in the African Wilderness’’ . Each villa fully staffed houses along with a private guide and game vehicle. After a long hard day of activities chill out at the Sanctuary’s very own spa boasting with a variety of treatments to choose from!
Turquoise Tip: Take a fishing trip up to Lake Tutundu for some fly fishing!