We stayed at Olumara for two nights as part of a package air safari from Mombasa. Overall it is a beautiful place with the friendliest and most attentive of resort staff. It is small and run on ecologically friendly lines with solar power for the office and kitchen and a generator running only early mornings and in the evenings to power the rest of the resort. It is built in a bend in a river so you are kept safe from wild animals. Maasai tribesmen (askaris) patrol at night time.
The "rooms" each named after an animal (we stayed in Lion and Buffalo) consist of a large tent complete with full shower room, balcony and two queen sized beds. Storage and furniture is built from wood, branches and cut planks with their natural shapes preserved. It is attractive and feels appropriate to life on safari. In addition to comfortable beds equipped with soft duvees and deep, fluffy pillows, there is a small dressing table, coffee table and two arm chairs.
The dining room is airy and pleasant for the meals provided with extremely attentive staff and good quality food. We understand the chef has had 20 years experience. The kitchen is visible from the dining room through a large glass window and looks clean and well-equipped. Cooked breakfasts are plentiful. You can order tea and coffee at no extra charge any time. For early morning starts you can order a wake up drink.
The down side is that we were not satisfied with the game drives. We were there at the same time as a couple from Holland who had booked a game drive for just the two of them. They never got that, despite complaining very strongly. It wasn't our fault, but that put a damper on our experience and that of two young sisters from England who joined us in our second day. We were picked up from the airstrip and had a long, hot game drive. Packed lunch was provided (and it was a very good lunch) but we didn't get to our accommodation until about 4pm and were very hot and tired. The next day we didn't start until about 9am and drove around all day. We were so hot and tired in the middle of the day, having picked up the sisters from the airstrip, that we insisted on a break and were able to rest and have a cool drink at the Mara Intrepids Lodge.
The next day, at our insistence, we went out on an early morning drive starting at about 6.30am and did see some good wildlife. The impression we had was that the lodge was a long way from the airstrip and we seemed to have to drive for a long time before seeing much wildlife.
The vehicle, whilst adequate, was rather old and beat up. One of the passenger doors didn't open, not all the windows could be opened, and there was no apparent radio in case of emergency or information communication. We were entirely dependent on our driver's two mobile phones. He said he had 8 year's experience, but was evasive when I asked if he had at least a bronze KATO qualification. He was friendly enough and spoke reasonable English, but unlike some of the guides from other camps that we saw, didn't wear a safari uniform and didn't seem all that professional. Although we never came to harm, we did have one or two hairy moments driving on rough terrain. We never felt in danger from any wild animals, though.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
November 11, 2011
olumara has of late bought two cruisers after the dramas we had with the old ones and have also recruited new guides to add spices to our new fleet.
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