This was my first time to Kenya and the Masai Mara and the whole tented camp experience. I had been to luxury game lodges in South Africa but nothing like this. I absolutely loved it. Being from the mountains of Colorado and loving camping and nature and the African bush, it was just a perfect combination of everything. I have always said that I can be just as comfortable in a tent in the woods as I can at the Four Seasons, and the Luxury Tented Camping experience gives a fantastic combination of that.
All the tents are on the river and the river provides lovely music that helps to conceal any noise from other travelers or things that might otherwise disturb your sleep or peace and quiet while relaxing on your deck over the river.
I loved everything about this place—the tents, the location, the main lodge, the food, the staff, the game drives.
I also had a facial and pedicure (at the same time!) at their lovely private spa deck at the end of camp. It was amazing and the gals are fantastic. I have had hundreds of spa treatments over the years and these ladies were definitely world class. They even do Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage, having been trained in Nairobi by a woman who went to Hawaii to learn how to teach Lomi Lomi.
I actually stayed here only two nights and moved to the place next store, just down the road Beyond the next hill. It has a much better and broader reputation than Olonana and I have to say that Olonana trumps them hands down in every way—location, tents, staff, service, food, etc. When I return to the Mara I will stay at Olonana again but not at the other property.
The only thing I wish they would do differently is to have an open fire on the lodge deck on the edge of the river to sit under the stars at night. Or if that is a logistical issue due to the deck, then perhaps building a fire pit in the circular lawn area at the entrance to the lodge, or even by the pool. An African safari experience is just not complete without Bush TV under the starry African sky.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sanctuary Olonana is an award-winning tented camp on a private stretch of the Mara River, at the foot of the impressive Siria Escarpment close to where the famous last scene from "Out of Africa" was filmed. Located close to the border with Tanzania, the game concentration is high - and during the annual wildebeest migration, the action happens right on the camp's doorstep. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Sanctuary Olonana Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Sanctuary Olonana Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve