Sanctuary Olonana in the Masai Mara is a wonderful, 5 star property just outside the Masai Mara. It is a 45 minute flight from Nairobi from the Wilson Airport There are 12 luxury tents overlooking the Mara River. Having stayed in various tented camps throughout Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana and Uganda, this is one of the best! In completing a survey, we could not think of anything that could be improved on!
The rooms are large and clean with running water and flush toilets. Each tent has a deck with day bed and chairs, overlooking the Mara River where the hippos spend their days. Each morning, we were awoken by the call of hippos returning to the river at around 5:45 am! The camp is fenced so there is limited risk of animals passing through camp (although this can provide an added sense of adventure to any safari). Peter, provided security at the entrance, as well as to escort us to our tent after dinner. His enthusiasm was refreshing.
Joseph took wonderful care of our tent, ensuring we always had bottled water (and they refill glass bottles rather than using individual plastic bottles). Joseph also woke us each morning with hot coffee and biscuits to enjoy while watching the hippos and preparing for our day of safaris. Each night our tent was freshened with beds turned down, a short story on the bed and a hot water bottle under the covers.
Shaddrack, Henry and Herman were professional, attentive and had a sense of humor! They ensured our glasses and stomachs were always full! We do not care for hovering service, but the staff at Olonana was attentive and there when you needed them, without the feeling they were looking over your shoulder. The food was delicious, nice presentation and plentiful! We always ordered one of each item so that we could share and enjoy everything! Breakfast included a choice of any (or all) fruit, granola, yogurt, pancakes, eggs to order, breads/pastries, fresh squeezed orange juice and I'm sure things I missed. Lunch and dinner always offered 2 starters (usually salads), 2 entrees (fish, chicken, pizza, pasta, lamb) and of course, dessert. Afternoon tea and sundowner were also offered before and after game drives.
Although we arrived at the 'end' of the migration (the end of November), the wildlife was still plentiful! We saw many elephant, giraffe, wildebeest, hippo, and zebra. Lukas fulfilled our requests and we were fortunate to see the Black Rhino (with baby) twice, 2 leopards, 7 lion cubs, 2 lionesses, 2 male lions and 2 cheetah! We also enjoyed watching the zebra and wildebeest crossing of the Mara River - fortunately (for me), we only witnessed one wildebeest kill by a crocodile.
Asante Sana to those noted above, Maurice, Christine and all of the others at Sanctuary Olonana for a relaxing and enjoyable holiday. We hope to return again!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sanctuary Olonana, our award-winning tented camp situated on a private stretch of the Mara River, recently undergone a significant upgrade to the public areas of the lodge as well as a soft refurbishment to the tented rooms and pool area. The interior decor reflects a contemporary design using a combination of light earthy tones and the local Maasai women played an active part in the refurbishment using the same traditional technique used in their own houses to “mud” the interior walls in all of the main areas and curio shop. From the main viewing deck see and hear the family of noisy hippos who colonise the banks below the camp. Relax with a good book in the library, cool off in the pool or for an extra special treat, experience traditional African remedies and spa treatments in the mini-spa. Oversized Safari Tents – Built on the banks of the Mara River, the twelve canvas tents at Sanctuary Olonana are extremely comfortable and spacious. The ensuite tents all have two four-poster beds with floor to ceiling mosquito netting – making them perfect for families travelling with small children. Each of the private verandas overlook the river and offer the perfect spot where guests can relax and watch the resident hippos wallow in the water. There are also two honeymoon suites with each featuring outdoor showers. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sanctuary Olonana Hotel Maasai Mara National Reserve
- Sanctuary Olonana Kenya/Maasai Mara National Reserve