Ol Malo is a privately-owned game sanctuary on the banks of the Uaso Nyiro River in Kenya's wild and beautiful North Eastern Province - 5000 acres of spectacular bush country overlooked by Mount Kenya. Ol Malo is one of the few owner-managed properties in Kenya.
It offers the discerning guest a genuinely incomparable experience, one where you can get very close to the original pioneer days, where the settlers and the local tribes' people (Samburu in this case) etched out a life which was to precede the Kenya we know today. Here, many of the old ways still exist!
In this majestic setting - on a rock escarpment on the edge of the Laikipia Plateau, bordering the tribal heartlands of the nomadic Samburu people – the Francombe family, and their Samburu neighbours, have created a home for themselves, and a dream destination for the privileged few who seek a glimpse into the real heart of Africa. They are pleased to be able to share their vision, their experience and their way of life with guests from around the world, either in the hospitality of the family home in the grounds of one of the most stunning properties and with one of the most impressive views in Africa.
Wildlife is prolific, and includes 4 of the Big 5 (Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard and Lion) as well as frequent sightings of Eland, Beisa Oryx (rare elsewhere), Gerenuk, Greater kudu, Water Buck, Giraffe, Zebras, and Various Antelope; there are more leopard in Laikipia than anywhere else on Earth, and there is a leopard hide on the property. Cheetah, Striped Hyena, and even Wild Dog are seen. The Leopard Hide is with bunk beds by the waterhole, so you can stay out all night. There is also a Tree House, like the Nest, at Ngare Serian.
The day may start with a wakeup call with hot coffee or tea, and with freshly baked cookies being delivered to you on your ' veranda' to allow you to watch the sun rise over the wild and spectacular land in front of your cottage, with Mt. Kenya looming majestically in the background. If you are lucky, you may spot the elusive leopard as he slinks off under the shade of a tree to nap through the day, or maybe a herd of elephant coming in to drink at the water pool below your cottage.
An early morning game drive to spot the first giraffe, eland, buffalo or maybe a skulking cat is followed by a late breakfast. Some people prefer to go on a nature walk in the cool of the morning, accompanied by guides and camels and later they will be surprised by a delicious breakfast served under the shade of an acacia tree, just at the right moment. Or a horse ride will take you into the midst of the game. As the tropical sun climbs higher in the sky, guests return from various activities to the lodge to relax by the infinity swimming pool.
A visit to the Samburu workshop, run by Julia, the Francombe’s daughter, is a favourite and interesting activity. Colourful Samburu women sing while they use their beading skills to create wonderful objects to Julia's designs. Groups of chatting Samburu children paint delightful pictures of their world around them in bright colours. This 'Development through Art' workshop is designed to help the local people help themselves and puts money in the Ol Malo Trust to help with education and medical. Ol Malo is also justifiably proud of its excellent clinic and medical facilities.
Lunch is served at the pool and is a very informal affair. Followed by an afternoon by the pool, relaxing or a visit to the Ol Malo shop and very soon it is time for an evening activity. A visit to the local Samburu homestead 'Manyatta' is a wonderful experience. Unspoilt by western cultures, these friendly people welcome you into their home and share their lifestyle. Colourful warriors dancing with the exquisitely beautiful young girls present a scene of an unspoilt and ancient culture, and a super photo shoot.
Activities include:- Horse riding, camel riding, nature walks, running with the Samburu, night drives, picnic breakfasts, lunches by the river, river walks, swimming in the river, shooting the rapids in old tyres, sundowners on the rocks, barbeques in the bush, mountain bikes. Helicopter safaris are very popular. The use of a helicopter to get a bird’s eye view offers guests an experience of a lifetime. Helicopter excursions can go anywhere.
Ol Malo has reputedly the best horses in East Africa for horse safaris, and fly camping with either horses or camels or both. And to return in the evening to hot showers and baths before cocktails in front of the fire followed by a candlelit dinner, regaling tales of the day’s activities or listening to Colin telling stories from the past is a wonderful way to end the day. And perhaps finally….spending a night in a leopard hide where four bunk beds are set up for you to relax while you wait and spot this most elusive of wild animals.
Ol Malo House
At Ol Malo the tariff at both the Lodge and the House include:
Ol Malo House was designed and built by the Francombe family. The hub of the house is a large and beautiful sitting and dining room – with open fireplaces – encircled by three en-suite double bedrooms. Separate cottages create a further three double bedrooms: each private and comfortable cottage has arch windows and doors, en-suite bathrooms, and decor inspired by the area’s wild landscape, local flora and the life and culture of the Samburu people. Lighting is handmade by the Samburu women creates a warm ambience and welcoming atmosphere. A flagstone path leads to a large open area overlooking the infinity pool and this incredible land’s wide-open vistas – perfect for al fresco dining. A barbecue area creates a wonderful place in which to end the day under a star-studded African sky.
The “Crocodile “Cottage which is to the right of the main area facing the pool and ravine; very quirky and called “Crocodile” because the bath tub is actually built in to the back of a “fake” crocodile, complete with teeth and tail. This room sleeps two.
It comprises a large double bed, safe, full mirror, traditional Finch Hatton style furniture, lots of wood, makuti roof, separate dressing area and leading through to huge en suite walk in shower, and the “croc tub”.
Outside verandah with chairs and table, and overlooking ravine.
Hippo Cottage is the other side of the main area to Crocodile Cottage. It has a large open living room with a view which leads in to the bedroom, which can be set up as twin or double. An extra bed can be accommodated on the Mezzanine Floor.
It has a further double bedroom with an extra single bed. There are 2 en suite bathrooms with walk in shower and bath tub
Hippo Cottage can sleep up to 6 persons
Ol Malo Main House has a very large lounge and dining room with a view, and which leads from a small kitchen.
There are 2 areas; Pangolin and Giraffe
Pangolin; comprises a double bedroom with a downstairs en suite plus another bedroom which does not have an en suite.
There are also 2 rooms used for guides, or body guards, and these have en suite. Additionally there is a downstairs bedroom, which is like sleeping in a cave; quite extraordinary. It is also possible to have a star bed on the roof!
Giraffe; comprises a double en suite room
24-hour Security, Barbeque Facilities, Mobile Connectivity, Pool, Secure Parking
Internet, Shower, Verandah
Early morning or late evening rides are a great way to view game. Being out of the car and on horseback or on a camel is a wonderful way to see the game, which won’t flee from horses and camels: you get very close to the action indeed. For the more adventurous – horse riding down towards the river;
Elephant, buffalo, Eland, Beisa Oryx, Grant gazelle, Impala, common and grey Zebra, reticulated Giraffe, Lelwels Hartebeeste Gerenuk, Greater Kudu, Water Buck, Klipspringer, Steenbok, Gunthers Dik Dik, Warthog, Wild dog, Leopard, Cheetah, Lion, spotted and striped Hyena: where else on earth can you go out for a drive in an open vehicle – with a Samburu guide and driver – and be virtually certain to see such a wide-ranging selection of elusive, wild game?
An experienced Samburu guides will take you on a nature walk to show you the Little Five – ant lion, leopard tortoise, elephant shrew, rhino beetle, buffalo weaver. Or you can choose to learn about the plants the Samburu use for medicine and food. Or stand in amazement at the sight of the 330 named species of birds found at Ol Malo.
Pay a welcome visit to our neighbours, the Samburu people. Visit their nursery school. Visit to the Ol Malo workshop to see the women beading or the children painting.Visits to local school
Enjoy Al Fresco dining
We have our very own little Raven R44 helicopter based on Ol Malo and piloted by Andrew who has been all over Kenya by air and knows all the secret spots. Sundowners on granite outcrops, breakfasts by flamingo pools, fishing trips, and lunch in the deserts of the North…Kenya’s best-kept secrets are out there!
If you are here for long enough there are options for sleeping out: Spend a romantic night in the tree house under a blanket of stars (dependent on the weather), or sleep in the leopard hide and see what comes in to the waterhole. With enough notice we can organise for one to fly camp on the river.
Ol Malo is a working family ranch and tries to be as self sufficient as possible. Learn about livestock caring, grazing and husbandry in this harsh environment. Play with the lambs, collect freshly laid eggs for your breakfast and lend a hand at milking the cows.