Olmarei House

Enonkishu, Masai Mara
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Olmarei House
Enonkishu, Masai Mara

“I can honestly say this was absolutely the best vacation ever. This family-owned property really makes you feel at home, with an intimate and tailored appeal.”

A new and expansive ranch-style home in an exclusive wildlife estate, Olmarei sits beside the Mara River with superb game viewing across the uncrowded Enonkishu, Ol Chorro and Lemek Conservancies. It’s the perfect base from which to experience the best of the Masai Mara in a uniquely personal and private way.

Olmarei House accommodates up to 10 guests in the Main House and two tented Guest Cottages

All About Olmarei House

“I have just returned from staying with my family at Olmarei, a villa that is part of House in the Wild. It is an absolutely magical place. The villa itself is beautifully appointed, with spacious bedrooms (3 in the main house and 2 in detached cottages) and a lovely living area. There is a gazebo which is a wonderful place to have lunch, overlooking the river and the resident family of hippos.

The staff are some of the warmest and friendliest we have ever come across. Our safari guides Joel, Fred and Joseph were brilliant, with a fantastic knowledge of the wildlife and off-road driving skills to match. Mark, Moses, chef Charles and the rest of the in-house team could not have looked after us better, catering to our every need and producing delicious food time and time again.

Before we went I was unsure how prolific the animals would be, given the previous farm was only turned back to nature in 2013. The concern could not have been more misplaced. The surrounding area and conservancies are teeming with wildlife. We spent an unforgettable day with Adam, the resident wildlife photographer, following Kisaru, a cheetah with 2 cubs. Having watched the family stroll across the plains we then witnessed Kisaru hunt and successfully bring down a Grant’s gazelle. Quite breath-taking!

Other highlights were watching the pride of 3 lionesses taking their 6 cubs for an evening walk, strolling within feet of our vehicles with nonchalance, seeing 2 other lionesses hunting warthog at dusk, two very rare leopard sightings and the evening flight of the crowned cranes. With the numerous elephant, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, warthogs, hyena, gazelle and many more animals, it added up to heaven for anyone who loves nature.

We are fortunate to have experienced many wonderful holidays as a family and the unanimous verdict as we left House in the Wild is that it had been the most unforgettable and best holiday ever. I can’t praise it highly enough.”

 

Olmarei House is moments away from House In The Wild – a delightful, intimate and welcoming boutique lodge within the award-winning Enonkishu Conservancy. It accommodates 20+ guests in seven rustic-chic cottages and guests enjoy excellent game viewing across a variety of landscapes along with an abundance of other safari, community and conservation activities.

Summary
  • A really smart and striking new safari villa – completed in 2022
  • Sprawling and comfortable accommodation – ideal for families or groups of friends
  • 15-metre swimming pool, hippo-view riverside pavilion
  • Extensive lawns and grounds, rooftop sundowner deck with firepit
  • Situated within the private Naretoi Estate – teeming with wildlife from the doorstep
  • Managed and guided by the exceptional ‘House in the Wild’ boutique lodge team
  • Access to 40,000 acres of private conservancies – plus the greater Masai Mara
  • Private safari vehicles and knowledgeable driver/guides
  • Accommodates up to 10 guests in 5 ensuite bedrooms in Main House (3) and Guest Cottages (2)
Destination – The Masai Mara

Located in Southwestern Kenya alongside the Tanzanian border, The Masai Mara, together with the adjoining Serengeti National Park, forms one of the world’s most diverse and spectacular eco-systems.  A region characterised by short grass savannah plains interspersed with areas of riverine forest and bordered by towering rocky escarpments, The Mara is home to an incredible abundance and variety of wild animals and is renowned worldwide as Africa’s most exceptional – and loveliest – safari destination.

The Maasai Mara National Reserve covers an area of 1,510 sq. km (580 sq. miles) at altitudes which range from 1500 to 2170 metres above sea level. The area has one of the highest lion densities in world, together with significant populations of cheetah, leopard, elephant and buffalo, and this is where over two million wildebeest, zebra and Thomsons Gazelle migrate annually. Home to over 95 species of mammal and 570 recorded species of bird, excellent ‘Big Five’ year-round game viewing is virtually guaranteed.

Beyond the northern and eastern boundaries of the National Reserve, many former cattle ranches and agricultural lands have been transformed into private conservancies. These are exclusive wildlife reserves committed to high-end, low-density tourism together with community and environmental initiatives and accessed only by guests staying within these designated areas. Here, walking and riding safaris, night game drives and other adventurous activities not permitted in the National Reserve are often on the safari menu.

Location - Enonkishu Conservancy, Masai Mara

Enonkishu, the most northerly conservancy in the greater Masai Mara, is a re-wilding success story.

Once intensively farmed and over-grazed, the area has become a world-class conservation area, host to an incredible variety and density of mammals including some of the world’s rarest animals, white rhino, wild dog and a wealth of plains game including antelope, giraffe, zebra, eland and wildebeest.

There is a resident pride of lion, families of cheetah and a number of leopard. Herds of elephant browse among the trees of nearby Kileleoni Hill, the highest point in the Mara and home to the endangered Mountain Reedbuck. Night game drives offer rewarding sightings of nocturnal animals such as honey badgers, porcupines and aardvarks.

Several other private conservancies are also close by, as is the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Given the quantity and quality of the wildlife in Enonkishu and its uncrowded surroundings, game drives in the National Reserve are usually only recommended during the annual wildebeest migration (usually July-October)

Enonkishu – which means ‘the place of healthy cattle’ in Maa – is also host to a working livestock ranch. The conservancy works with more than 50 local Maasai families to protect the surrounding wildlife grazing areas and a holistic grazing plan enables people, wildlife and livestock to thrive together.

At Enonkishu and Naretoi – which means “working together” in Maa – responsible, high-end eco-tourism goes hand-in-hand with conservation. Funds raised through conservation fees go towards supporting sustainable rangeland management, restoring biodiversity, mitigating human-wildlife conflict, assisting in ecological monitoring and training wildlife rangers.

The conservancy supports community-led initiatives which boost small businesses, support the local provision of health care, education and clean water and encourage and assist with bee keeping, tree planting and other sustainable farming practices that serve as a model for living in harmony with nature.

There are several scheduled daily flights from Nairobi’s Wilson Airport to the Mara Ngerende Airstrip and the flight takes one hour or less, followed by a 15-minute drive to House in the Wild.  Private light aircraft and helicopters can land at the Naretoi Airstrip which is just a minute or two from the lodge.

In Detail

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Visitors' Book

“Our family of five just got back from spending four nights at House in the Wild. It was a phenomenal experience. The lodge itself is beautiful with each cottage decorated uniquely but all equally fabulous. We stayed in Olmarei house which was right by the lodge and that was also stunning – definitely Architectural Digest material. The staff were fabulous and every meal Godfrey prepared was to die for. Moses, who navigated our game runs, showed us an unbelievable variety of wildlife and shared a wealth of information with us. We are so grateful for this experience and can’t wait to go back.”

“There was absolutely nothing we would change about our stay. It started with amazing Joel collecting us from the airstrip and we’ll never have a better airport transfer; within 5 mins we were looking at a pod of hippos, listening to multiple birds, practically stepping on a giant lizard, and then a few giraffe just for good measure. Sensory overload all round. We were greeted by a full team welcome as we arrived at the Lodge and stayed in Olmarei House. The whole lodge is beautifully designed and decorated and we absolutely loved having breakfast, lunch and supper in different spots around the place. The service from Godfrey, Lekipa and the team was exceptional… always around but never fussing. The food was also delicious and we loved being shown round the Wild Shamba by Jane and her team. Their commitment to sustainability, community and education was one of the best aspects of our stay. The whole experience felt light touch and leaving a light footprint. Joel was the most brilliant guide, with a great sense of humour, encyclopedic knowledge of birds, animals and their behaviours, and where we might find them! The location of the lodge is perfect – right on a bend of the Mara River and we came away missing the bird noises, but mostly the hippo grumbles. Truly one of the best 5 days we have had. Thank you all for making it so memorable.”

“I can honestly say this was absolutely the best vacation ever. My friends and I were lucky enough to stay at Olmarei House for 4 nights, a private villa run by House in the Wild. The staff were warm, welcoming, professional, helpful and genuine. This family-owned property really makes you feel at home, with an intimate, and tailored appeal unlike some of the nearby corporate-run safari lodges. We even had dinner with Peej, the owner, and had a wonderful time getting to know each other and sharing our cultures. The new managers Adam and Diana were warm, friendly and fun, and truly put the personal touch on our experience by spending quality time with us and becoming friends.

We were lucky to have Adam as our guide for the duration of our stay, and he gave us an absolutely unforgettable time. His breadth of knowledge about the wildlife, the land, photography, and conservation efforts were astounding and left us with a newfound appreciation. We got gorgeous professional photos of our stay, a real bonus! We also had a local Maasai guide, Boston, who’s deep knowledge of the land, wildlife and culture truly added a dimension to our stay.

The lodge is situated on private grounds away from the touristy crowds, which allows you to be fully present, reflect, and be at one with nature. The surrounding landscape is breathtaking with endless views of yellow grass, blue sky and the occasional lone tree on the horizon. We saw giraffes, zebras, elephants, cheetahs, wildebeests, hyenas, gazelles, aardvarks, impalas, hippos, crocodiles, baboons, rhinos, warthogs, and of course the numerous prides of lions that reign in the area. The villa was spacious, clean and beautifully decorated, with vast outdoor grounds overlooking the Mara river and an option to sleep in a tented cabin as well. The amenities included a private pool, games, sports, and much more. Our Chef, Paul and the kitchen staff cooked delicious meals and really rose to the occasion for our dietary needs.

Aside from our local game drives and bush walks, Adam and Boston took us on a full day trip into the Mara Triangle to witness the Great Migration, where the vast amounts of wildebeests and zebras create a dotted canvas that can take your breath away. A remarkable trip worth every minute.

House in the Wild is not just a safari lodge, they are also humbly running behind the scenes initiatives to assist the local villages in change that matters. We visited their museum and saw the commitment and ambition of the local Maasai women who were working tirelessly for this effort.

Thank you Peej, Lippa, Adam, Diana, Leo and the rest of the staff. House in the Wild really made me fall in love with the African wild and the Mara. A truly authentic and life changing experience. I can’t wait to come back for another stay soon!”

Rates

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All About Olmarei House

“I have just returned from staying with my family at Olmarei, a villa that is part of House in the Wild. It is an absolutely magical place. The villa itself is beautifully appointed, with spacious bedrooms (3 in the main house and 2 in detached cottages) and a lovely living area. There is a gazebo which is a wonderful place to have lunch, overlooking the river and the resident family of hippos.

The staff are some of the warmest and friendliest we have ever come across. Our safari guides Joel, Fred and Joseph were brilliant, with a fantastic knowledge of the wildlife and off-road driving skills to match. Mark, Moses, chef Charles and the rest of the in-house team could not have looked after us better, catering to our every need and producing delicious food time and time again.

Before we went I was unsure how prolific the animals would be, given the previous farm was only turned back to nature in 2013. The concern could not have been more misplaced. The surrounding area and conservancies are teeming with wildlife. We spent an unforgettable day with Adam, the resident wildlife photographer, following Kisaru, a cheetah with 2 cubs. Having watched the family stroll across the plains we then witnessed Kisaru hunt and successfully bring down a Grant’s gazelle. Quite breath-taking!

Other highlights were watching the pride of 3 lionesses taking their 6 cubs for an evening walk, strolling within feet of our vehicles with nonchalance, seeing 2 other lionesses hunting warthog at dusk, two very rare leopard sightings and the evening flight of the crowned cranes. With the numerous elephant, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, warthogs, hyena, gazelle and many more animals, it added up to heaven for anyone who loves nature.

We are fortunate to have experienced many wonderful holidays as a family and the unanimous verdict as we left House in the Wild is that it had been the most unforgettable and best holiday ever. I can’t praise it highly enough.”

 

All About Olmarei House

Olmarei House is moments away from House In The Wild – a delightful, intimate and welcoming boutique lodge within the award-winning Enonkishu Conservancy. It accommodates 20+ guests in seven rustic-chic cottages and guests enjoy excellent game viewing across a variety of landscapes along with an abundance of other safari, community and conservation activities.

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