House in the Wild

Enonkishu, Masai Mara
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House in the Wild
Enonkishu, Masai Mara

“What a wonderful hidden gem this is! An incredible spot on the Mara River to enjoy with the family.”

A delightful, intimate and welcoming boutique lodge overlooking a meander in the Mara River, House in the Wild sits within the award-winning Enonkishu Conservancy which provides excellent game viewing across a variety of landscapes and an abundance of safari, community and conservation activities.

House in the Wild accommodates 20+ guests in seven standalone cottages

All About House in the Wild

“Wow! The entire experience at House in the Wild has been quite unbelievable. Thank you, thank you a million times over!”

The inspired creation of the Wood family, founders of the surrounding Enonkishu Conservancy, House in the Wild sits on what was once intensive farmland. This unique decades-long rewilding project on the northern fringes of the Maasai Mara has seen the rangelands around the lodge return to their natural state, with abundant wildlife coming back to the area after decades of farming.

With the transformation from agriculture back to nature complete, the surrounding areas now support a wide variety and quantity of wild game – including common sightings of wild dog, elephant, cheetah, leopard and a resident pride of lion on the base of the Kileleoni Hill, and there is world-class game viewing throughout Enonkishu and in the neighbouring Ol Chorro and Lemek conservancies.

At House in the Wild, generations of Woods have helped to create a very special, authentic and unpackaged safari experience, with an exceptionally welcoming and competent team on hand to look after guests’ every need.  As well as the spacious central living & dining mess and bar, and the poolside pavilion, all overlooking the Mara River, there are seven separate comfortable guest cottages –

The Original Cottage (4+ guests) The first building at the lodge, once a round mud hut, has been extended and transformed into a spacious 2-bedroom cottage with a veranda with chill-out area and bar. The two ensuite bathrooms both have bathtubs and outside star showers. The closest accommodation to the main living & dining areas, it is ideal for families and has space for additional single beds for extra children.

Marula Cottage (4 guests) contains 2 double bedrooms (or a double and a twin) each with an ensuite bathroom, together with central living room with fireplace and bar and a spacious front veranda with living and dining areas. It sits on its own private lawn with swinging beds overlooking the Mara River. It is ideal for two couples, or a family with older children.

Warburgia Cottage (2+ guests) sits beneath the shade of a huge Warburgia tree and has one double bedroom with ensuite bathroom and sits right above the river with lovely views from the comfortable front veranda. The upstairs loft looks out across the river and has two day beds which can be used to sleep older children.

River Cottage (4 guests) has one family bedroom with one double bed and two twin beds plus ensuite bathroom and is ideal for families with smaller children. It sits just beside the river and has its own small path with stairs down onto the grassy riverbank below.

Hippo Cottage (2 guests) is set in a beautiful quiet and shady spot on the riverbank.  The furthest cottage from the main lodge area, it has its own huge veranda and bath overlooking the river and is the perfect choice for couples or singles looking for complete privacy.

Olerai Cottage (2 guests) is similar in design to Hippo Cottage. Tucked into huge trees and looking downstream towards the sunset, it has a double/twin bedroom with an outdoor star shower and a huge copper bath overlooking the river.  There is a scenic veranda where guests can relax and enjoy private dining.

Kisaru Cottage (4 guests) is the newest cottage, completed in October 2023. Close to Marula Cottage, it is a 2-bedroom private sanctuary with its own sitting and dining room. Built using upcycled materials, it is set back with a huge lawn overlooking the Mara River and is named after Kisaru, the beautiful cheetah who has made such a difference to so many lives in Enonkishu Conservancy.

Summary
  • Small, charming, authentic, eco-friendly, family-owned and operated
  • Comfortable, family-friendly accommodation.  Unique, eclectic, rustic-chic style.
  • Generous full-board tariff with delicious organic produce direct from the ‘shamba’
  • Swimming pool, poolside pavilion, lovely riverside lawns and views
  • Explore the 40,000 uncrowded private acres of Enonkishu, Ol Chorro and Lemek conservancies
  • Enjoy an inspiring wildlife and conservation experience well away from busy tourist trails
  • Private safari vehicles and driver/guides for every group of guests
  • Accommodates 20+ guests in 10 bedrooms across seven standalone cottages
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.

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

Accommodation and facilities

  • 25-acre plot on the fringes of the private 1000-acre Naretoi Estate
  • Over 1000 metres of river frontage
  • Lawns overlooking the Mara River
  • Spacious central living and dining ‘mess’ with bar and veranda
  • Poolside living & dining pavilion
  • A choice of private or communal dining
  • 7 separate accommodation cottages
  • 10 bedrooms in total
  • Swimming pool with children’s toys
  • Gift shop
  • Electric fence, 24-hour security, night watchmen
  • 24-hour electricity – solar power with back-up generator
  • Hairdryer and other high-voltage items – by special arrangement
  • Good cellphone signal, wi-fi internet in main lodge area
  • Childminders available with prior arrangement

Activities

  • Please ask for further information, availability and any additional costs for these and other activities –
  • Access to the private Enonkishu, Ol Chorro and Lemek conservancies
  • Night & day game drives
  • Private game drive vehicles and guides
  • Guided bush walks
  • Bush breakfasts, picnics & sundowner drinks
  • Croquet, boules, river fishing
  • Tennis, Yoga, Running, Cycling
  • Visits to the Rhino Sanctuary
  • Guided Walks within Naretoi
  • Sundowner drinks and picnics
  • Trips to other nearby conservancies
  • Trips to the Masai Mara National Reserve
  • Local school visits
  • Local Maasai village visits
  • Maasai homestay
  • Farm activities
  • Visits to the local cattle market
  • Scenic plane and helicopter flights
  • Hot air balloon safaris
  • Visit to the Mara Training Centre
  • Visit the indigenous tree nursery
  • Visit to the Mara Elephant Project
Visitors' Book

“Staying at House In The Wild surpassed all our expectations! It felt like we have experienced both luxury and a home-away-from-home. We were so well looked after in the best location for exploring the Mara. Thank you to all the staff for helping us to have the holiday of a lifetime. Special thanks to David for being such a fantastic guide – we really hope to come back some day!”

“We had a wonderful time at House in the Wild – what an amazing spot. The rooms are very comfortable with great views! The food was very good and the staff very friendly – we will definitely come back. Thank you for your hospitality.”

“We have had the most amazing family holiday at House in the Wild – we cannot believe how beautiful it is and how tranquil. The service was second-to-none with friendly, polite and lovely staff. The food was outstanding – thank you Godfrey! Truly it was a 5-star stay even before our wonderful game drives. Seeing the vast quantities of animals was unbelievable and Wilson was the most wonderful guide to have – incredibly knowledgeable about all things Maasai and Mara. We have learned so much and gained such a love for this place.”

“We had a wonderful trip off the beaten track with a chance to experience real life in the Mara. A fantastic and helpful team – Purity’s cooking was delicious. We loved the school visit, the hill climb and seeing a leopard as we drove in to the house on our last night – just like it had been waiting for us! We can’t wait to come back again!”

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All About House in the Wild

“Wow! The entire experience at House in the Wild has been quite unbelievable. Thank you, thank you a million times over!”

All About House in the Wild

The inspired creation of the Wood family, founders of the surrounding Enonkishu Conservancy, House in the Wild sits on what was once intensive farmland. This unique decades-long rewilding project on the northern fringes of the Maasai Mara has seen the rangelands around the lodge return to their natural state, with abundant wildlife coming back to the area after decades of farming.

With the transformation from agriculture back to nature complete, the surrounding areas now support a wide variety and quantity of wild game – including common sightings of wild dog, elephant, cheetah, leopard and a resident pride of lion on the base of the Kileleoni Hill, and there is world-class game viewing throughout Enonkishu and in the neighbouring Ol Chorro and Lemek conservancies.

At House in the Wild, generations of Woods have helped to create a very special, authentic and unpackaged safari experience, with an exceptionally welcoming and competent team on hand to look after guests’ every need.  As well as the spacious central living & dining mess and bar, and the poolside pavilion, all overlooking the Mara River, there are seven separate comfortable guest cottages –

The Original Cottage (4+ guests) The first building at the lodge, once a round mud hut, has been extended and transformed into a spacious 2-bedroom cottage with a veranda with chill-out area and bar. The two ensuite bathrooms both have bathtubs and outside star showers. The closest accommodation to the main living & dining areas, it is ideal for families and has space for additional single beds for extra children.

Marula Cottage (4 guests) contains 2 double bedrooms (or a double and a twin) each with an ensuite bathroom, together with central living room with fireplace and bar and a spacious front veranda with living and dining areas. It sits on its own private lawn with swinging beds overlooking the Mara River. It is ideal for two couples, or a family with older children.

Warburgia Cottage (2+ guests) sits beneath the shade of a huge Warburgia tree and has one double bedroom with ensuite bathroom and sits right above the river with lovely views from the comfortable front veranda. The upstairs loft looks out across the river and has two day beds which can be used to sleep older children.

River Cottage (4 guests) has one family bedroom with one double bed and two twin beds plus ensuite bathroom and is ideal for families with smaller children. It sits just beside the river and has its own small path with stairs down onto the grassy riverbank below.

Hippo Cottage (2 guests) is set in a beautiful quiet and shady spot on the riverbank.  The furthest cottage from the main lodge area, it has its own huge veranda and bath overlooking the river and is the perfect choice for couples or singles looking for complete privacy.

Olerai Cottage (2 guests) is similar in design to Hippo Cottage. Tucked into huge trees and looking downstream towards the sunset, it has a double/twin bedroom with an outdoor star shower and a huge copper bath overlooking the river.  There is a scenic veranda where guests can relax and enjoy private dining.

Kisaru Cottage (4 guests) is the newest cottage, completed in October 2023. Close to Marula Cottage, it is a 2-bedroom private sanctuary with its own sitting and dining room. Built using upcycled materials, it is set back with a huge lawn overlooking the Mara River and is named after Kisaru, the beautiful cheetah who has made such a difference to so many lives in Enonkishu Conservancy.

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