Olepangi Farm Cottages

Timau, Laikipia
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Olepangi Farm Cottages
Timau, Laikipia

“There is so much to love about Olepangi – a place where cliché hospitality phrases like ‘home away from home’ and ‘slice of paradise’ indeed find true meaning!”

A collection of charming and civilised, owner-managed cottages set on a 120-acre horse farm in the shadow of Mount Kenya, Olepangi is such an original and engaging place to stay. Relaxing, welcoming, fun and family-friendly, it also makes the ideal base from which to explore the area’s wonderful landscapes and wildlife.

Olepangi Cottages accommodate up to 18 guests in 8 bedrooms

All About Olepangi Farm Cottages

“There really is something about this place that is so special. The setting is jaw-droppingly beautiful and the rooms cozy and comfortable. But it’s more than that. This is not a hotel – it’s a labor of love. The owners are such fascinating people who somehow magically made us feel like we’d been friends for 20 years. In a world where everything is the same, this is a one off!”

A highly-recommended boutique lodge filled with creativity and charm, Olepangi is a rewarding getaway in its own right, and has plenty of opportunities for guests to get involved in a range of adventurous, family-friendly activities on the surrounding farm, in the local community or in the area’s nearby wildlife conservancies and safari destinations.

There’s always something new, interesting and creative happening around the farm and lodge, and the atmosphere is always informal, fun and relaxing. With charming and hospitable owner-mangers, an artist-in-residence programme, a Young Farmers’ Club for children, and a delightful and diverse stream of guests from inside and outside Kenya, Olepangi is a unique, original and inspiring destination.

Guests can enjoy the stunning swimming pool and pool house with outdoor dining room and bar, or relax down in the expansive Party House with indoor dining room and bar, drawing room and library. It’s a wonderful structure, beautifully furnished with an eclectic selection of antique furniture, indigenous textiles, oriental rugs and objets d’art collected by the owners on their travels.

Also at the Party House is a large collection of good books, comfortable armchairs and sofas in front of the fireplace and tempting drinks on offer, along with a big scenic terrace furnished with loungers and Adirondack chairs – another lovely place to get together and socialise – or just put your feet up, relax, reflect and enjoy the view.

All the accommodation sits on the edge of the farm looking out across a steep gorge in the Ngishishi River towards the 36,000 acres of Ole Naishu, a working cattle ranch full of wildlife. Herds of zebra and impala are visible most days as well as giraffe and baboon – and eland and kongoni often make an appearance.

Hyena and lion are often heard at night and elephants are frequent visitors to the area – the farm’s perimeter is protected by a low-lying elephant fence. There are lovely walks to be taken around the farm and through the surrounding countryside, bush and shambas.

Enjoy a horse ride in the surrounding community area or a picnic ride along the border with Ole Naishu. Riding lessons are available in an all-weather arena on well-schooled ponies and horses. The farm also has a bush polo ground and polo lessons can be arranged for advanced riders.

Accommodation at Olepangi Farm

Burton & Speke Cottage

Named after the pioneering explorers who discovered the source of the Nile, James Hanning Speke and Sir Richard Burton, this cottage has two ensuite bedrooms – one double, one twin-bedded – with an interconnecting veranda – making it ideal for families.

Markham Cottage

This double-bedded ensuite cottage is named after Beryl Markham, the British-born Kenyan bush pilot, adventurer, racehorse trainer and author – and the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west.

Thesiger Cottage – this twin-bedded ensuite cottage is named after Wilfred Thesiger, the British-born explorer, Arabist and travel writer who lived for many years in northern Kenya.

The Round House is the largest of the cottages and has a double bedroom and bathroom plus small balcony on the second floor, and a spacious living room and terrace with lovely views on the first floor. The living room can also be fitted out with extra camp beds to accommodate children.

The Bunk Room  A fun and funky room underneath the Round House with 4 built-in bunk beds, suitable for older children and teens. With a small ensuite shower room and use of The Round House outdoor shower, the room is filled with beanbags and children’s games plus TV and DVD.

Villa Gorilla

A colourful and quirky cottage with two ensuite bedrooms – one double and one twin – plus cosy living and dining room with a kitchenette and outdoor terrace. Close by and with access to all the farm’s amenities and attractions yet set apart and private from the main guest areas, it is ideal for longer stays.

Olepangi House

The other place to stay on the farm is the charming Olepangi House. A private home-from-home with panoramic views south to Mount Kenya and north to the Lolldaiga Hills, it is designed with flair and style and furnished with antiques and fabrics from the owners’ travels. The perfect place to relax and reconnect with friends and family, Olepangi House accommodates up to 10 guests in 5 double/twin bedrooms.

Summary
  • A delightfully individual and inspiring farm stay retreat
  • Stylish, comfortable and cosy cottage accommodation
  • Stunning swimming pool and pool house, lovely gardens and walks
  • Warm & engaging owner-managers and staff, organic farm-to-fork meals
  • 120 acres of grounds, horse stables, horse riding, farm and community activities
  • ‘Young Farmers’ Club’ with all kinds of fun, practical, eco-friendly outdoor pursuits
  • Explore Eastern Laikipia and Mount Kenya – or just relax and unwind on the farm
  • Just 20 minutes’ drive from the beautiful, wildlife-rich Lolldaiga Hills
  • Accommodates up to 18 guests in 8 double, twin and quadruple bedrooms
Destination - Laikipia

Straddling the Equator and stretching from the snow-capped peaks of Mount Kenya to the eastern rim of the Great Rift Valley, the Laikipia plateau is one of Africa’s most exciting and exclusive wilderness safari destinations – with abundant wildlife, spectacular scenery, extraordinary cultural and bio-diversity and some of East Africa’s most successful nature and game conservancies.

Ranching, conservation and high-end tourism go hand-in-hand, with few of the constraints that often apply in Kenya’s national parks and reserves.  Night game drives, bush walks, bike tours, horse-riding, camel treks, scenic flights and helicopter safaris are a few the exhilarating pursuits on hand in the extensive private ranches and conservancies that make up much of the region.

Laikipia hosts a wealth and diversity of wildlife second only to the Masai Mara in Kenya. It has significant populations of predators and the “Big Five”, with over 50% of Kenya’s rhinos, thousands of elephants, about 25% of the world’s endangered Grevy’s Zebra, and an increasing population of rare Wild Dogs. The region is home to more at-risk species than anywhere else in East Africa.

Location - Lolldaiga Hills

Olepangi Farm Cottages and Olepangi House sit 6km outside the small town of Timau and are around 20 minutes’ drive from the main gate of the Lolldaiga Hills Ranch and Conservancy. The Lolldaigas consist of 49,000 dramatic and uncrowded acres 20 kilometres north of the Equator and 40 kilometres north of Mount Kenya. A well-managed combination of wildlife conservancy and commercial livestock ranch, they are home to a huge variety of wild animals and birds, as well as 4,500 cattle, sheep and camels. Despite their proximity to more widely visited areas of Laikipia, limited visitor numbers and a total absence of commercial tourist accommodation ensure that the Lolldaigas feel remote, untouched and firmly off-the-beaten-track.

The Lolldaigas are home to large herds of Elephant and Buffalo, together with Lion, Leopard, Hyena, Jackal, Cheetah and plentiful plains game.  Larger antelope species include Hartebeest, Oryx and Eland, while Grevy’s Zebra and Wild Dog are among several rare and endangered species.  With such varied topography, landscapes and habitats, the conservancy’s roads range across hilltops, up and down steep valleys, around dams, and across open savannah plains, ensuring that game drives and excursions here are always diverse, scenic and rewarding.

Ranging in altitude from 1700 to 2300 metres, the Lolldaiga Range is an ancient land form, comprising of a series of magnificent high folding hills, cedar forests and steep wooded valleys, interspersed with open grassland and bush. A well-documented series of archaeological finds, cave paintings and burial mounds show that the area was home to early mankind several thousand years ago. Over the last five centuries the region has been inhabited by the nomadic Laikipia Maasai, from whose language the name “Lolldaiga” comes, “Daiga” meaning braid.

In Detail

Suggested activities at Olepangi Farm and nearby –

  • Exploring and experiencing the farm, gardens and grounds
  • Walking and hiking locally
  • Community walks with the legendary Mr Kariuki
  • Horse rides in the local community area
  • Riding and polo lessons on the farm
  • Yoga and massage
  • Making flavoured gins and essential oils
  • Games drives into the Lolldaiga Hills
  • Riding Safaris in the Lolldaigas and Ole Naishu Ranch
  • Ngare Ndare Forest – forest canopy walk and Blue Pools
  • Game drives and safari activities in Ol Pejeta Conservancy
  • Hiking in Mount Kenya National Park
  • Visit Solio Ranch – home to over 500 rhinoceros

Young Farmers Club for children (and adults) – activities include

  • Farm and community walks
  • Bird watching
  • Milking the cows
  • Horse feeding and grooming
  • Horse riding – lessons available
  • Bread, butter and jam making
  • Collecting eggs from the chicken run
  • Walking and playing with the dogs
  • Picking flowers and vegetables
  • Planting and sowing seeds
  • Composting
  • Building dens
  • Picnics and sports
  • Swimming in the river
Visitors' Book

“I have been going to Olepangi Farm since 2013 and am always amazed at the new and exciting things going on. There is something for everyone. The cottages are sweet, beds comfortable, and unique grass thatched roofed structures abound. The extensive gardens provide farm-to-table dining and fresh flowers. The jersey cows and goats provide milk for cheeses and yogurt. Elephants, giraffes, zebra, and so many other animals are grazing and tromping around on the opposite bank beyond the elephant fence. There are horses, donkeys, refreshing cocktails, great meals and awesome conversations to be had with people from all over the word. Most important though, is the warm welcome of the Kenyan locals both on and off the farm. Olepangi Farm is a great spot to connect with nature, friends old and new, and has an amazing sense of place. What a great experience!”

“This property is unbelievably charming and unforgettable! When my friend and I arrived at Olepangi Farm, Edward greeted us with the biggest, warmest smile that I will never forget! For the reminder of our stay, Edward made sure we felt so well taken cared for and he treated us like family. George took us on farm tours and was incredibly knowledge and personable. Our cottage was impossibly adorable and cozy. The grounds are stunning and the FOOD was unforgettable! Kudos to chef Martin for creating meals that I still daydream about! I can’t wait to return!”

“Having dreamed of going to Olepangi Farm for years, our first experience exceeded every expectation. Every day was better than the last. There is something for every interest and level of adventure. We managed to pack so much into our 10 days – from exploring the 120 acre property on horseback, to fabulous river and nature walks with the inimitable Mr Kariuki, to tours of the incredible gardens with Kelvin, or sitting on the beautiful pool deck watching elephants and giraffe saunter through Ole Naishu conservancy which borders Olepangi, or simply savouring the incredible cuisine and cocktails effortlessly magicked by the friendly and talented chef Martin and mixologist Kevin and served by ever-smiling Edwin and Josie. Olepangi also serves as the perfect springboard for exploring the Laikipia region – we went game viewing on neighbouring Lolldaiga conservancy, took a thrilling morning’s horse-riding safari on Barana conservancy which is abundant with game, and camped overnight under that vast African sky at Meru Reserve. But most unexpected was the people we met – such a diverse and interesting clientele, it was pure joy to share stories and experiences around the fire at night in the gorgeous Party House over a cocktail – we left feeling we had a whole new bunch of friends! And our hosts Elizabeth and Keir were so graceful and thoughtful and managed every detail to perfection. The decor too – wow! Such an eclectic mix of pieces from Elizabeth’s travels around the world it felt like a veritable caravanserai of treasures!”

Rates

(tbc)

All About Olepangi Farm Cottages
All About Olepangi Farm Cottages

“There really is something about this place that is so special. The setting is jaw-droppingly beautiful and the rooms cozy and comfortable. But it’s more than that. This is not a hotel – it’s a labor of love. The owners are such fascinating people who somehow magically made us feel like we’d been friends for 20 years. In a world where everything is the same, this is a one off!”

A highly-recommended boutique lodge filled with creativity and charm, Olepangi is a rewarding getaway in its own right, and has plenty of opportunities for guests to get involved in a range of adventurous, family-friendly activities on the surrounding farm, in the local community or in the area’s nearby wildlife conservancies and safari destinations.

There’s always something new, interesting and creative happening around the farm and lodge, and the atmosphere is always informal, fun and relaxing. With charming and hospitable owner-mangers, an artist-in-residence programme, a Young Farmers’ Club for children, and a delightful and diverse stream of guests from inside and outside Kenya, Olepangi is a unique, original and inspiring destination.

Guests can enjoy the stunning swimming pool and pool house with outdoor dining room and bar, or relax down in the expansive Party House with indoor dining room and bar, drawing room and library. It’s a wonderful structure, beautifully furnished with an eclectic selection of antique furniture, indigenous textiles, oriental rugs and objets d’art collected by the owners on their travels.

Also at the Party House is a large collection of good books, comfortable armchairs and sofas in front of the fireplace and tempting drinks on offer, along with a big scenic terrace furnished with loungers and Adirondack chairs – another lovely place to get together and socialise – or just put your feet up, relax, reflect and enjoy the view.

All the accommodation sits on the edge of the farm looking out across a steep gorge in the Ngishishi River towards the 36,000 acres of Ole Naishu, a working cattle ranch full of wildlife. Herds of zebra and impala are visible most days as well as giraffe and baboon – and eland and kongoni often make an appearance.

Hyena and lion are often heard at night and elephants are frequent visitors to the area – the farm’s perimeter is protected by a low-lying elephant fence. There are lovely walks to be taken around the farm and through the surrounding countryside, bush and shambas.

Enjoy a horse ride in the surrounding community area or a picnic ride along the border with Ole Naishu. Riding lessons are available in an all-weather arena on well-schooled ponies and horses. The farm also has a bush polo ground and polo lessons can be arranged for advanced riders.

Accommodation at Olepangi Farm

Burton & Speke Cottage

Named after the pioneering explorers who discovered the source of the Nile, James Hanning Speke and Sir Richard Burton, this cottage has two ensuite bedrooms – one double, one twin-bedded – with an interconnecting veranda – making it ideal for families.

Markham Cottage

This double-bedded ensuite cottage is named after Beryl Markham, the British-born Kenyan bush pilot, adventurer, racehorse trainer and author – and the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west.

Thesiger Cottage – this twin-bedded ensuite cottage is named after Wilfred Thesiger, the British-born explorer, Arabist and travel writer who lived for many years in northern Kenya.

The Round House is the largest of the cottages and has a double bedroom and bathroom plus small balcony on the second floor, and a spacious living room and terrace with lovely views on the first floor. The living room can also be fitted out with extra camp beds to accommodate children.

The Bunk Room  A fun and funky room underneath the Round House with 4 built-in bunk beds, suitable for older children and teens. With a small ensuite shower room and use of The Round House outdoor shower, the room is filled with beanbags and children’s games plus TV and DVD.

Villa Gorilla

A colourful and quirky cottage with two ensuite bedrooms – one double and one twin – plus cosy living and dining room with a kitchenette and outdoor terrace. Close by and with access to all the farm’s amenities and attractions yet set apart and private from the main guest areas, it is ideal for longer stays.

Olepangi House

The other place to stay on the farm is the charming Olepangi House. A private home-from-home with panoramic views south to Mount Kenya and north to the Lolldaiga Hills, it is designed with flair and style and furnished with antiques and fabrics from the owners’ travels. The perfect place to relax and reconnect with friends and family, Olepangi House accommodates up to 10 guests in 5 double/twin bedrooms.

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