Olerai House Hotel is a beautiful country hotel set on the shores of Lake Naivasha in Kenya's Great Rift Valley. Painted ochre-red, it nestles under yellow acacia trees and purple jacarandas and is fanned by a cool breeze from the shores of Lake Naivasha and is watched over in the far distance by the extinct blue volcano of Mount Longonot. There is no better way to arrive for a Kenya safari holiday than to be met at the Nairobi airport, not by driver tour guide but a private pilot and be flown out across the Great Rift Valley landing thirty minutes later on a beautiful farm in Africa, on the north shore of Lake Naivasha a hidden jewel, Olerai House hotel, an enchanting flower-covered farmhouse, shaded under tall yellow acacias and watched over in the far distance by an extinct blue volcano, Mount Longonot.
Here, you can spend your first days in Africa, in exotic new surroundings of beauty and peace with all the luxuries of a home. Olerai House has five elegant double rooms with bathrooms; all are beautifully furnished with natural materials and decorated with local art and colorful fabrics. Olerai House Hotel has added special touches to all the rooms and each has its own individual style. Fresh flowers, home baked biscuits and sweet smelling soap make each room a welcoming sight.Olerai Lodge lies at the heart of its own private game sanctuary.The surrounding plains and woodlands will soon abound with wild animals.Guests will be able to observe giraffe, zebra and antelope gathering to drink at a central waterhole near the house.
All the food served at Olerai House is organic, picked fresh from the estate’s farm. Each meal is a gourmet delight with freshly baked bread, home made pasta, succulent farm lamb and Olerai’s specially made cheese and ice-cream. Breakfast at Olerai Lodge is always sumptuous, fresh and colorful. Lunch is served on the beautiful Crescent Island with multiple wild animals and birds all around. It is quite spectacular. Dinner is by the crackling fire under the star-filled dome of the night. There are no rigid timetables at Olerai House. You can rise at dawn with the fish eagles and sunshine, step into Olerai's African gondola and drift along the lake-edge alive with birds and dozing hippos, or scramble over the back hills of the farm, lush with wild herbs, swim in the big tropical pool or play golf a few miles from the farm. Excursions and walks around Lake Naivasha are breathtaking.
There are also visits to Hell’s Gate National Park or take a walk to Colville’s Hill for a little taste of Kenya’s White Mischief! Later in the afternoon, you can stroll among the zebras and sip sundowners at one of Kenya’s historical sites. A dawn flight to Lake Bogoria, a soda lake and home to thousands of flamingos, is an Out of Africa experience. Flying over a skidding cloud of pink flamingos and the sheer white of dry soda, one realizes there is little to compare with the grandeur of Africa. On landing you are whisked to the lakeshore for breakfast where eggs are cooked in the lake's steam jets - boiling cauldrons spewing from the centre of the earth. Eagles slide through the air above your head, and all around are the sounds of Africa. A walk or game drive safari along the lake edge caps the magic, and then you return by plane to the welcome cool of the green sanctuary at Lodge Olerai House.
A delightful boat trip to Crescent Island Sanctuary stops en route at a hippo pool where hundreds of buffalo and hippo wallow in the mud. Once at Crescent Island, guests spend the morning walking with zebra, waterbuck, giraffe and all kinds of gazelle - a rare vacation treat. A gourmet picnic is served on the lake edge where giraffe turn to stare as you sip a chilled Chardonnay. A truly unique breakfast experience. Olerai house Lodge is set amidst a green oasis; it's a welcoming change from the dusty plains for weary travellers during or after their safaris in Africa. Olerai Hotel offers Kenya luxury accommodation all year round. At 6000 feet altitude, there is no Malaria.
The Olerai house Lodge is owned and operated by Oria and Iain Douglas Hamilton, well known for their work with Africa's Elephant. While staying at Olerai House you may wander through the Sanctuary to Sirocco House Lake Naivasha, their home, to share some of their stories. Here you will experience true Kenyan hotel hospitality in elegant surroundings. The view of the grass plains from the terracotta patio at the Kenya lodging is striking. The red terracotta of the patio, the green of the lawn, and the amber of the plains show the beauty and harmony of the African palette. Lined with an archway of Jacaranda Trees, planted by Oria's father in the 1930s, the Jacaranda Boulevard is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll. When in bloom in April and October, the brilliant blue-violet flowers of the trees create a spectacular site.
The staff at Olerai House greets you with a smile, serve you with graciousness and ensure your holiday is peaceful and relaxing. From the moment you rise in the morning until you retire for the night, the wonderful staff will see to your every need.Olerai Lodge is a beautifully furnished and distinctive home on the shores of Lake Naivasha. Well known for their research and conservation efforts on behalf of African elephants, and the owners of Elephant Watch Camp in Samburu Kenya, Iain and Oria now welcome guests into their private piece of paradise. Each room has a character of its own and carries Oria's personal touch.
The menus revolve around locally available fresh produce and are always tasty and interesting. While Naivasha has seen a massive boom in the local economy through the rise of intensive flower farming under plastic, Olerai still provides a little hideaway where you can still enjoy the Kenya of the 1950s; trips out on the lake in the 'African gondola', bird walks around the grounds where a variety of wildlife grazes peacefully or simply relax in the comfortable lounge or in the flower-filled garden. There are places in Naivasha that offer more activities for the same price as Olerai Lodge and although there is a swimming pool, it is not always available for use by guests at the house. Some may be perfectly happy to just enjoy the house and the garden.
Olerai House Naivasha Kenya sits in a pasture surrounded by vegetable gardens, sheep and cows and the setting is calm and serene, the air is fragrant, barely a breeze and except for the fluttering wings of a bird and the buzz of a fly, hardly a sound can be heard. The sun streams through the gossamer netting over the canopied bed, tempting you to sleep, especially if you have been on a long flight, the lodge is small and intimate, made of wood and stucco and accessorised with cotton throws, natural straw mats, oversized pillows and lamp shades handmade by Oria.
The Lodge cottages on the farm are in colors of Africa--the browns of the earth, the orange shades of the cats, the purples of the blossoming jacarandas--the rooftops are a mass of tangled greenery. Amidst the lush farmer's fields, the effect is disarming, charming and so mellowing. Visitors can't help but unwind the moment they arrive. "They sleep in. They forget what time it is," says Oria. "For two, three days or more, their busy lives belong to someone else."
There are no predators on Crescent Island. This 300-acre sanctuary, located in Lake Naivasha, is paradise to hundreds of birds and grazing animals. Eagles perch on tree limbs, dikdiks rustle in bushes and pelicans fly in the air. You meander among giraffes, zebras, gazelles and water bucks without a care in the world. You are not threats to the animals and they are not threats to you, however, you do avoid the hippopotamus, who decides to come out of the water to munch on grass. Your guide explains the lumbering animal's habits to you and it is interesting, but primarily, the thrill is just being there.
While you enjoy your leisurely stroll, hotel staff are preparing a picnic feast, platters of meats and vegetables grown on Oria's farm appear like magic under a grove of umbrella trees, nothing is left to chance, a washing basin and a portable outhouse is set up a short distance away. Inside this 3x3 canvas closet, a hole has been dug and a wooden commode placed over it. When your tour of Crescent Island is over, this instant environmentally friendly toilet is dismantled and removed and the hole covered with dirt.
After the picnic visit Elsamere Conservation Centre, the former home of the late Joy Adamson and Elsa the famous lioness. Through photographs, the home's small museum depicts the close relationship between Elsa and Joy. Memorabilia from the film "Born Free" is scattered among the pictures and a collection of Adamson's paintings. Many guests at Elsamere are holiday makers or researchers coming to take part in local projects. It's a unique opportunity for the lay person with an interest in conservation and a desire to observe wildlife in its natural state.
On return the housekeeper is there to meet you with a drink and a smile, the fluffy towels, fresh flowers and the hot water bottle in bed are good amenities, however, it's the staff's genuine friendliness that is refreshing. The following morning Oria walks you to the short forested path to Sirocco House, the art-deco home her parents, Mario and Giselle Rocco built in the 1930's and where she was born. Oria's father had come to Africa to hunt game and her mother had come to sculpt and paint the human shapes of Africa.
Once a student of Rodin, Giselle Rocco's striking African warrior sculptures and paintings add an aura of mystique and power to the house of arched dividers, tall windows and high ceilings. Not surprisingly, Sirocco House and gardens have been locations in movies and used as back drops for fashion shoots. The November 1996 issue of Architectural Digest featured the house as well. Oria met her zoologist husband Iain Douglas-Hamilton in 1970, at a social gathering at the house. She was fascinated with his love of elephants and his work for the New York Zoological Society in Manyara National Park in Tanzania.
Shortly after they married, they built a camp on the river banks and lived among the beasts. Together, they studied and recorded elephant behavior and raised two daughters, who she describes, "have sunshine in their hearts." Over time, they built Olerai House and wrote two books. "Among the Elephants" and " Battle for the Elephants." Oria and Iain played an important role in the eventual ban on ivory hunting in 1989 and to this day, they continue their involvement in saving the elephant. "Our battle with poachers is never-ending" she says, not willing to give up the fight. "Just when we think we are winning, we hear another elephant has been killed and his tusks removed. "
Iain is a trustee at the nonprofit organization "Friends of Africa /Save the Elephants Project," with offices in Colorado (1.970.923.2466), London (18.104.22.16800) and Nairobi, Donations to this worthwhile organization are welcome. One of the projects the society is involved in is installing tracking collars on elephants. This exercise enables researchers to monitor the elephants' activities and needs. The cost for one GPS radio collar including flying and darting expenses is $10,000. Another project underway is green hunting, an alternative to lethal sport hunting.
A private nature reserve bordering Kruger National Park in South Africa has agreed to green hunt its yearly quota of four trophy bulls. The elephants will be"shot" with a sat-gun, tranquillized and a foam cast taken of the tusks so the "hunter" can mount his trophy. Iain also helped produce the Imax film "Africa's Elephant Kingdom" released in 1998 for Discovery Channel Pictures.
Activities- Olerai House is an enchanting flower-covered farm house shaded by yellow Acacia Trees on the shores of Lake Naivasha in Kenya's Great Rift Valley. It is within easy reach of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya; 2 hours by road or 30 minutes by plane. Lake Naivasha is conveniently placed between the Masai Mara and Northern Kenya.
Mount Longonot got its name from the Masai word 'Oloonong'ot,' which means 'mountains of many spurs or steep ridges.' Mount Longonot offers exhilirating hiking and climbing opportunities, majestic views, and fabulous bird and game viewing for your Kenya safari Expeditions to Lake Nakuru may be arranged for Olerai Guests. White Rhino, Buffalo, Giraffe, Waterbuck, Grant's and Thompson gazelles, Impala, Jackal, Lion and Leopard are all possible finds.Also known as volcanic lakes, soda lakes are created through the collection of volcanic ash in the lake basin, which turns the water alkaline. The lakes are so full of soda, or sodium carbonate, that they burn almost anything that tries to enter.
Very few organisms can survive in this caustic environment. However, Spirulina, blue - green algae, does thrive in the waters of Lake Bogoria, as do the Flamingos that feed on these algae. Yet even the Flamingos must find fresh water to drink and occasionally rinse away the salt from under their feathers.
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