Ol Malo Lodge (Samburu Game Reserve) Kenya
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 and teeming with the elusive antelope from which the land takes its name. 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 Franco be family and their Samburu neighbors have created a home for themselves and a dream destination for the privileged few who seek a glimpse into the true 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 or in a large self-contained house in the grounds of one of the most stunning properties in east Africa.
Colin and Rocky Franco be are both descended from old settler families and have always dreamed of owning their own piece of Africa. In 1991 they bought Ol Malo and out of the dense bush carved a future for themselves and their children – first a foothold in the towering hillside, then a family home and in 2006 an exceptionally luxurious house for guests. In the process they have transformed an overgrazed cattle ranch into a world-renowned sanctuary for wild animals that offers visitors an intimate and rare appreciation of Kenya’s culture, local Samburu people and wildlife.
Accommodation / Facilities:
Ol Malo is a striking building in an outstanding location – natural local materials sculpted into a warm and hospitable lodge set among the curves of a rocky hillside surveying one of the great views of the world. Comfortable and accommodating sitting and dining rooms provide shady terraces for protection from the sun – and open fireplaces for the cooler evenings. Smooth lawns and carefully tended shrubberies sweep down to a cliff edge, providing a vantage point for activity at the watering hole and salt lick below. A maze of slated pathways wind down to four rock and olive wood cottages.
Each double room has its own veranda and complete privacy. Large picture windows frame a wild, constantly changing landscape – clouds scud across the sky, stately eagles wheel and glide on thermals above the plains. An infinity pool adds to the beauty as well as the amenity of this place. Built, owned and managed by Colin and Rocky Francombe, with the help of the Samburu people, Ol Malo has established a reputation in the world of eco-Tourism that far exceeds its modest size and is a result of the Francombe family’s commitment to personal service and attention to detail. For just a handful of guests at a time, Ol Malo offers the perfect mix of comfort, luxury and life in harmony with nature.
The new building on the property – Ol Malo House – is exclusive to one group of guests, able to accommodate 12 guests with ease. Built in rock, olive wood and with a thatched roof, it continues the hand-crafted tradition established by Colin – but Ol Malo House is designed and created by the whole Francombe family: Colin and Rocky, with Andrew, their son, and daughters Anne and Julia. 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.
Game Viewing /Activities:
The plains and dense bush round Ol Malo contain an enormous number of species – some unique to the area. This is the birthplace of mankind and home to some of the greatest bio-diversity on earth. Those with an inclination to take in the wonders of the natural world will have a full program of events to cover. Elephant, buffalo, Eland, Beisa Oryx, Grant gazelle, Impala, common and grey Zebra, reticulated Giraffe, Lelwels Hartebeest Gerenuk, Greater Kudu, Water Buck, Klipspringer, Steenbok, Gunther's 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.
Tube in tires down the rapids or fish for catfish and barbel. Go horse or camel riding on the plains - 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; cross-country mountain biking; running with a Samburu warrior to set the pace. Pay a welcome visit to our neighbors, the Samburu people. Visit their nursery school. Visit to the Ol Malo workshop to see the women beading or the children painting. Four bunk beds are set up in the leopard blind to allow you to spend the night there in the hope of catching a glimpse of the elusive leopard. For the extremely adventurous.
From $835 per person per night sharing. Please contact us
for a quote and suggested itinerary.