Sanctuary Olonana is an exceptional luxury safari lodge set on a private stretch of the Mara River in the heart of Kenya’s most famous game reserve, the Masai Mara.
Featuring 14 glass-sided suites, Sanctuary Olonana is inspired by the Masai Mara’s breath-taking natural wonders, an abundance of wildlife, and a dramatic river which runs right past its forest setting. Game drives, cultural visits, bush dinners, sundowners, scenic flights and balloon rides, Olonana makes for a wonderful African safari.
Sanctuary Olonana is an exceptional luxury lodge nestled in the heart of Kenya’s most famous game reserve and commands a dramatic view over the Mara River.
Contemporary architecture is juxtaposed with time-tested building practices such as Maasai mudding and stone walls, with soothing organic tones and a variety of textures adding warmth and character.
Sanctuary Olonana prides itself in the personalised service we are able to offer our guests. Please let us know if you have any special requests and or dietary requirements.Head Chef, Ambrose’s favourite dish is his organic garden salad – freshly picked from the Olonana garden which is where the majority of vegetables served come from.
GEOFFREY KENT SUITE
Now the most luxury travellers can immerse themselves in this wildlife experience, connecting with ancient forces of nature, from the secluded ultra-luxury Geoffrey Kent Suite. The sophisticated free-flowing space contains two private bedrooms, each fully en-suite, and is accessed by private road.
SUITES AND FAMILY SUITES
Sanctuary Olonana’s 14 exceptional suites, at least 141 sqm in size, flaunt clean lines and organic materials, and are so comfortable that guests would be forgiven for being tempted to stay in.
Floor-to-ceiling glass doors fold open to reveal magnificent Mara River views and the interiors have been sensitively and tastefully finished with elegant nature-inspired furnishings; this creates an ever-present sense of being connected to the great outdoors.
Sumptuous king-sized beds, with overhead fans, and a daybed on the deck invite you to relax inside or out, while the sprawling lower lounge area offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Three of the suites at Sanctuary Olonana feature an extra bedroom, which is heaven-sent for families.
The unfaltering attention to detail extends to fully stocked mini-fridges, specially commissioned African art and glamorous ensuites. These refined marble- and slate-accented bathrooms have a generous tub, double vanity and a rain shower.
CLASSIC MASAI MARA
The soothing interiors of the main lodge are an extension of the surrounding wilderness — floorboards evoke wood bleached by the African sun, while splashes of saturated mustard yellows and cerulean blues conjure the colours of African wildflowers glowing in a ‘golden hour’ light.
Ornamentation includes hand-crafted Maasai spears on the walls and patterned prints inspired by these carved wooden weapons once used for lion-hunting ensure an authentic African spirit abounds. Dramatic glass doors open out from the lounge to the terrace.
Here, faded indigo rugs and elegant Edison-bulb pendant lights gently illuminate the decking without competing with the natural ambiance and the inviting new boma firepit is encircled by deckchairs, with each seat promising grandstand river views.
Dine on the deck of the main lodge and overlook the river’s resident hippos. Relax with a good book in the library, cool off in the pool or for an extra special treat, experience traditional African remedies and spa treatments in the mini-spa.
BUSH BREAKFASTS, PICNICS & DINNERS
You may have decided with your guide to take a picnic breakfast or lunch with you but equally lovely in the evening is to enjoy a bush dinner. A private and secluded clearing is prepared for an elegant dinner in the middle of the African bush.
As the sun swiftly sinks, the setting is illuminated by a magnificent log fire. The table setting is as sophisticated and elegant as found in the finest restaurants with wild flower arrangements that grace starched white table linen.
Candles flicker in the darkness, throwing golden lights on the table cloth as smiling waiters serve a delicious dinner. After dinner retire to the warmth of the campfire where brandies and liqueurs are served as you absorb the peace and beauty of an African night.
As the afternoon game drive comes to an end, drive to a specially chosen vantage point overlooking the Mara plains. Drinks are served as you take in the beauty of the rapid sunset colouring the acacia dotted plains and transforming the world in a matter of minutes.
Enjoy the warmth of the fire and discuss the day’s adventures as waiters serve canapés and a selection of drinks, with the spectacular setting sun in the horizon.
Between activities, why not relax at our mini-spa? Offering a range of treatments from facials to body massages, the spa uses products from the Africology and French marine-based Thalgo range.
Choose from a range of treatments such as a full body sweet and savoury scrub, pure collagen velvet mask, an indoceane treatment journey or Africology balancing scalp and foot massage.
Africology manicures and copper & hot stone pedicures are also available.With spectacular views over the Mara River and the soothing sound of the river and hippos in the background – you’ll have no choice but to relax.
At Sanctuary Olonana, game viewing starts from the camp. A pod of hippos lives permanently in the river just below camp and many other species come to drink there. Sanctuary’s experienced guides take you to all the hidden spots and our customised open safari vehicles offer all-round views, allowing for excellent photography opportunities.
The Mara’s rich eco-system includes acacia-studded savannah, riparian forest and woodland which attract more than 300 bird species and a stunning variety of animal life all year round.
HOT AIR BALLOON SAFARI
Your balloon is inflated against the first rays of sunrise and once aloft floats gently over the plains and the plethora of game. The balloon lands around one hour after taking off with breakfast being prepared nearby.
The smells of bacon, sausages and eggs drift on the breeze as you begin breakfast with platefuls of exotic Kenyan fruits and homemade pastries and, of course, glasses of bubbly to toast your flight. (Additional cost)
CULTURAL VISIT TO MAASAI VILLAGE
Get an insight into the vibrant and still traditional way of life of the Maasai. Learn about the medicinal plants that grow here, the importance of cattle and the stages of life through which all Maasai pass, from young boy or girl to respected elder.
Accompanied by an experienced Maasai guide you are invited to visit the village which is built along traditional lines; complete with cattle enclosure, outer palisade and mud and cow dung huts.
Meet the elders, their wives and families and learn about the social structure of the homestead, the role of women in their society and many more aspects of their daily life. Interaction and discussion is encouraged, so whether the ladies are building a hut, the warriors are dancing or making fire with stones and sticks, guests are free to join in.
VISIT TO A SCHOOL
More and more popular are the visits organised by our guides to a variety of local schools during school term. These visits are free but we would recommend a donation to the school of anything upward of $15 per person.
Our expert guides will take children out on special game drives and accompany them to the nearby Masai village where they will learn how to make and shoot a traditional bow and arrow, make a fire, build a hut, herding cattle to name a few.
Children will also be able to interact with the local children while playing football together and learning maasai songs and traditional dances.
Other activities include going out on a nature trail where they will learn about animal footprint identification or enjoy our bush treasure hunt followed by planting their own tree and we have a selection of board games available for the entire family to enjoy.