The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille is located in a community owned and privately managed wildlife conservation area, a landscape of grassy hills and deep valleys, heavily wooded with many acacia species and African olives. It is named for Ol Lentille, a 1,977m hill from the top of which (an easy scramble) there are astonishing views. The conservancy is home to the endangered African wild dog, greater kudu, leopard, striped and spotted hyena, and klipspringer, among others.
The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille offers luxurious accommodation and facilities and opportunities for a range of activities including game walks and drives, by day and night, horse-riding and trekking with camels. Safari activities are led by local Maasai and Samburu guides, and you can learn more about their respective cultures by visiting local villages.
You are equally welcome to spend time relaxing at The Sanctuary. The horizon pool is especiailly inviting on a hot day, and the deck is the ideal place to perfect your tan. The Sanctuary facilities include a spa with a comprehensive range of treatments, all included in your stay, an art gallery and a shop, for your day-to-day needs. The library is the main indoor social area where you can mix with other guests, and on the top of the rotunda library building there is a viewing deck with great views over the surrounding scenery and waterholes.
Meals are a highlight and are served privately in a variety of locations, making each special and memorable. During your stay you should try to include at least one dinner eaten out in the bush.
The four villas are all unique in design and range in size from one to three bedrooms. Each is staffed and serviced by a butler, valet, a guide with a private vehicle, and an askari, to take care of all of your needs. Interiors are spacious, beautifully decorated and furnished, and you'll have your own terrace with panoramic views. The two larger villas have plunge pools.
The Sanctuary practises conservation tourism and has strong links with the local community. By staying here you are helping the local community, which benefits from projects such as school and hospital building, water and sanitation programmes funded by the Ol Lentille Trust. Guests who wish to can participate in community and conservation projects during their stay.
Open: The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille is open all year. It first opened in 2007.
Location: The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille is in a private conservancy of over 16,000 hectares, over three times the size of Manhattan. It is in the far north of the Laikipia Plateau about 75kms northwest of Mount Kenya, and one of the highest points in Laikipia.
Rooms: There are four villas, each with a lounge, dining area and terrace. The Eyrie sleeps two people and is a cosy, secluded house which features an outdoor bathtub built into the rocks. The Sultan’s House is usually used for two but can accommodate a family of four and has views of a waterhole. The Colonel’s House is a two storey building with two en-suite bedrooms each with a terrace, sunken bath and shower open to the sky, plus a plunge pool. It sleeps up to four people. The Chief’s House is the largest, sleeping up to six people in three en-suite bedrooms, and has its own plunge pool. All are decorated according to the theme suggested by their name. Each villa has butler and valet service, and at night an Askari guard escorts you from and to your villa.
Activities: Game drives by day and night, guided walks, bird watching, camel trekking and horse riding (experienced riders only, payable locally) are all offered. You can visit local Maasai and Samburu communities and learn about their culture. You are also welcome to visit ongoing conservation projects. Each villa comes with its own guide and vehicle. At the lodge you can play petanque and croquet, take part in yoga sessions and use the jogging track and exercise stations.
Facilities: There is a central area with a library-cum-lounge with a range of games, books, DVDs and a DVD player, an upper storey viewing deck, a spa offering unlimited free treatments including massage, aromatherapy and beauty treatments, and an outdoor infinity pool and pool deck. There are two waterholes near the lodge so you can watch animals as you relax. The lodge has an art gallery and shop. There is a laundry service.
Dining: Meals are served in a number of locations, and private dining is the norm. Bush meals can be organized.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome.
Health: This is a non malarial area.
Communication: There is free Wi-Fi in the reception area. There is mobile phone coverage.
The lodge was built by John and Gill Elias, who donated the lodge to the local community as a social enterprise. John and Gill have stayed on as lodge managers. The Ol Lentille Trust raises money to build schools, hospitals and water sanitation programmes. Money goes to the local community for every guest who stays at Ol Lentille. The lodge has strong eco credentials. Up to 90% of the water used is stored rainwater, all electricity is solar-generated, and water is solar-heated.