The first time I visited at Olarro Conservancy happened to be my first time staying at a conservancy. As I had mentioned in the previous blog post, Olarro conservancy is part of the Maasai Mara ecosystem and should not be confused with Maasai Mara National park. Both are part of the Mara ecosystem. In this blog post, I highlight why staying at this majestic conservancy is an opportunity I hugely consider as once in a lifetime. Here are eight reasons why you should visit Olarro conservancy.
As I state each reason, you will notice three things that Olarro stands for: conservation, sustainability and giving back to the community.
1.Top Class accommodation in the wild
The Conservancy has two accommodation options. They include Olarro Lodge and Olarro Plains both tucked in raw, untouched nature.
I had the opportunity to stay at both accommodation facilities. I spent the first night at Olarro lodge and let me tell you I am 100% sure I have so many ideas of how my next bedroom will look like thanks to the inspiration I got from my room at Olarro lodge. The decor is spectacular, complete with an African touch.
The second night I stayed at Olarro plains and just like it’s the counterpart, my room had a charming and intimate atmosphere. And the views? The views are oh so stunning. One minute you are floating in the infinity pool and the next you are within sight of tens of elephants in the plains walking to quench their thirst at the watering hole. Olarro plains will be a wise choice for you if you are traveling with family.
Every night as you go to bed after a fun-filled day, you will find sweet, thoughtful notes reminding you of how magnificent Africa is and just when you think nothing can top that, the management makes sure to place hot water bottles tucked in between your sheets to keep you warm throughout the night.
2. Foodie’s Haven
Listen, if you are a foodie, the menu ticks off all the boxes. From toothsome three day meals to sundowner cocktails and a unique dinner in the wild, Olarro is indeed food heaven! You can tell that a lot of thinking goes into coming up with the menus. The struggle of deciding what to eat is thrown out of the window seeing as they come up with fresh menus every day. The chefs, on the other hand, know exactly what the doctor prescribed and will over deliver. Most of the vegetables and fruits consumed at Olarro come from their eco- gardens which highlight their care for the environment.
We had our sundowner cocktails with bitings by the infinity pool, and the sunset showed up in a reddish-orange gown. Such a show-off! Later, we had dinner in the wild which meant a mini game drive at night. In the process, we saw golden eyes floating and a couple of dik-diks jumping up and down the dusty roads. If you get a chance to do an evening game drive, please do it!
3.Epic customer service
We arrived at Olarro to an enthusiastic welcome, cheerful smiles and warm hand towels by the staff. This routine of warm smiles and hot towels would remain a constant every time we came back to the hotel from the day’s activity. And just like the menus, everything is well thought off. The staff assisted in planning our daily itinerary to maximize our experience. We did so much that at some point I asked myself, “were we here for just two days?”
Here are a few examples to show you how attentive to detail the staff is:
- Having an early morning game drive before breakfast is served? No worries, the good guys at Olarro will ask you the evening before if you prefer coffee or tea and it will be served on time
- Super cold morning or evening game drive? No worries, warm blankets, and hot water bottles will be provided
- One evening I was too tired, so I made my way to my room in the dark, and one of the staff reached to me and offered me a flashlight which got me asking: “first of all, where did the flashlight come from and what kind of slick operation do you conduct here?
At Olarro, the little things matter.
4.Mind-blowing over the top safari experience
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Many people save for years to have the opportunity to experience safaris in Kenya, and there are tonnes of information talking about where to go for game drives. The information can be overwhelmingly confusing. I am here to tell you that the game drives at Olarro conservancy are not your usual safaris. This is coming from someone that has done at least ten game drives in Kenya.
In terms of having an epic safari experience, staying at Olarro has two main advantages. Olarro is a private conservancy which means grounds are limited to guests only so it could be just you and your family on the safari. At Olarro, you have access to reliable and very informed guides. It was here that I learned that the Antelope is not a specific animal but a family of different types of animals like the elands, Hartebeests, Topis, waterbucks, gazelles, Impalas, dik-diks. Listen to this, I even know the types of gazelles (Grant’s and Thomsons) and how to differentiate them thanks to our very informed guide.
The second advantage is that in the private conservancy you will have unlimited game drives day and night. Seriously, guys, it wasn’t until my stay at Olarro that I saw so many animals up close. Every time you step out, even if you are out for another activity is yet another chance for a game drive.
5.Engaging with the Maasai community
Is it even a complete trip to the Mara if you have not interacted with the exotic Maasai tribe of Kenya? Well, Olarro has you covered as you can take a couple of hours to interact with the Maasai and who knows, try the famous Maasai jump? You will learn about the Maasai tribe culture and traditions, and for the day you find yourself needing a fire, and you are short on lighters, you leave the Maasai village knowing how to make fire using just a stick, dry grass, and cow poop.
6. Quad Bike Safari
This is like a mini game drive on a quad bike. It only takes a few minutes to learn how to operate the quad bike, and you will be set to go on a fantastic ride in nature.
Have you ever sat down and thought to yourself “Oh wow. That was a beautiful game drive. I wonder how much effort goes into making sure the animals are safe?”
Yeah. me neither, and I reckon most people don’t think much about it either.
However, some people have dedicated their lives by putting in so much of their time and energy to preserve the wildlife and Olarro protects the wildlife through human-wildlife conflict management, mitigating poaching, treating wounded and sick animals and so on.
In fact on the same day we arrived, we were lucky to get first hand experience. Well, lucky for us and unlucky for the wounded elephant that had been injured. The poor elephant probably got shot due to feasting on someone’s crops. The rangers were tracking the elephant to dart/tranquilise it in order for it to be treated. It sounds simple. Right? Except it wasn’t. It was a complex process that lasted a few hours with the help of a helicopter, use of a drone, a motorbike, a jeep and tonnes of manpower which unfortunately meant a slight injury on one of the rangers. Finally, the elephant was captured and treated. Yes, folks. Welcome to a wildlife ranger’s day job.
The next day as we were on a morning game drive, we spotted stray goats hovering aimlessly within the conservancy. Our guide alerted the rangers, and the goat was taken to safety because obviously, the owner would be pissed if any harm came on it. This is just a snippet of what happens behind the scenes, but you can get a bigger picture if you choose to visit Olarro. The impact of wildlife protection is that in the last six years, poaching has significantly reduced and wildlife growth has risen by 300%.
8. Community participation
These are some of the ways the Olarro gives/has given back to the community:
• offering scholarships – one of the rangers mentioned he is a beneficiary of the scholarships
• employing members of the local community
• Built three boreholes complete with solar power to ease the pumping process
• Took part in the construction of a health center that caters to patients at subsidized costs
• Built classrooms for school kids
Have you been convinced to visit Olarro conservancy yet? The pictures and my writing do not do this conservancy any justice, and until you visit yourself, you will never know how magical Olarro is. Have a honeymoon coming up? Or a romantic getaway? Or your annual family getaway? You now have an idea of where to stay.
- Wake up as early at 5 am if you want to spot Lions and cheetahs.
Ways to get there:
- By road- it will take you a little over 4 hours to get to Olarro conservancy
- By Air- You can choose to fly from one of the airports in Nairobi then have a driver from Olarro pick you up once you land or you can use the more comfortable route which is a helicopter seeing there are helipads within the conservancy.
As of Feb 2019, these are the current daily rates for double occupancy on full board basis plus two activities:
Should have any more questions regarding visiting Olarro, Kindly contact firstname.lastname@example.org