Sanctuary Olonana (Masai Mara)

Sanctuary Olonana, Masai Mara

Sanctuary Olonana is a luxury camp idyllically nestled in the Masai Mara Conservation area; on the banks of the Mara river (with a resident hippo population!). The Masai Mara is renowned for its abundance and diversity of wildlife. Your stay here should be rewarded with sightings of the BIG FIVE; namely lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhino. You will have the chance to meet the local Maasai community, interact with them, and learn about their traditional lifestyle.

This small and exclusive camp was built along sustainable lines which; along with innovative wetlands and tree-planting projects; have earned Sanctuary Olonana a silver award from Ecotourism Kenya. It is also in the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Hall of Fame. This unique accolade is granted only to those businesses that have won the Certificate of Excellence; for five years in a row. The main dining area, lounge, and vast decking area command views over a dramatic stretch of the river. There is also a swimming pool and a mini-spa offering luxurious treatments ranging from facials to body massages.

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available in the rooms. Electricity supply is a combination of main grid power and a silent packed generator.

Located in the Masai Mara, close to the border with Tanzania, the game concentration is high – and during the annual wildebeest migration, the action happens right on the camp’s doorstep. From around July to October grunting herds of wildebeest and zebra cover the plains, often crossing the river between Tanzania and Kenya, attended by crocodiles, lions, and cheetah. The Masai Mara is fabulous for seeing big cats, their prey, and all the Big Five.

Sanctuary Olonana Accommodation

Sanctuary Olonana’s 14 exceptional suites, of at least 141 sqm in size; flaunt clean lines and organic materials; that 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; while 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, aircon, 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.

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.

Three of the suites at Sanctuary Olonana feature an extra bedroom, which is ideal for families.

Geoffrey Kent Suite

Now the most luxury travelers can immerse themselves in this wildlife experience; connecting with ancient forces of nature, from the secluded ultra-luxury Geoffrey Kent Suite. There are two sophisticated free-flowing en-suite bedrooms complete with a rain shower and a generous freestanding bathtub; so bathers can take in the sun or watch the stars from the water. There is one additional connecting bedroom for children.

Mara River accommodation
View of Mara River from the Geoffrey Kent Suite

In addition; the suite has a private lounge and dining area with a fully stocked private bar with premium drinks. With its clean lines and sleek modernist silhouette; stylish, contemporary interiors finished with locally quarried stone and Kenyan wood are furnished with bespoke furniture; including plush king-sized beds and elegant nature-inspired furnishings. Even better; the lodge is bordered by floor-to-ceiling windows that face towards the river below; as well as a wraparound deck incorporating its own raised infinity pool; the perfect spot to relax and unwind after a long day of game viewing. A personal chef on standby to prepare meals and snacks on demand; and a fully stocked bar at the ready for first-class cocktails mixed exactly how you like them

The Geoffrey Kent Suite is for guests looking for a private exclusive retreat in the Masai Mara; as it is far enough away from the main lodge and is accessed by a private road. Guests also have a private game-viewing vehicle and safari guide. Everything, in fact, is positioned to allow the Geoffrey Kent Suite’s guests to feel as if they have Sanctuary Olonana all to themselves.

Masai Mara exclusive accommodation
Geoffrey Kent Suite aerial

Kenya Family Safari Vacation

Sanctuary Olonana Child Activities and Policies

With spacious family suites and a wide variety of activities for guests of all ages, Sanctuary Olonana is the perfect choice for a family safari in Kenya. Families with children of all ages are welcome here. The family suites feature two bedrooms – perfect for families with young children.

Children aged 15 and younger are required to share with an adult. A private vehicle must be booked for game drives by families including children aged 5 and under.

Children aged 15 years or younger pay the indicated child rates. One child staying with two paying adults stays free of charge in the low season; while a second child sharing the same suite pays the child rate. One or two children staying with two adults pay the child rate in high and peak seasons.

Two or three children staying with one adult who is paying the standard sharing rate; pays the child rate in the low season. When two or three children stay with one adult in high and peak seasons; one child pays the adult sharing rate and the other child(ren) pays the child rate. In all other circumstances, children pay the applicable adult rate.

Children aged 16-18 staying with two adults in the Family Suite; will pay 75% of the sharing rate during low and medium seasons; while in high and peak seasons, they will pay 85% of the adult sharing rate. Triple and quadruple suites are subject to availability.

Child-friendly menus are available and evening meals can be served earlier than the normal meal times for children.

Kids’ activities

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, and herd cattle; to name a few activities. 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 enjoying a bush treasure hunt followed by planting their own tree. Kids can also make their own pizza which is always fun and there is a selection of board games available for the entire family to enjoy.

Masai Mara family safari

Sanctuary Olonana Style and Facilities

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. 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 colors 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; that were once used for lion-hunting thereby ensuring 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.

Sanctuary Olonana’s main dining room and veranda command views over a dramatic stretch of the Mara River. See, and hear, the family of noisy hippos who colonize the banks below the camp. Experience firsthand the sheer scale of the annual wildebeest migration across East Africa. The camp has a library, a pool, and even an organic garden; where much of the food served in the camp is grown. And who could forget the mini-spa where guests can experience traditional African remedies alongside French marine therapies from Thalgo.

Sanctuary Olonana
Sanctuary Olonana decks

Dining

Breakfast, lunch, snacks during activities, and dinners are all included in your stay. During your morning game viewing activity, coffee, tea and a selection of scones and biscuits will be served out in the bush. Afternoon and evening game drives include classic sundowner cocktails and canapés at specially selected spots; before returning to the camp for pre-dinner drinks and dinner. Romantic private dinners on the boma deck or by the pool can be arranged upon request. With prior notice, Sanctuary Olonana is able to arrange halaal meals; however please note the kitchens aren’t strictly halaal and the chefs are not trained in halaal food preparation. Unfortunately, kosher meals are not available.

Masai Mara honeymoon
Romantic dinner
Sanctuary Olonana Activities

Game Drives

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 the customized 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.

Masai Mara safari
Cheetahs

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 a 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 are 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.

Masaai Village

Visit A Local School

More and more popular are the visits organized by the guides to a variety of local schools during the school term. These visits are free but; we would recommend a donation to the school of anything upward of $15 per person.

Local school

Hot Air Balloon Safari

Your balloon is inflated against the first rays of sunrise and once aloft; it 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)

Masai Mara hot air balloon safari
Masai Mara hot air balloon safari

Spa Treatments

Between activities, relax at the mini-spa which offers a range of treatments from facials to body massages. 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. Africology uses the healing essences of some of South Africa’s indigenous plants, Rooibos, Aloe Ferox, Marula, and African Potato. They are dermatologically tested to EU standards, not tested on animals nor use any animal products. (Spa treatments are not included in the rates)

Philanthropy Projects

Enkereri Village and school: Enkereri Village, is located at the top of the Siria Escarpment close to Sanctuary Olonana. This Maasai village actively works on projects to improve the way of life and education for its people. Sanctuary Retreats Philanthropy is working together with Enkereri on a number of projects including extending gas piping into designated “cooking huts” in the village; in order for them to make use of biogas, a renewable energy source used for cooking and heat.

Indigenous tree planting: Make a difference while on holiday and help combat increasing deforestation by planting your own tree in the tree nursery.

Wetlands Project: Through a unique system, wastewater is cleaned and released back into the Mara River and used in the irrigation system for the tree nursery.

Organic Garden: Enjoy a delicious fresh salad picked from the camp’s own organic vegetables garden; one of the simplest forms of conservation.

Maasai Women’s Beadwork: Guests have the opportunity to see the women producing the beadwork and purchase the handicrafts in the Sanctuary Olonana gift shop.

Community support
Community support

Sanctuary Olonana Rates

Stay longer, pay less in 2022

Enjoy extra on your safari getaway with Sanctuary Retreats’ extended stay offer valid for 2022; when you stay at one or more of Sanctuary Retreats properties depending on your season of travel:
Stay 4-6 nights & save up to 30%
Stay 7+ nights & save up to 40%

Offer can be applied to single and multi-camp stays at any of Sanctuary Retreats’ camps and lodges in Botswana (Sanctuary Baines’ Camp, Sanctuary Chief’s Camp*, Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero, Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp); Kenya (Sanctuary Olonana, Sanctuary Tambarare); Tanzania (Kichakani Serengeti Camp, Kusini Camp, Ngorongoro Crater Camp); Namibia (Okahirongo Elephant Lodge, Okahirongo River Camp); Uganda (Sanctuary Gorilla Forest Camp); and Zambia (Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma).

The below are the game package rates in USD (the full board rates are available on request should you be driving to camp yourselves / with your own guide; therefore they don’t include transfers and game drives).

Suites and Family SuitesLength of stay
1-3 Nights4-6 Nights7+ Nights
Per adult sharingChild RatePer adult sharingChild RatePer adult sharingChild Rate
Peak Season: 1st July until 30th September 2022$1645$823$1481$741$1398$699
High Season: 1st October until 31st October 2022$1250$625$1,063$532$1000$500
Low Season: 1st November until 16th December 2022$480$240$360$180$336$168
High Season: 17th December 2022 until 2nd January 2023$1250$625$1,063$532$1000$500

Single Supplement

There is no single supplement for single occupancy of a maximum of 3 suites in the low season. Further single occupancy bookings in the low season are subject to a 50% single supplement. All other single occupancy bookings are charged at the single rates listed.

Geoffrey Kent Suite – Per suite (max 4 adults*)
Length of stay
1-3 Nights4-6 Nights7+ Nights
Per adult sharingChild RatePer adult sharingChild RatePer adult sharingChild Rate
Peak Season: 1st July until 30th September 2022$7,895$987$7,106$888$6,711$839
High Season: 1st October until 31st October 2022$5,995$749$5,096$637$4,796$600
Low Season: 1st November until 16th December 2022$2,300$288$1,725$216$1,610$201
High Season: 17th December 2022 until 2nd January 2023$5,995$749$5,096$637$4,796$600

*In addition to four adults, the Geoffrey Kent Suite can accommodate two children aged 18 or younger in an additional (third) bedroom; and a child aged 12 or younger on a sofa bed.

Rates include:
All meals and drinks (excluding premium brands).
Transfer to and from Kichwa Tembo Airstrip.
Laundry.
Two daily shared game viewing activities. These include morning and afternoon game drives, nature walks, Maasai village visits, sundowner cocktails, and bush meals.

The Geoffrey Kent Suite also includes the use of a private game drive vehicle and guide, a private chef, premium brand drinks, and Champagne.

Rates exclude:
Park fees.
Additional activities.
Any items of a personal nature.
Medical insurance.
Scheduled or charter flights to / from Sanctuary Olonana.
Intercamp transfers.
Private game drives.

Honeymoons And Special Occasions

Guests celebrating their honeymoon will receive special surprises during their stay. All attempts are made to keep honeymooners separate from other guests.
Sanctuary Olonana honeymoon services include:
Private meals on the boma deck
A bottle of sparkling wine during dinner
Traditional Maasai blessing ceremony
Complimentary 30-minute back massage and spa treatments at reduced rates
Complimentary private vehicle (subject to availability)

Sanctuary Olonana (Masai Mara)
Sanctuary Olonana
Masai Mara Kenya

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