In June, Sanctuary Olonana Camp reopened its doors after closing for an extensive refurb and revamp of this idyllically located Masai Mara safari retreat. The new photos reveal just how alluring, soothing, and majestic Olonana is now with its cool, contemporary colour palette, clean lines, and delicate accents of natural textiles, but it has retained that deeply African definition through the use of Maasai mudding of the walls, and through the extensive use of glass to open up the rooms to the iconic location on the Mara River.
The key features of the redefined Olonana Camp are the 14 new suites, three of which have two bedrooms to cater for families. The suites are luxuriously spacious at 130sqm, while the family suites incorporate an extra 30sqm for the additional bedroom. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors and windows at the front of each unit open the bedrooms right up to the wonderful outdoors, while the densely forested riverbank environment maintains both privacy and cool shade for each of the rooms. Bleached wooden floors provide a luxurious foundation to the bedrooms, and the same shade of timber threads throughout the room in the headboard, wiring desk, closet, and table. Stepping down from the heightened bedroom platform, there is a relaxing, semi-circular seating area – a private lounge – which is surrounded by the massive glass windows and looks out into the bird-filled trees and the Mara River below.
Light, breezy curtains match the neatly hoisted mosquito net, which encloses each bed at night, while the slaty greys and blues sew the beachy timber floors with the marble coloured walls. The cool, contemporary colour palette and clean lines follow through from the bedroom and open-plan lounge and into the ensuite bathrooms, which reveal themselves behind an elegant, stone-coloured sliding door. Each en suite bathroom has a free-standing, large tub, which is placed right in front of another floor-to-ceiling panel that leaves nothing standing in the way of the bathtub and the view. A rain shower and double vanity complete the modern bathroom in perfect comfort and style.
Olonana’s main lodge showcases the ample view and luscious surroundings even more with a focus on both the indoor and outdoor dining and seating areas. Inside, the choices in design, colour, pattern, and fabric really come to life. A stand-out wall panel backs the dining area with an interestingly soothing geometric pattern, while stone slate pillars are clearly built to be noticed while fulfilling a practical role. The semi-divided lounge that leads off the dining area brings African patterns into the otherwise modern furniture with boldly printed cushions, strewn on vibrant orange sofas. Side tables are as decorative as they are useful, carefully chosen for their unique designs, which replicate nature in intricate and impressionist ways. Another seating area uses variations of mustard tones muddled with grey and combines square and round shaped furniture with original Maasai spears hanging on the walls.
The terrace is perhaps the most convivial area at Olonana. This is where guests come together to admire the presence of the flowing Mara River while enjoying a drink or a meal in comfort and style. The wildly growing trees embrace the outer edges of the terrace, which has sanded wooden floorboards adorned with arrangements of chairs and couches providing plenty of places to sit and chat with friends, or to find a secluded spot to relax with a book.
The marvellous wining and dining, superb service, friendly hosting, and expert guiding at Olonana remains the same high standard it has always been. This family-friendly luxury lodge pulls out all the stops to provide the safari experience guests deserve, whether that be pulling off sublime bush dinners and breakfasts, offering fantastic kids entertainment, extending invitations to discover and enjoy local Maasai culture, or transporting guests on an epic, wildlife-filled Masai Mara safari. The game viewing is some of the best in the world with the famous wildebeest migration playing out right at its feet.
Sanctuary Olonana maintains integrity with fantastic environmentally sustainable elements to its build making it all the more inviting. The big reveal has been well worth the wait and now we can’t wait to send our guests there to experience the Mara magic first hand!