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Olonana
Friday, October 16, 2009  

Olonana is situated on the banks of the Mara River, in the heart of Kenya's Big Game country. This unique setting offers a world of remarkable opportunities for safari adventurers. In addition to big game viewing in the Masai Mara Reserve, visitors are offered a rare glimpse of the day-to-day lives of the Maasai people in the adjacent Maasai village or 'engang'.

 


Olonana features 14 permanent tents, 12 tents are appointed with two comfortable queen-size beds, 1 tent with a king size bed and one tent with two twin beds, ensuite bathrooms with showers, and large, riverview verandahs.

Olonana chefs will delight you with exquisite cuisine, which can be served al fresco perched on the Siria escarpment overlooking the Mara plains or as a picnic deep in the bush. Or you can sink into the comfortable sitting area with some books from the camp's library lounge, and then enjoy a delicious dinner in the dining room overlooking our private section of the Mara River.

Rickee and I enjoy the view of the Mara River from Olonana's deck
Certain events such as meals and some activities operate according to the guests' wishes and the opportunities presented by the changing patterns of animal activity. Game drives are, however, at set times as guests usually share vehicles.

Unfortunately, we only had one day to enjoy the amenitites of Olonana during our Kenya safari. However, in that short amount of time we could tell that this was a very special place. With only 14 tents, Olonana is smaller and more intimate than the larger Mara Safari Club where we stayed previously. The feeling here is much more rustic and "authentic". Olonana feels like an African safari camp.

Our tent at Olonana can only be described as huge. There were two queen-sized beds, a desk and chair, lots of open floor space and a separate bathroom with stone shower enclosure. All in all, a very comfortable place to come back to after a day of game watching. Our tent also had a large wooden porch overlooking the Mara River with views of the resident hippos.

Elephants at Mara Game Reserve
Our game drive into the Mara Game Reserve was amazing. In the first (and only) visit, we saw elephants, a black rhino, which is very rare, and a lioness with three cubs. Of course, this was in addition to the zebra and wildabeest which are seemingly everywhere. The landscape at Mara Game Reserve is really breathtaking and we only wish we had been at Olonana long enough to enjoy one of their sunset functions.

The cuisine at Olonana was really outstanding. I rarely order fish but did so at lunch and I have to admit, I think it was the best fish dish I have ever enjoyed. And, as far as the warm beef salad goes, I don't even have to think about that one, it was definitely the best salad I have had in recent memory. I consider myself to be a "foodie" of sorts, so I don't compliment restaurants often. The food at Olonana is exceptional.

A typical safari will involve stays at several different camps throughout Africa. No safari would be complete without a stay at Olonana.
     
     
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