The camp has 4 spacious bedroom tents – three with double beds, one with twin beds and three with ensuite bathrooms. All are nicely furnished with hardwood beds and furniture and sit beneath makuti-thatched roofs which extend beyond the tents to provide shady front verandas. The tents sit alongside a large water feature pond with fountains, and the overhanging acacia trees are laden with dozens of weaver bird nests.
Indoor relaxing, socialising and eating takes place in a spacious thatched rondavel – part enclosed, part open to the grounds – with built-in sofas, traditional planters’ chairs, dining table seating eight and open-plan kitchen. Adjoining this is an elevated and enclosed sitting room with sofas and fireplace, from where a wooden balcony overlooks the camp grounds.
The grounds around the camp are lush and shady, well planted and very nicely maintained. A wealth of trees and bushes and flowering shrubs, together with the ponds and swimming pool, mean that the camp attracts a wide variety of colourful birdlife. Ol Popongi is only 2.5 kilometres from South Lake Road, and just 4km from Lake Naivasha) but the feeling of the camp is one of peace and isolation – a green oasis amidst the surrounding bush.
“The perfect getaway from Nairobi. We loved have the whole place for ourselves. We had five kids under the age of ten, and they enjoyed the open spaces and the pool. The place was beautiful, well equipped and perfect in every way. We will certainly go back! The staff were helpful and polite and made our stay even better! Thank you for making this a fantastic weekend!”
Farrah, Nairobi, September 2015
Outside are a shaded dining table, sunloungers, chairs, hammocks and even a shaded Lamu-style ‘pilipili’ four-poster bed for afternoon siestas. The grounds are well-lit at night and guests can sit around a warming fire-pit.
The camp buildings and its immediate surroundings are securely fenced, and on the larger 12-acre expanse of the camp, which borders Kedong wildlife reserve, you will see a variety of plains game as well as buffalo and giraffe. There are stunning views in all directions, north to the Lake and south towards Longonot.
There are a total of four staff on hand to help out during your stay – the camp manager Maina is very experienced and helpful, and cook John is ready to assist in the kitchen. There is also a fundi and handyman Peter and askari Martin.
“We had a beautiful and relaxing weekend at Ol-Popongi. Great location, amazing camp, helpful and discreet staff…. we look forward coming again!”
K.T., Nairobi, March 2016
If you can tear yourself away from Ol Popongi there are numerous activities and excursions within easy reach of the camp – Hells Gate National Park, Crescent Island Nature Reserve, Green Crater Lake and Mount Longonot are all nearby – and fishing, boating, riding and golf are all available locally.
For shopping we recommend a trip to Lake Elementaita Weavers and the Fired Earth Pottery for lovely hand-made fabrics and ceramics – both are situated nearby just off South Lake Road, together with a an excellent farm shop and delicatessen. Recommended lakeside eating places include Carnelly’s Restaurant and the Ranch House Bistro.
Ol Popongi is quickly and easily reached from Nairobi and is highly recommended for a weekend escape or longer stay. The camp is only ever rented on an exclusive, private basis, and has the feel and the amenities of a luxury safari lodge – but at a fraction of the price.