«I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills»…
Remember these words from Isaak Dinesen in Out of Africa/ Memorias de Africa? Well, you can spot an incredible Lodge at the south of Kenya, less than 25 min flight from Nairobi and 1 h driving from Ngong Hills which would bring you directly to the experiences and moments of this remarkable story performed by Robert Redford and Merryl Streep. The name of this place is called LENTORRE lodge and it is owned by Raaji S. Bharij, a young entrepreneur who decided some years ago to settled a luxury & full sustainable lodge resort liaised totally with the local Masai community. Just a note for the readers; all these pictures you will see (lot of them) are made in the location of resort – Lodge area. These are not just general destination pictures. All is real and available for you to experience. So «Karibu Sana» (Welcome) to LenTorre !!
The wonder of this property – destination is that it is a perfect option for any time of the year and great for both Family or Couples looking for «Real – Real» moments in the heart of Africa. Here we find an authentic lodge where any vision you have of this continent will come with higher expectations. Lets go for details…
Len Torre is South Kenya, very close to the Tanzania Border and near the Serengueti. It is Deep in the Great Rift Valley, beyond the volcanic lunar landscape surrounding the soda lakes of Magadi and Natron, in the Olkiramatian Conservancy. Lentorre is set on a spur running off the Nguruman Escarpment beside a natural spring in the Olkiramatian Conservancy, a community initiative developed by the local Massai community to protect their wildlife, traditional lifestyle and heritage. Lentorre itself is family owned and operated to guarantee the most personalised of service to travellers and adventurers.
Nestled in this natural amphitheatre, Lentorre provides uninhibited views of Mt Shompole, Ol Donyo Gelai and the active volcano Ol Donyo Lengai.
The spring behind the lodge provides a constant source of cool fresh water and sustains a grove of venerable tamarind trees where the Olkiramatian warriors traditionally met as they came of age, where elephants continue to gather to feed on ripe tamarind
Lentorre is the ONLY lodge on Olkiramatian Conservancy, with access to the Shompole Conservancy neighbour whom they work closely with, and even Shompole only has one camp on it- so the guests have a truly exclusive experience, in their exclusive conservancy and lodge. For bookings of minimum of five pax, Lentorre close the dates to any other enquiry- giving full attention to that one group’s safari experience.
The Olkirimatian conservancy is 25,000 hectares and bordered immediately with the Shompole group ranch, which is 60,000 hectares, giving the guests a large area to roam, with exclusive access to the Olkeramatian conservancy and access to the Shompole conservancy. You would so far never come across any other car on a game drive.
Lentorre and the Olkiramatian and Shompole ranches are very unique in that they are in one of the few areas in Africa where Wildlife and Livestock live in the same area with each other in relative harmony, each utilising the resources (grazing, river water) at different times and creating what we like to call a mini migration each day around the river.
This has added a very different perspective to the traditional safari and speaks directly to the management of Human Wildlife conflict which affects all of Africa and its habitats, a story to be able to share with you and your guests, because there are full rights to drive off road with no time limits on return to camp allowing complete freedom to the wilderness at all times.
The Lodge has six ‘villas’but can comfortably take 16 because two rooms are family units (which are essentially two self-contained rooms connected together), The lodge has a main pool as well and the rooms are designed to be as open as possible during the day, so the guest are truly able to experience the environment, and then at night we close all the canvas up for safety purposes and peace of mind for the guests.
One Room, Specifically number 6a and 6b addresses the need for families with teenagers who don’t necessarily want their kids right next door, but close by, 6a and 6b is one very large unit with a stair case separating the two villas, which are on different levels. It therefore again can be used for two doubles, or two twins of a family unit.
The layout and the decor of the villas help the enjoyment and provides unique moments. Sunset or Sunrise, Can you imagine immerse into nature and have this feeling and views ??
Each room is set up differently (with the same feel) and each room has its own proper sized plunge pool, with room 6 having quite a large pool. This makes a great advantage for family and special moments of relax in an amazing setting.
The Lodge is unfenced, with three security guards that patrol at night, and we of course do ‘taxi services’ to and from the rooms after dusk.
Nguruman Escarpment is a very interesting thing: for those that do not know, the Nguruman Escarpment forms the western wall of the Great Rift Valley. Telling and showing clients an actual wall of the Great Rift (right next tocamp- literally) and then getting into talks about the Rift Valley and its lakes etc. is very interesting. Every guest that comes to Kenya is told about the Great Rift Valley, but Lentorre gives a completely visual experience of it.
Mount Shompole & The ‘active’ volcano Oldonyo Lengai.
The Olkiramatian and Shompole plains, with nothing to interrupt the views but pure wilderness and animals.
Lentorre has had a waterhole in front of camp as above from inception but have just made additional changes to make it larger and allow for the pictures to be as natural as possible. Recently it has been just built an underground blind with a tunnel leading to. On almost every evening the waterhole is active with guests having dinner and experiencing everything from Lion, Spotted and Striped hyena, Buffalo, Aardwolf, Leopard, Giraffe, Genets, and even on the very lucky occasion- Porcupine!
EXPERIENCES AT LENTORRE
Lentorre is itself a one of a kind among other Lodges in Kenya or Africa, not just because all above characteristics mentioned, but specifically because of the numerous and different activities that offer for clients in a very unique way.
Real Wildlife. Because of the nature of the area and the altitude (around 900 meters above sea level) the main game drives happen early morning and evening/ night by spot light. Unlike other areas around Africa, the night drives are extremely productive, and because we are a generally warmer area, the night drives are done is a really comfortable temperature, with guests going out in shorts and not feeling cold, adding a different dynamic to the safari experience. Animals in the area- Impala, Dik Dik, Kudu, Grants Gazelle, Giraffe, Elephant, Lions, Leopards, Cheetah, Aardwolf, Striped and Spotted Hyena, Colobus monkey, vervet monkeys, genet, Wild cat, Bush babies, Porcupine, Honey badgers, various mongoose… the list does go on with the only major species we don’t have being Rhino.
Bird life is great- we had a guest record over 110 species of birds in three days at camp – from Marshall Eagles, Ostrich and Secretary birds to Greater and Lesser Flamingo, African Spoon bills and Pelicans in the Lakes to the smaller weavers and sunbirds. Flamingo viewing at Lake Magadi or Lake Natron. Lake Magadi gets you closer to the Flamingo so we do this more often than Natron. This can be done as morning excursion, or depending on back to back bookings, can be done as a drive out on the last morning to Lake Magadi and then have the clients charter out of the Magadi Airstrip, with the chance to visit and dip in the healing waters of the Hot springs of Magadi for the more adventurous guest.
Sundowners: because of the vistas and the nature of the area LenTorre has fantastic sunsets and make the most of them by setting up at various spots. Of course, this can also be done out of the back of the car wherever you are – totally depends on what you and the guests would prefer.
Massai Authentic cultural activities designed around the group dynamics, from walking cows to their boma, boma visits (With all the extras if the guest have the appetite for it!), spectacular dances with Warriors and ladies from the area which we like to do on the river site with sundowners, a large fire and bush dinners. Maasai Boma visits which are very authentic in this area, and the ability to see an ancient culture almost unchanged. Maasai dances, which we like to do at a special spot on the river with a stunning background, a fire and sundowners. School visits: guests are taken to the local schools and have them attend a class, seeing how the education system in the area works, or just go play a massive football match!
LenTorre offer the guests a different experience by arranging to meet a herd of livestock as it is being driven to its boma for the night, and actually have the guests interact with the herders and bring the cows/ goats in for the night. This can be followed by a visit of the boma if the guests are so inclined and an interactive explanation of the Maasai culture and way of living
Walking: there is a great walk up the escarpment next to camp, which ends with a vast view over the entire area. Estimated walking time is 30 minutes up and 30 down depending on the fitness of the guests and also a sundowner is sent up the hill. It is also recommended walking on the plains for guests that want to get out and stretch their legs. Baboon walks: for those that would like to, there is also the option for an early morning wake up to meet up with a troop of Baboons that are habituated, and walk with them and learn about their behaviour.
Enjoy the Lodge. During the day if guests simply want to enjoy the lodge, the pools, the blind and read a book is a great option too – but there is also a masseuse on site to fill in the hours with some pampering as well.
For the more adventurous, with prior booking the alternative is to organise Canoeing on the river (subject to water levels), Fishing (mainly Cat fish) and Tubing down the river- again subject to water levels so careful not to say it is a guaranteed activity.
Family Time Lentorre is definitely a family experience, save, real, educative and sustainable. What better experience than provide a freedom experience with our local Masai members of the community, interact with nature and discover and learn a different culture.
Helicopter journeys: Perhaps nothing is as amazing as seeing the area from the skies in a helicopter due to the incredible patterns and colours on Lake Magadi and Lake Natron.
Photography . Just overflying the lakes, enjoying the sundowners, the volcano or the Savannah you can make the most unique pictures and shootings.
Driving around the Camp. Road network. It has been developed an extensive network that allows for a short drive around camp, longer drives out to the Shompole plains and swamp, LakeNatron, Lake Magadi and the Southern Ewaso Ng’iro river. The area is completely unique in our opinion as you have within the area, all with easy access for the guests:
But also ; Thick bush, Fig tree forests with huge tree canopies inhabited by around nine Colobus families, The salt Lakes of Magadi Natron, virtually guaranteeing Flamingo viewing and lots of other salt lake birds and Salt pans and great vistas
Live like a Local in Lentorre. Discover the migration of animals, through the villages, the farming methods, the footprint of the old villages. Speak to the locals and learn about the culture and their ancestors, there is a lot to learn about it, both for adults and for children – family.
«Take me to the River». The Ewaso Ngiro river which is stunning for evening sundowners or just an afternoon with chairs in the river reading a book or watching the livestock come to drink at various points.
Other EXPERIENCES … such as Star Gazing, finding reminiscences of old villages in the territory or seeing the marks of the footprint of humans and wild nature in Africa. Learning where we coming from and where is our human origin.
In resume, a whole – complete – authentic – unique – one of a kind Africa experience. This is a BACK TO THE ROOTS experience. Far away from the topics, massive and fake ones you can find in other crowded areas. Being different and finding the right spot sometimes depends just on meeting the right people and reading a nice post in our Blog.
We are looking forward to hear about you, and more than welcome to build the most incredible experience in Africa.
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