The name ‘Ol Seki’ means sandpaper tree, a tree that symbolises peace and harmony for the Maasai people. And everything about the camp is intended to bring the same peace and harmony to travellers here! Ol Seki is certainly one of the most sophisticated camps in this part of Kenya – and it is ideal for travellers looking for a retreat-style property well away from the MMNR crowds! Avid readers will love the Library Tent, an interesting variation on the usual lounge.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
It is situated on the end of an arrow-shaped escarpment within the Mara Naboisho Conservancy.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The communal facilities at Ol Seki consist of a beautiful lounge tent, called the Library Tent, with wooden steps down to The Deck (including the dining tent), a gift shop and a fire pit that is the perfect location for sundowners! Both tents boast panoramic vistas of the surrounding wooded plains and hills. The Library Tent aims to capture the essence of safari, with its earthy palette and touches of yesteryear in chunky storage chests and paraffin lanterns. Its well-cushioned sofas and armchairs provide a very comfortable environment in which to peruse any of the large collection of books on its shelves and to enjoy tea, coffee, or an alcoholic beverage! The Deck is just as stylish, with hardwood tables flanked by classic director’s chairs – and even a telescope for wildlife watching or simply taking in those breathtaking views. Finally, the camp’s gift shop sells a range of locally produced items – ideal for souvenirs!
Ol Seki’s guest accommodation has the same elegance as the camp’s main areas and is connected to the Library Tent and The Deck by polished wooden walkways along the hillside. Each of the ten canvas tents is raised above ground level on its own platform, so the views here are also spectacular! The tents are 12-sided, boasting ample fly sheets to protect guests from creepy crawlies as well as substantial rugs on the floors for warmth. All beds are spacious and other furnishings include bedside tables with lamps, clothes chests, a comfy seating area, and a veranda with a small table and a couple of chairs. The en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, washbasin and roomy shower. Six tents are standards – called ‘Nina’, the name of the architect’s daughter – and two are suites, ‘Chui’ and ‘Simba’, effectively two tents each and designed for families. Both suite tents are allocated their own room steward! The steward’s duties include serving drinks and preparing snacks in the kitchen of either Chui or Simba. This is great for guests who like a little privacy, away from the camp’s communal areas.
Activities from Ol Seki focus on getting to know the local area through game drives, bush walks, cultural visits and hot air balloon safaris! The drives are available during the mornings and the evenings, with loads of wildlife to observe within the Conservancy. The hills and plains, speckled with acacia and cordia, contain lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino (all Big Five!), plus cheetah, hyena, wild dog, wildebeest, zebra, giraffe, antelope, and many more! The birdlife is just as prolific, with highlights such as eagles, vultures, ostrich and the superb secretary bird.
The camp’s bush walks provide opportunities to experience all this in greater detail, tracking animals and spotting the tiniest insects and plants – and checking out the N’dorobo caves too! Guests are also invited to meet the local Maasai herdsmen and their families, to learn all about their way of life. You can take a trip into the Maasai Mara National Reserve as well, where the months from July to October witness the world-famous Great Migration! And all this can be viewed from the sky, via a hot air balloon safari, rising at dawn and landing to a champagne breakfast. Fabulous!