Ol Malo: The Lowdown

 

Extraordinary Africa> Kenya> Laikipia>Ol Malo

Ol Malo’s the home of the utterly charming Francombe family, who run their lovely ranch with effortless charm, and a truly personal touch. This is not a place to go with expectations of a rigid schedule of safari activities- instead the Francombes will listen to your wish list and take you on adventures that you never could’ve planned, showing you life in Africa as they live it.

What can I do at Ol Malo?

It depends on what’s best at that moment in time. Glorious sunset? Why not hike up a rock with a cold drink to watch it go down? Feeling hot? How about tubing on the river? Try a riding safari or or a trip on a camel, mountain-biking out in the bush, game drives and walking safaris in the conservancy, or visit the Francombe’s Samburu neighbours.

What’re the lodges like at Ol Malo?

Guests at Ol Malo either stay at the main lodge (which has four cottages), or Ol Malo House, which has three bedrooms and three further cottages. The buildings are made of rocks and thatch, olive wood and polished stone. Both Ol Malo Lodge and House have their own cosy dining and sitting areas (complete with crackling fires for chilly highland evenings). This is very much a home from home experience, so meals are often tremendous fun, all eaten around the same table as you tell tales of the day’s adventures. Rooms are cosy and natural, and each slightly different, incorporating the rocks and branches of the surrounding landscape. In all- Ol Malo isn’t a place to come for glitz or formality, rather for tremendous fun and Africa with soul.

Family safaris at Ol Malo: The Francombe children (and we use this term loosely now they’re definitely all adults!) have grown up on Ol Malo, so they really know what’re the most fun things to do here- whether it’s finding a cave to tell stories in on a rainy day or having hot chocolate for breakfast. As a family themselves they host you as a family and the recipe works incredibly well.

Giving back at Ol Malo: The Ol Malo Trust, set up by Julia Francombe, works to support and empower the local Samburu community, without interfering with their traditional values. Past (and ongoing) projects have included leg and eye projects, a programme to create access to clean water, and efforts to educate the local children. If you want to get involved there are specific projects that need funding, or guests can bring contributions out to the local school- just ask us and we’ll find out what’s currently needed most.

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