Solio, Laikipia: The Lowdown

Extraordinary Africa> Kenya> Laikipia>Solio

Set on a private rhino sanctuary with stunning views towards Mount Kenya, Solio is a modern, stylish, but distinctively Kenyan lodge.

What’s Solio really like?

Solio’s very much a modern take on the traditional farmhouse style safari lodge. You’ll see the vaulting thatched roofs and neatly trimmed lawns that are so typical in Laikipia. Inside the design is cosy, but sleek, and the floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the lodge give a crisp, up-to-date feel, as well as maximising on some pretty ravishing views. The airy roofs of the main lodge house the dining room, sitting area and mezzanine level shop, all looking out over the garden and the bush beyond. There are fire places to keep you warm- while you’re not far from the equator, at this altitude it can get surprisingly chilly.

The five cottages are set either side of the main lodge. They’re huge, with a big bedroom, bathroom and sitting area. There’s a fireplace to snuggle beside and a tub with glorious views from the full length windows. We should add at this point that in front of each room is a small private lawn and then wilderness beyond, so you can enjoy your bath knowing they have been designed with privacy in mind! One of the rooms is a family room which has two ensuite bedrooms sharing a central sitting area.

What can I do at Solio?

Game drives are a highlight at Solio- vehicles are specially adapted to have large windows and there are benches perched up on the roof to make the most of the spectacular views. Solio is a fenced sanctuary, designed to protect the rhinos, and so rhino sightings in particular are just spectacular. There are plenty of zebra and giraffes, and the odd big cat sighting too. You can also try horse and bike riding, and visits to the community school (this only works during term time of course!)

As an optional extra, you’re not too far from the Aberdares, so if you’d like to visit this can be easily arranged, you’d just need to pay the park fee locally. If you want to go all out, you can pay to charter a helicopter to visit Lake Bogoria, the Aberdares or for trout fishing on Mount Kenya. We should warn you- our own fishing experiences here have only produced the tiniest of tiddlers, but the scenery is lovely. For something a little gentler, Solio can also arrange massages and a small number of beauty treatments in your room- this can also be paid for at the lodge.

Giving back at Solio…

Rhinos are heavily endangered the world over and Solio has a hugely successful breeding programme- in fact over 160 rhinos have been translocated from here to boost rhino populations in other parts of Kenya and Uganda. During the quiet periods Solio’s guides visit schools in the local communities to help educate the young conservations of the future, and amongst many other community projects Solio helps to support the Mary Immaculate Shelter orphanage.

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