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.

Summary

  • Exclusive private bush camp close to Lake Naivasha
  • Swimming pool and lovely shady grounds
  • Just 1½ hours from Nairobi by car
  • Sleeps up to 8 in four spacious tents
  • Standard rental rate Ksh 35,000

Detailed Information

Accommodation and Facilities

  • Four full-time staff – camp manager, chef, handyman and night guard
  • Pet friendly – dogs welcome
  • Accommodation available for nannies or drivers

Inside

  • 3 tents with double beds
  • 1 tent with twin beds
  • 3 ensuite bathrooms
  • Spacious open-plan living, dining and kitchen area
  • Raised enclosed sitting room with balcony
  • Mains power
  • Solar Hot water
  • Gas Heater
  • Good cellphone coverage

Outside

  • 10-acre plot with electric fence
  • 2-acre fenced gardens
  • Swimming pool
  • Ponds and water features
  • Outside dining table
  • Sunbeds and loungers
  • Barbecue and fire pit
  • Hammock
  • Car ports

Nearby Attractions

  • Game viewing
  • Boating, sailing, fishing on Lake Naivasha
  • Hell’s Gate National Park
  • Mount Longonot
  • Green Crater Lake
  • Lake Oloidien
  • Crescent Island Game Reserve

Location

Lake Naivasha and Mount Longonot

Lake Naivasha and Mount Longonot

Lake Naivasha sits at the highest elevation of the Kenyan Rift valley at 1,884 metres (6,181 ft) and around 90km north west of Nairobi. The name Naivasha comes from the word Nai’posha meaning rough water in the language of the Maasai, and the surface of the 50-square mile lake can often be subject to unexpected squalls and storms.


In early colonial times the lake became a popular retreat for white settlers with a number of beautiful and unusual houses being built along the lake shore, such as the notorious Djinn Palace. In the 1930s the lake began to be used by Imperial Airways as a landing place for their flying boats travelling between England and South Africa.

Crescent Island Naivasha

Crescent Island Naivasha

Naivasha and the surrounding area remains popular with weekenders from Nairobi and there are numerous water sports and related activities on hand for visitors. Boating, sailing, fishing, and bird watching are available at various locations around the lake – as is horse riding, biking and hiking. Golf takes place in a spectacular location at the Great Rift Valley Golf Resort off North Lake Road.

Lake Naivasha Sunset

Lake Naivasha Sunset

Apart from tourism, the major business of Naivasha is floriculture – numerous flower farms are to be found close to the lake shore and export large quantities of flowers, especially roses, to Europe daily. Another major commercial enterprise on the lake is the geothermal plant, which was commissioned in 1981 and now generates a substantial amount of electricity.

Lake Oloidien Naivasha

Lake Oloidien Naivasha

The lake and its surroundings are home to a wide variety of wildlife and game including a large population of hippopotamus and several species of fish. Over 400 species of birds have been recorded here, and the lake is home to Pelicans and Kenya’s largest concentration of African Fish Eagles. You will often see large flocks of Flamingos on Lake Oloidien which adjoins the South West corner of the lake.

Hell's Gate National Park Naivasha

Hell’s Gate National Park Naivasha

Hells Gate National Park is one of the few National Parks that permits walking, bicycling and rock climbing. Both Fischer’s Tower and Central Tower make challenging ascents for rock climbers, as does the escarpment. The gorge, slicing through striking rock formations, contains a series of hot springs that heat the surrounding rocks, and local guides are available to guide walkers through the gorge. The park is home to plains game and other wildlife, and is particularly known for vultures, eagles and buzzards. The setting for the film The Lion King was heavily based on the area.

Crater Lake Naivasha

Crater Lake Naivasha

Crescent Island, an arc of land linked to the mainland lake shore by a causeway, has a number of animals but no predators, and makes a lovely place to walk and picnic. Crater Lake, to the West of Lake Naivasha, also has wildlife, birdlike and attractive walks. Mount Longonot, between Naivasha and Nairobi, is an inactive volcano whose crater makes for a lovely but quite strenuous walk with spectacular views both into the crater and across the surrounding area.

Mount Longonot Naivasha

For food and general supplies there is good shopping in Naivasha Town and at the new Buffalo Mall which has a large Tusky’s supermarket. There is an excellent new Farm Shop and Butchery on South Lake Road, where you will also find attractive crafts for sale at Lake Elementaita Weavers and Fired Earth Pottery.   Recommended places to eat off South Lake Road include Carnelly’s Restaurant, The Ranch House Bistro and The Club House Cafe.

Club House Cafe Naivasha

Club House Cafe Naivasha

How to get there

By Road

Guests should allow 1 ½ hours to drive from Nairobi to Ol-Popongi.  The camp is situated just 2.5 km off South Lake Road – the access road is good murram and a 4-wheel drive vehicle is not necessary.

The camp is 11 km from Naivasha Town and 15 km from the A104, the main Nairobi-Nakuru highway. There is also access from Nairobi via the C38 the ‘Old Naivasha Road’ and Mai Mahiu town.

Visitor’s Book

“We had three wonderful days at Ol Popongi  –  it’s really just as good as it looks in the photos!  Everything was fantastic – we were well cared for by Maina and John really made sure we had a good time.  The food was delicious and made with care.  Thanks for three unforgettable days!”

Cecelia, Sweden, January 2016

“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 opens space 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

“Our group loved Ol-Popongi!  It was a great experience, and was even better than we expected. The pool was very nice with plenty of lounge chairs and hammocks, the rooms (which were all tented, making it unique) were clean and beautiful, as were the bathrooms. The showers had plenty of hot water. The kitchen was well- stocked, and the staff,  Maina and John, were friendly – they helped us cook, and kept everything clean. Our dog loved it too, she was in heaven!  The lounge areas were gorgeous and comfortable – plenty of room and very relaxing. The little ponds and fountains were nice as well. I would highly recommend this ranch to anyone – it’s a gem. We will definitely be back soon!”

Margaret, USA, January 2015

Rates

Standard rental rate – Ksh 35,000 per night