Olomayiana, which means ‘blessed’ in Maa – the language of the Maasai, was dreamt-up as a weekend getaway and small farm by a Nairobi-based family – somewhere to escape the city and get back to nature with their young children and friends.  It has grown over the years and now includes attractive stone-built cottage accommodation as well as the original safari tents – all set in 80 private and peaceful acres of woodland, hillside and grazing land.

The main camp area sits beside a large grassy clearing and houses the spacious kitchen and comfortable living and dining banda – they are nicely furnished and unusually well-equipped and supplied with everything guests need to make their stay as easy, convenient and enjoyable as possible. Plentiful solar-powered electricity helps make camp life comfortable and civilised.

“A piece of paradise in the Rift Valley – the place is possibly even more beautiful than on the pictures. The staff were very friendly and welcoming and the directions on how to get there were very clear (which, I can assure you, is unique in Kenya..)  Thank you for sharing Olomayiana with us – I definitely hope to be back again soon!”

Sabine, The Netherlands

The latest addition to Olomayiana’s bedroom accommodation is the imaginatively-designed Hobbit House which nestles in woodland close to the main camp area – it has a spacious double bedroom, ensuite bathroom and terrace – out onto which the large double bed can be wheeled for alfresco sleeping and stargazing.

Close to the kitchen and living and dining rooms sit three Safari Tents – one has two bunk beds and ensuite bathroom and can house up to four children, the other two tents each have double beds and share a separate bathroom banda a few metres away.

The charming Glass Cottage sits a little further up the hill from the rest of the camp and again consists of large double bedroom, ensuite bathroom and terrace. Guests can look out across a deep gorge to the waterhole which is visited by a variety of animals – during the day a large and entertaining troop of baboons often takes up residence.

“We have explored many great spots in Kenya and this is definitely in our top three.  What a great place to escape the hustle of Nairobi!  Beautiful views, great swimming pool, lovely cottages, friendly staff, and so on and so on… Really a great weekend away, both for a romantic outing for 2 as well as for larger families with kids. We will be back!”

Kees, Nairobi

There is a wide variety of wildlife in and around the camp – you are likely to see monkey, impala, dik dik and warthog, and up on the hills are kudu, eland, bush and waterbuck and buffalo. Rarer visitors to the waterhole have been porcupine, aardvark, leopard, lion and zebra. After dark you will hear hyrax and hyena and if you go on a night walk you may see bush babies, aardvark, genet and civet cats.

A short walk up the hill takes you to the swimming pool, which enjoys beautiful views of the valley and also looks down on the water hole. Private and walled-off, it’s a great place to take a book and some binoculars. As well as chairs and sun-loungers there is a bar area, changing room, lavatory and shower, plus gas barbecue and pool toys.

Walking down from the camp site you reach the boma and stables – home to a small herd of cattle and six friendly horses. Victor the syce can take guests out riding and there are helmets and other equipment in the tack room. There is a fee of Ksh.1200 per person for riding out for an hour or two, but children can walk on the horses around the arena for no extra charge.

“We had an amazing time at Olomayiana Camp. The scenery is breathtaking, the staff were really helpful and professional and the environment is totally relaxing. Having a shower whilst watching baboons at the watering hole was a highlight for me. We didn’t want to leave and will definitely be back. For the budget this is as good as Kenya has to offer… Thanks Yolande for a great weekend treat!”

Oli, Nairobi

There are several other staff on hand to help you out and who live nearby on the farm. These include Ken who looks after the camp and guests and can also help with cooking, Janet who keeps the rooms clean and does the washing up, Daniel who manages the farm and Simon the night guard.

There are lovely walks around the property and in the surrounding hills and bush, and if you get up early and the weather is clear Kilimanjaro is often visible. Camp manager Ken is also a trained safari guide and is very knowledgeable about the local surroundings and bird and animal life. There are plenty of excellent and scenic sundowner spots nearby, and a 10-minute walk takes you to a stone bench on the hillside above the camp with panoramic views.

On the far side of one of the large hills above the camp are caves containing prehistoric rock art, and if you walk up the main Maparasha Hill you will come across a historic fort and war graves, dating from when the hills were an important defence against the Germans and the Tanzania border during World War One.

A short walk from the farm is the Church on the Rock and Orphanage – they are happy to welcome guests and the children love to be read to. Visits can also be arranged to the neighbouring Maasai manyatta, and both groups welcome small and appropriate gifts of fruits or vegetables, books or toys.

Summary

  • A lovely private camp with pool and horses
  • Less than two hours by car from Nairobi
  • Ideal for one, two or even three families
  • Sleeps up to 12 guests in stone cottages and safari tents
  • From ksh ​20​,000 per night for a family of four

Detailed Information

Accommodation and Facilities

  • Four full-time staff
  • Dogs welcome

Inside and Out

  • 2 x 1-bedroom cottages with ensuite bathrooms
  • 2 x tents with double bed and separate bathroom
  • 1 x tent with two bunk beds
  • Kitchen banda with fridge freezer and gas stove
  • Living and dining banda
  • Set in 80 acres of private land
  • Swimming pool with pool house
  • Stables with 6 horses
  • Solar hot water and kuni booster
  • Plentiful solar-generated electricity
  • Wireless internet
  • Reasonable cell phone signal
  • Hammocks and swinging beds
  • Charcoal BBQ and pizza oven
  • Gas BBQ
  • Camp Fire
  • Children’s games
  • Small selection of Maasai crafts for sale

Location

Countryside near Bisil

Countryside near Bisil

The little town of Bisil, its population largely Maasai, sits approximately 105 kilometres south of Nairobi, 50 km north of the Tanzania border at Namanga, and 150 km north of the major Tanzanian town of Arusha.  Bisil was a base for British troops and was named by Somali prisoners of war and loosely translated means “Place of Nourishment”.

Bisil sits at the foot of the Emisinga Hills, part of the Maparasha Range which are on a migration corridor for Amboseli National Park. During the dry season, there is insufficient grazing to support Amboseli’s wildlife population and as a result, there is mass migration of animals out of the park as far as Bisil and beyond.

Road near Bisil

Road near Bisil

Bisil is a small and sleepy place with basic shops and services available, along with one large petrol station. There are bigger supermarkets en route at Kajiado and Athi River, but we recommend doing the bulk of your shopping in Nairobi before setting off for your trip.

Bisil Town

Bisil Town

Amboseli National Park – famed for its elephant population and spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro – is about 100km and an hour and a half’s drive away from Bisil. The easiest route is to take the main A104 road to Namanga and to turn left immediately before the Tanzanian border post and take the murram road to the park. For the more adventurous a cross-country route on fairly rough roads is also possible.

Amboseli Elephants

Amboseli Elephants

How to get there

A104 Road to Bisil

A104 Road to Bisil

Access to Bisil is quick and easy along the excellent, scenic and uncrowded A104 main road which runs from Athi River to the Tanzanian border at Namanga, passing through the small towns of Isinya and Kajiado along the way.  The Athi River junction is approximately 25 km south west of Nairobi along the A109 Mombasa Road.  

From Bisil it is approx 8.5 km to Olomayiana and we will send guests detailed instructions and map showing how to get there.  It is possible to get to the camp with a 2 wheel-drive car although the access road is rough and steep in places.  You should allow 2 hours to drive to Olomayiana from Nairobi, or 1.5 hours from JKIA.  

Nb  Driving from Karen or south west Nairobi it is possible to avoid Mombasa Road and Athi River entirely and to access the A104 at Isinya from Kiserian (on the Magadi Road beyond Ngong Town and Ongata Rongai)  This is via the road that goes to Orly Aero Park and Ololoitikosh – but please take advice as to the state of the road which can be very poor.

Visitor’s Book

“When we arrived, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of this private paradise in the middle of nature. We stayed in the new Hobbit house. Perfectly designed with a great bed and shower. Nearby a large and well equipped open kitchen and living room with a huge table, seats, WiFi and a very helpful staff. It is a self-catering camp, so we brought our own food and drinks and when we were running out one of the staff members could bring us fresh fruit, vegetables and lamb-meat.  We would love to come back!”

Iris, the Netherlands, 2015

“We came across this place while searching for a quick weekend getaway. The pictures do not do justice to the place – it was extremely clean and well maintained and everything was in working order. The lounge area is huge and airy with a wonderful breeze that passes through. The kitchen was also huge and well equipped. Daniel and Josephine were always close by to assist with the cleaning up. The cottage was so ‘afrochic’ and perfect for the surroundings. It overlooked a small watering hole. The swimming pool is a perfect spot to laze around and watch the clouds chasing each other. The icing on the cake is the beautiful sundowner spot built on the hill – a slightly exhausting climb for the unfit like me but worth the effort. The land just opens up in front of you for miles and miles. My only complaint was that we only booked for one night. Hopefully, we shall be back soon.”

Samir, Nairobi, 2015

Rates

  • 2-4 guests – ksh 20,000 per night
  • 5-6 guests – ksh 28,000 per night
  • 7-8 guests – ksh 36,000 per night
  • 9-10 guests – ksh 44,000 per night
  • 11-12 guests – ksh 52,000 per night

Rates are for exclusive use of the camp on a ‘self catering’ basis and include the services of the camp staff