Nestled in Kenya’s Laikipia Plateau, Ol Pejeta is one of the more impressive conservancies in East Africa. It ranks as the largest black rhino sanctuary in East Africa, and even holds 3 of the earths remaining Northern White Rhinos. Spread out over 90,000 acres, Ol Pejeta offers stunning savannah views with hundreds of mammals, including rhino, giraffe, buffalo, lions, leopards, and cheetah.
Sas and I spent a few days driving around this park and the sheer number of rhinos was mind boggling. You can also spend some time feeding an ancient blind black rhino held in captivity, one of the more exhilarating things to do in Kenya.
Definitely check out the old Ol Pejeta House run by Serena Lodges. The former private game lodge of multi-billionaire Saudi Adnan Khashoggi, who once sold his yacht (largest on earth) to The Sultan of Brunei who sold it to Donald Trump (shudder). The place is unique in that it houses the largest bed we have ever seen (maybe sleeps 16 people?).
Le Rustique – located in Nanyuki, outside of Ol Pejeta, Le Rustique is famed in the area for delicious and fresh meals.
Mount Kenya Safari Club – the hotel is built in such a way that the equator literally splits the bar in half. The former owner Hollywood heartthrob William Holden, who fell in love with Kenya on hunting safaris in the '50s, was known for his practical joking in the bar, such as snakes hidden in the bottom of a peanut tin. He was also a very hands-on manager, keeping an eye on the bar and its goings-on via telescope from his private villa.
Segera Retreat – if you are feeling like a millionaire, or are one, this is the place to be. Owned by Joachin Zeitz (CEO of Puma), this place oozes character. Given our (Monty’s) obsession with African art, you can also enjoy the pleasure of staying amongst one of the most important contemporary African art collections on the continent (being lent to the new MOCAA Zeitz in Capetown, open in 2017) while you cruise around in a 1970’s Silver Shadow and fly a bi-plane for quick game sightings. Over the top, once in a life time. A must if you can swing it.
Sweetwaters Tented Camp – the best location inside Ol Pejeta, Sweetwaters offers beautiful tented camps overlooking a watering hole in the plains. Reliable food and cozy accommodations, this place is where Sas and I stayed in our last trip and it strikes the perfect balance of convenience, price, and comfort.
Mount Kenya Safari Club – if you feel like living like a 1940’s movie star, head out of Ol Pejeta and through Nanyuki Town to the East and make your way to the grounds of the eponymous Mount Kenya Safari Club, built by William Holden (Bridge Over The River Kwai, Network) and his partners, oil billionaire Ray Ryan and Swiss financier Carl Hirschmann, as the most elite private members' club in the world. Membership was by invitation only and members included Bing Crosby, David Lean, Charlie Chaplin, Steve McQueen, Conrad Hilton, Winston Churchill and the Maharaja of Jaipur. Stefanie Powers and John Hurt keep houses adjoining the club. Old school and elegant, try to avoid the weekends when its overrun by families. Or better yet, get one of the private cabins on the property. Pool, golf, gym, horseback riding, etc.