Today’s review by: Amakove Wala
I got to know about this place through a new friend I made who delivered goat leg for my review.
He runs an online delivery of meats and eggs mbuzi24.com and I was curious about the “pasture-raised” eggs that were going for 650/- a tray! I asked if they were organic and he said no. The layers were just raised on pasture. And he proceeded to show me a video on their Instagram page. Turns out the layers are in Ololo Farm. Of course I asked to go visit and my wish was granted. We settled on today and I made clear that I would be going with my troop. They are my handbag on Sundays. Being Mother’s Day it became a treat for myself too.
There are two routes to access the Lodge. Through the Kenya Wildlife Service Nairobi National Park…means you pay for the vehicle and occupants to access the park. Or through Masai Road which is in Rongai. We opted for Masai Road. I dreaded the drive since Masai Road has been neglected over the years. I was pleasantly surprised to find the road graded. It is indeed election period! It isn’t in a good shape but much better than the potholes it previously had. Now you contend with the rough stones and dust. From the Magadi Road turn off, Olola Lodge is roughly 10km in but prepare for at least 45 minute drive due to the rough road. If you can, use a 4×4 car. My friend’s car got a tyre burst after he hit a sharp stone. We got thoroughly lost since Google directions don’t work but I will attempt to direct you. Drive past Twala until you get to the SGR crossing. Then immediately take the left road that goes along the SGR and drive around 2km and turn left under the 3rd underpass. Drive straight down that road past Camp David sign and you will land right on the gate of the farm. It has a signage. Note: the Lodge only takes reservations so please don’t go unannounced.
It is set on several acres of lush property with colonial style building that are richly plastered by creepers. The parking is cobblestone. That is the back entrance. Turns out the reception is on the side facing the park entrance. The decor is countryside with a lot of up-cycled decor and bits and pieces of African stuff.
Ololo Lodge is run by an Australian family who’ve been here for a while. I met George, who turns out to be a twin, and his brother. George runs the farm while his parents run the Lodge. We took a good tour of the farm and for sure, the layers layers and broilers are “pasture-raised”. They are brought in as day old chicks, kept indoors until they get to 3 weeks then transferred out to the pasture where they are kept under these huge sheds that are rotated around the paddocks. This means the chicken feed on rich grass as well as their usual meals that are supplemented with maggots. They breed maggots by taking leftover vegetables and having flies feed on them. These then produce maggots. Live ones. These are fed to the poultry (ducks and chicken).
They also have an organic farm where more than 90% of their vegetables come from. A real farm-to-fork experience for both poultry, milk, eggs and vegetables. This means their menu is customised based on the season’s vegetables. We ordered pizzas that come with a fresh garden salad and potato wedges. The troop devoured and asked for more.
Other amenities that come on the Lodge are board games, books, a piano, swimming and of course customised game drives.
The Lodge is separated from the national park via a gorge where a river runs through. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the name of the river. A swinging bridge hangs between the two cliffs and makes for a fantastic picture site.
The troop spent half the time swimming, dude was watching the Chelsea game, while I was busy snapping photos taking in the view. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to visit the rooms since they were full house but the rates range from 14 to 17K per person on half board. They only take half board bookings. They are also quite strict on reservations and meal times.
I still feel I didn’t get the most out of the Lodge. It was quite busy so will plan to go back during a quieter period and hopefully spend the night.
Amakove rating: 9/10. For their effort in farm to fork produce and recycling. The one mark lost was not their fault but they of the County Government of Kajiado for the terrible road!