The Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort Naivasha, Kenya
Eburru Escarpment, Lake Naivasha
The Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort borrows its name from the stunning land it sits on.
The Great Rift Valley is one of the greatest natural structures on earth, visible from outer space, stretching 5,500 kilometers, spanning two continents from Jordan in the Middle East, through Kenya in East Africa to Mozambique in Africa. No country can boast of such vivid panoramas of the Great Rift Valley as in Kenya.
Straddling the rim of the mighty Eburru, every view from the room shows a facet of the Valley’s dynamic vistas. Built around an 18-hole golf course, the lodge is leisurely set on a wide expanse of the massif – each villa and room opening to surreal settings.
The Lodge Rooms
On a quick break out of Nairobi or enroute from safari, the Rift’s rooms are spacious with a lounge and fireplace and private balconies overlooking the Aberdares, Kenya’s longest mountain massif stretching 160 kilometres, the Kinangop plateau lying a tier below the Aberdares and the plains of Eburru littered with black obsidian stone telling its volcanic past. You can choose between twin beds or a double bed.
The mountain’s slopes full of indigenous plants attract an assortment of birds, which makes for bird watching from the comfort of your private balcony fun – and at night, looking out for constellations of stars and planets in the celestial skies exciting.
The Longonot Villas
Set on beautifully landscaped gardens of succulent plants and ponds, the Longonot Villas open out to the mighty mountain that is Longonot, an extinct volcano from the bygone ages of the Rift’s turbulent past filled dramatic earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. On clear days, the mountain takes a double take, reflected in the fresh waters of Lake Naivasha, the highest of the Rift Valley lakes.
Each of the 40 villas is a three-tier three-bedroomed house – a home away from home, a designer’s delight complete with every modern amenity to make the traveler feel right at home. The living room, dining room and kitchen take the entire floor with the master bedroom on the top tier. The ground floor with the two bedrooms open to the garden with every floor giving that unforgettable view of the mountain and the lake. The villas are ideal for families and friends wanting a home atmosphere with a choice of home cooking or eating out at the lodge’s restaurants.
Restaurant & The ’19th’ Hole
Sitting 7,000 feet on Eburru, the highland air and active lifestyle at the lodge works up appetites, making each meal to look forward to. Fresh salads from the lodge’s eco-garden, succulent meats and fish fill the buffet tables of the main restaurant. With a choice ranging from ten different salads from the lodge’s organic eco garden, the cuisine is specially prepared with your health in mind. Only the best ingredients are used to prepare every dish.
There’s something for everyone on the menu ranging from the Continental buffet to African cuisine with favourites like irio – made with fresh vegetables – to spicy Indian delights like chicken tikka. Those on a special diet need only to alert the chef for their requirements.
You are spoilt for desserts. There’s fresh, zesty fruit salads and rich puddings like chocolate mousses and strawberry tarts complemented with ice cream or fresh cream with a selection of cheeses to end every meal. If you want to dine al-fresco under the skies, just let the chef know.
Golfing at the high altitude can be demanding. The exclusive bar and restaurant featuring quick snacks and main meals keeps the golfers energised.
Meet up at the main bar on cool evenings to enjoy the fireplace. There’s a choice of liquors, spirits and the barman’s special cocktails like the Eburru Sunset complete with the feisty colours of the sun and delicious array of fruits and juices – with or without the alcohol.
Drive to the Natural Steam Vents in the Highlands
The Eburru sits on grand vistas, enticing the active to discover its secrets. Sandwiched between the two walls of the Great Rift Valley, the massif’s underbelly is still active, spewing vents of steam into the air.The Maasai call the mountain Ol Donyo Opurru, meaning mountain of smoke. Soaring 9,365 feet high, it is marginally higher than Longonot, which makes it the highest point in the Rift Valley. Drive or hike through the farmer’s fields to the steam vents, where you can hear the water simmer below the surface, releasing hot steam into the air.It’s easy to boil eggs here.The Eburru high vales are still clothed in ancient forests with some of the rare species of wildlife like the shy, nocturnal bongo – an antelope that was once common in the mountain forests.Eburru is also filled with craters, one with a natural steam bath in the forest – carry your swimsuit with you.Eburru’s peak is one of the few to give you a panorama of the three Great Rift Valley lakes so famous for their flocks of pretty pink flamingoes – Lake Nakuru, Lake Elementeita and Lake Naivasha.
Riding on top the Horse or Camel
Riding the ancient land of Eburru is an awesome experience.An early morning ride to the plains is an unrivalled experience, the best time to watch the plains game like the giraffes, zebras, warthogs, impalas, gazelles and perhaps the late hippo making it back to the lake.The light breeze scents the air with the fire-resistant leleleshwa bush.Enjoy your picnic breakfast in the land of Eden before riding back to the lodge.The scythes lead the horses and camels, so even if you’re a novice, you can enjoy a ride on the wild side.
The diverse landscape from the plains to the peaks makes Eburru a bird watchers delight.There are 215 recorded species – fast fliers like the Pallid harrier to the elegant goshawks; from the colourful sunbirds flitting on the flowers to the superb eagles scanning the vistas for a prey.Keep your binoculars at hand.
The Lodge’s naturalist is highly skilled in natural history and every walk turns into an animated discovery channel as the naturalist unearths everything from secret moth cocoons to scats of zorillas (not to be confused with gorillas).Get fascinated as the naturalist transforms the trees, shrubs and flowers into a pharmacy of natural medicines, food for the pallet or things to craft stuff from.A walk on the wild side does wonders for the brain and body.
The good game of golf has been around since the 1400s, something you will learn while at the bar (which for golfers doubles up as the 19th hole). The Great Rift Valley Golf Resort on Eburru is both challenging and exciting, with golfers having to give right of way to the wild animals who have taken residence on the lush fairways and tiny islets in the ponds.Flocks of Egyptian geese, little grebes, squacco herons and blacksmith plovers nest on the islets and sun themselves on the greens without batting an eyelid at the golfers.The narrow fairways, freeform greens, uneven terrain and light wind makes the golf course extremely challenging.The 18th hole at 598 metres is the longest in Kenya.
Just an hour and a half away from Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, the Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort has one of the best conferencing facilities in the country with three conference rooms set in beautiful grounds overlooking the Aberdares and Longonot. The rooms can sit 150, 80 or 50 people away from any distractions save for the resident birds and the views.
The conference rooms are fitted with all the conferencing amenities including audio-visual materials. There’s also a boardroom for smaller groups of 20 people, which is conducive for strategic planning or smaller gatherings. Nobody has an excuse to be late to the conferences or workshops because there are no traffic jams to delay you.
Plan your next conference right now.