Mukutan Retreat is an exclusive hideaway with spectacular views over the Great Rift Valley’s Mukutan Gorge which cuts deep into valleys filled with palms, vines and orchids. It is located in the pure wilderness of the 90000 acre Ol Ari Nyiro ranch in the west of Laikipia, surrounded by the dramatic landscape of the East African Highlands.
Ol Ari Nyiro is home to conservationist and author Kuki Gallmann (renowned for her autobiography ‘I Dreamed of Africa’).
With just three guest rooms overlooking the gorge, the property offers a private and unique setting, with a holistic / eco-conscious design and ethos. With no mains electricity, power is supplied via solar panels and although there are good reading and bathroom lights, illumination is mainly by romantic candlelight and hurricane lamps. Mukutan Retreat and Ol Ari Nyiro have been awarded a Green Tick by the Green Globe Award scheme.
By day guests can explore the surrounding area with its high ridges, steep gorges, waterfalls, ancient forest and savannah containing a variety of wildlife and even thermal Hot Springs. After sunset they can relax on their private veranda and enjoy a drink and fine meals in this sophisticated and peaceful setting.
Mukutan Retreat is 1 hour from Nairobi by air (there is a private airstrip for charter flights, or scheduled flights operate to Loisaba or Laikipia). It is 4 hours from Nairobi by road.
Mukuran Retreat is designed in an elegant African style using local stone, native woods and papyrus thatch. It has just three guest cottages and a central lounge / dining area all set on the edge of the gorge with wonderful views. Each cottage is comfortably furnished and features a double bed, an en suite bathroom, a cosy fireplace and a private veranda from which guests can watch the birds, baboons and game on the hillsides. Bathrooms are open fronted with large bathtubs for a long soak with a spectacular view at the end of a full day.
The central lounge area has the feel of a private home with two large fireplaces, rare antiques and a spacious terrace where a fire is lit each evening. This provides the perfect place to relax within the beautiful scenery, and there is a dining room, bar and a shop with local handicrafts.
There is an infinity pool built out of rock and fed by cool spring water which beckons in the heat of the day.
The expertly trained chefs serve high-quality meals using the finest ingredients, including fresh organic fruit and vegetables from the estate as well as fish from its lakes. Guests enjoy Italian, Chinese and Indian influenced dishes.
There is a choice of private viewpoints around the property where guests can relax with meditation and yoga or simply with a sundowner.
Game drives take guests to explore the surrounding landscape in which there is a broad range of wildlife including elephant, black rhino, cape buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah, plains game and over 470 bird species.
In addition there are guided walks, horse riding, camel walks, fishing trips and yoga / stress healing sessions.
Excursions can be taken to visit the natural springs and waterfalls and guests interested in archaeology will enjoy trips to the ancient caves and sacred sites.
The Conservancy is perched on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, stretching across spectacular views and rugged terrain. Due to its unique topography, it traverses several different ecosystems and habitats, contributing to an unusual and abundant biodiversity including many endemic and undescribed species - from the cedar and acacia clad slopes of the Engelesha forest, through Olive Groves and Savannah and deep into the tropical Mukutan Gorge.
The conservancy is also a refuge to large numbers of elephant, buffalo, lion, cheetah, leopard, numerous other large mammal species and 478 bird species, including over 40 that are on the IUCN Endangered ‘Red List’. The Conservancy hosts a variety of vibrant and innovative community and conservation projects.
Important archaeological remains have been recently discovered and researched by the National Museums of Kenya in Ol Ari Nyiro and the nearby Makena’s Hills.