Set at the foothills of Mount Kenya, Olepangi Farm is an authentic farmstead in Timau, Kenya. Set on 120 acres, you'll be staying at a family-run lodge with spectacular views over the natural surroundings. Enjoy delicious meals out on the deck (cooked by the in-house chef), rides into the local area spotting wildlife and even a game of polo on the bush polo field!
You'll be put up in beautifully appointed cottages, each decorated with rich antique carpets and beds. Each one has a private bathroom with all the essentials provided; organic soap, shampoo and conditioner handmade in Kenya. At the farm, guests can enjoy a range of activities such as massages, horse riding, community walks, croquet, gin tastings and the favourite option "do nothing." Further afield, the beautiful Laikipia region is ideal for hiking, horse riding and game viewing. Guests can take day trips into the many neighbouring wildlife reserves including Samburu National Park, Ol Pejeta, Lolldaigas, Solio and into Ngare Ndare Forest.
This is a bespoke farm stay in one our most stunning locations, combining great horses, luxiourious accommodation and panoramic views. Ideal for the traveller who is looking for a flexible, relaxing itinerary and wants an adventure without the discomfort!
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This is a flexible based stay where day-to-day activities can be varied according to guests wishes and riding ability. A sample daily itinerary could be:
Arrive by road to Olepangi Farm, driving through the beautiful Kikuyu Highlands, arriving in time for a hearty lunch. After lunch beneath the shade of an impressive ﬁg tree you can meet the horses and head out on a short ride from the farm. In the evening sundowners are served on the sundowner deck followed by dinner in the house.
Day 2 onwards
Early risers can watch the sunrise over the mountain. Breakfast is served between 8-8.30 and then guests can either go horse-riding or take part in other activities at the farm. Lunch is usually served outside by the river at around 1.30pm and after lunch you can rest during the hottest part of the day before taking part in afternoon activities (horse-riding, walking etc). Sundowners are served around 6.30pm followed by dinner.
Today you can enjoy a lie in and a relaxed ﬁnal breakfast before your onward journey. Depending on your ﬂight time you are welcome to join your hosts for an extra lunch and enjoy the farm until you leave.
There are plenty of interesting and exciting activities on offer each day including community walks hosted by their Kenyan neighbours, bird watching, badminton, croquet and a school visit. Extra activities which are payable on-site include massages, polo, and day trips/game drives into the Lolldaigas. Non-riders are very welcome at the farm and there are also guided walks in the Ngare Ndare forest which is nearby, a fantastic canopy walk and walks up to a series of waterfalls.
Please note: All itineraries are given for your guidance only and it may be altered on the ground and in accordance with the prevailing conditions by the organising team.
Horse riding is a major focus of the farm and guests can enjoy riding out into the surrounding area (approx 2 hours) or can take part in a longer ride for more advanced riders in the neighbouring conservancy amongst wildlife (3-4 hour rides depending on pace). Riding lessons are also available, both for children and adults in an all weather arena and on a selection of well-schooled ponies and horses.The farm also has a bush polo ground and polo lessons can be arranged for advanced riders.
Before taking people out with game your hosts will always go on a farm/community ride without game first. This is to get people used to their horses and so their riding ability can be assessed to ensure it is safe to ride with game. Capable riders can then take part in game rides in the neighbouring ranch. There are many routes here so your hosts will mix it up each ride. You can expect to go at a medium pace taking as many opportunities to canter as you can. The ranch you'll be riding in is completely private with beautiful scenery.
The horses here are trained for safari, with good characters, and are easy to handle although there are some older horses and a pony available for farm rides. They react better to being kept on a loose rein and respond better over rough terrain if allowed to find their own path. There are fifteen beautiful horses to choose from and all are sturdy and safe and look after their riders day in and day out. Much of the terrain covered is quite rough underfoot so riders should beware of holes and other possible hazards.
All levels of riders can be accommodated at the farm and either riding lessons or riding out can be arranged. If you want to join a game ride you much be confident in all paces and be in control of your horse at all times unassisted. Your hosts reserve the right to refuse to take guests out with game if they deem their level of riding to be unsafe and require guests to ride without game first to assess this.
Riding hats are compulsory and it is recommended that you bring your own. Alternatively, they have a number of helmets at the farm available to borrow as well as a selection of half chaps also available to borrow. The minimum riding age is 10 years old. Please note that this destination is not suitable for very young children.
The weight limit for this ride is 209 lb/95 kg, please enquire if you are an experienced rider exceeding this weight.
You'll be staying at the Olepangi Farmstead, in the foothills of Mount Kenya. Rooms are twin or double rooms with private bathrooms and all linen and towels provided. Bathrooms are also equipped with organic shampoo, conditioner and body wash. All of the furniture in the lodge is from a personal collection accumulated over 30 years of travelling all over the world. In every room you will find indigenous textiles, quirky antique furniture, Persian carpets and beautiful objects d’art.
Meals are served communally either on the breakfast deck hanging over the river, on the veranda or in the Party House. The impressive Party House is the main social hub of the farm and the family encourages people to come down and make themselves feel at home. Kick off your shoes and relax by the enormous open fire, pick a book out from the floor-to-ceiling book shelves or have a go at making a cocktail behind the 20' rosewood bar. There are also plenty of quiet spots around the farm to enjoy. Have a walk down by the river and find a secluded bench, sit in the hanging swing so comfy you will find it hard to leave or enjoy the warmth of the sun on a sunbed with the sound of the gurgling river flowing past you.
They are very proud of their food here and you can expect to eat well; Joseph, the head chef, has worked at a number of top lodges in Kenya and creates the daily menu using as much produce as possible from the farm's extensive, organic vegetable garden. Guests will feel at home; if there is a dish you particularly like he will gladly give you the recipe to try at home and is always keen to widen his repertoire if you have any recipes you would like to share. If you fancy a cooking lesson Joseph will happily oblige and if you have a favourite dish just let him know.
Vegetarian or other dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice. Please contact Unicorn Trails with requests.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation in place for your trip. If Visa’s are required the requirements can change from year to year depending on diplomatic relations. Please request information from the appropriate Consulate in your home country. Unicorn Trails will assist with any questions you have or supply any necessary supporting documents as required by the consulate on request.
From September 2015 onwards, all visas must be applied for online.
Visa processing time after application and payment is seven days.
VISA applications by visitors to Kenya will be made via www.ecitizen.go.ke
Nationals who require VISA to enter Kenya can now apply for their eVisa via www.ecitizen.go.ke
The British Consulate in Nairobi is at Upper Hill Road, Nairobi, PO Box 30465 - 00100 Nairobi. Telephone: (254) (20) 2844000. Email: ConsularSection.email@example.com.
The Kenya High Commission in the U.K is at 45 Portland Place, London, W1N 4AS. Telephone: (020) 7636 2371.
Warm days & cool nights with daytime temperatures between 24-28°C. Warm clothing is recommended for early mornings & evenings. Weather patterns are increasingly hard to predict, however the rains are expected twice a year: November & late March to the end of May. These generally comprise of clear days punctuated by short heavy rain storms.
Anti-malaria precautions should be commenced prior to arrival in Kenya. There may be other health risks, which you can contact your doctor about prior to leaving.
For up to date information on specific health concerns please contact the Medical Advisors For Travellers Abroad. Their website can be found at www.masta.org. You can also check the Department of Healths website at www.dh.gov.uk.
Your hosts have a full medical box at the farm if needed and a smaller medical box is taken in their saddlebags, if going on one of the longer game rides. However, it is suggested to take along your own packets of rehydration salts (such as Diorlyte), anti-diarrhoea tablets, aspirin (or other pain killers), anti-histamine tablets and plasters.
It is advisable to only drink bottled water whilst in Kenya. As it can get hot during the days and you will spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun it is recommended that you keep well hydrated. The most common cause of stomach upsets and diarrhoea is dehydration; increasing your fluid intake should prevent this illness. Some people may also have some stomach trouble due to different foods etc. If you suffer from a sensitive stomach then one option is to take travel probiotics during your trip – these build up the good bacteria in your stomach and can help fight bouts of ‘tummy trouble’.
If wearing contact lenses, please remember that it will be dusty and you will need extra cleaning fluid, and glasses may be a preferred option.
Voltage and plugs are the same as the UK.
Please note that the farm is completely off-grid and runs on solar power alone so it is not possible to use hairdryers. However there is electricity for charging phones (although signal can be limited). There is complimentary Wifi at the farm.
Neutral colours, such as gray, khaki, brown or green are most suitable; bright colours (including white) and patterns, can spook animals and birds. Long-sleeved tops and full-length trousers are appropriate for early mornings and late afternoons. Later on, after the sun goes down, temperatures drop quite dramatically and shoes, socks and a warm fleece/jacket is often required. Shorts and t-shirts are suitable for the hotter days. A lightweight rain jacket can be useful and a wide-brimmed hat is vital.
Your usual riding clothes - jodphurs, riding jeans or breeches
Riding hat (compulsory)
Long sleeve shirts because of the strong sun
Riding boots and/or chaps
Spare boots/shoes for the evenings
Good boots for walking/game drives
Warm and wind/rain proof clothes - especially for the mountains as you will be riding at a high altitude
Informal clothes for the evenings
Insect repellent (over 50% DEET)
High factor sunscreen
A laundry service is provided.
This is a flexible based stay available year round with a 3 night minimum stay
2021: Open year-round from 1st Jan to 31st Dec
‘Going down the river road’ by Meja Mwangi this is a good introduction to East African Literature. Richard E. Estes "The Safari Companion" (Chelsea Green, UK) This book aims to explain not only what animals you're looking at, but also what they're doing, and its illustrated explanations make fascinating reading. Jonathan Kingdon "The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals" (Natural World, UK) A detailed and comprehensive catalogue of African land mammals, illustrated with photographs and distribution maps for each species. Anne Arthus-Bertrand and Anne Spoerry, "Photos by Yann Arthus-Bertrand Kenya from the Air" (Thames and Hudson, UK/Vendome, US). Superb images of the country from the eagle's viewpoint. Brian Jackman and Jonathan Scott "The Marsh Lions" (o/p). Beautifully produced and painstakingly researched study of the lions and other animals around the Musiara Marsh in Maasai Mara.
Enjoy sundowner excursions, swimming, shared day and night game drives, guided bush walks and mountain biking. Non-riders are most welcome at the farm where they can enjoy game drives and bush walks whilst their riding partners are off on horseback.
As well as the usual Big Game species, e.g elephant, leopard, lion etc the region hosts the highest populations of endangered species: black rhino (half of Kenya’s total population), Grevy’s zebra (70% of the world’s population), reticulated giraffe, the only viable population of Lelwel hartebeest in the country and Africa’s only expanding population of wild dog. Birds: over 350 species. Mammals: over 50 species including wild dog, leopard, cheetah and lion. Trees: 48 indigenous species have been identified.
Olepangi Farm is a 35 minute drive from Nanyuki which lies on the equator and in the foothills of Mt Kenya, the second largest mountain in Africa at more than 17,000 feet. The farm is “on the edge” in the sense that it straddles that unique ecozone where most of the finest roses in the world are grown and supplied to markets of Europe, grown in the wild hinterland of Northern Kenya. On the farm's northern boundary are guesthouses which look out onto the stunning 36,000-acre Ole Naishu Ranch, a working cattle ranch full of wildlife. This ranch then in turns connects with millions of acres of bushland including Lolldaiga Hills, Borana, Ol Jogi, Mpala Ranch and so on and so forth. The farm is the home of the Lucy Family, long-term residents of Kenya.
Kenya's history dates back to many centuries from the internal diaspora or the early settlements and migrations. Then came the formation of the various language groups who developed their own religions, traditions, governments and ruling systems. Then came the white settlers, which was followed by the fight for liberation, which gave birth to the Mau Mau freedom fighters and the rise of the Kenyan heroes.
English is the official language while Swahili is the national language. That means that government and education are in English, while everything else tends to be in Swahili. And, in actuality, most of government is in Swahili also. In addition to these two languages, most of the people in Kenya also speak their "mother tongue" - their tribal languages.
In Kenya it is possible to leave Nairobi, a city with a thriving business heart powered by the latest information technology, and drive in just a few hours to a place where life is lived in accordance to tradition and custom, where warriors armed with spears drive cattle into thorn brush enclosures to protect them from lions at night.
Kenya is three hours ahead of GMT and they use the metric weights and measures system, so kilometres and kilograms instead of miles and pounds. There is approximately 1.6 kilometres in a mile and 2.2 pounds in a kilogram.
The international dialling code is +254.