Forbes cautions guests at Ol Jogi to not get too “caught up in the exquisite details”— the “Murano glass globes over lamps, the sumptuous Hermès linens, the perfectly polished Buccellati silver”— but to savour the “enchanting, incredible and diverse” wildlife. For generations the home of the Wildenstein family, Ol Jogi is quietly luxurious, stunningly situated, and welcoming in the highest African tradition.
Micato and our guests have a long and appreciative relationship with Ol Jogi and the Wildensteins. And as much as we and they have savoured its serene seclusion and exquisite details, one detail stands out. As Alec Wildenstein, director of the 58,000-acre, non-profit Ol Jogi Conservancy, says, “What we’re trying to offer is the same experience we had when it was our family home.”
Wonderfully, almost invisibly set on a large kopje, a rocky island on the Laikipia Plateau, Ol Jogi is an “exclusive use” lodge/home/fabulous African getaway. Which means your party of as many as 14 guests, and as few as 4 to 6, depending on the season, will have this magnificent property—which includes tennis courts, a well-curated library, a satellite-linked TV room, a fitness spa with a steam room, sauna, and fitness centre, all those Hermès linens and Buccellati silver, a heated outdoor pool (with a waterfall and flowery island), optional helicopter excursions, a large and cheery staff, the imaginative cuisine of Chef Sylvain Belall (who’s been with the Wildensteins for more than 30 years)—utterly to yourselves.
The Simba and Mbogo Master Suites are a minute’s walk from the Main House and its view-saturated veranda. Each large, air-conditioned suite features a king bed (one suite has a four-poster bed), a wood-burning fireplace, two bathrooms, and two dressing rooms. Mbogo has an office with an offset room, ideal for an additional children’s room. The Swara and Gerenuk suites are situated next door to each other and each features a king bed, wood-burning fireplace, two bathrooms and two dressing rooms. Swara has a separate living room with a pull-out sofa bed, and like all Ol Jogi’s suites, has a veranda overlooking the Ranch’s animal-attracting waterhole.
Wildlife viewing on the acacia-dotted plains of Ol Jogi’s 58,000-acre private conservancy is an especially rich safari experience. We roam with our Micato Safari Director in almost inevitably successful search of the Big Five (including more than 80 endangered eastern black rhinos), rare Grevy’s zebras and reticulated giraffes, fascinating wild dogs, and oryxes, impalas, and elands aplenty (all of them resolutely protected by 130 security personnel).
Though the Laikipia Plateau is only 80 or so miles north of Nairobi, it’s a true African archetype, in its wildlife, of course, in its serene remove from the jangled world, but also in its varied and heart-stirring sceneries: vast plains punctuated with classic acacias, hidden riverside mini-paradises, remote traditional villages, and just to the south, 17,000-foot Mount Kenya presides, changing its regal aspect throughout the day.
Ol Jogi is imaginative when it comes to offering Micato’s guests a variety of ways to engage with its marvelous precincts: horsebacking; baboon-watching walks; visits to the Wildlife Rescue Centre and Veterinary Clinic and the Twala Cultural Centre; jaunts in all-terrain vehicles; melodious birdwatching along the lush and twisty Ewaso Nyiro River. And, spectacularly, private helicopter explorations of Northern Kenya, into the Matthews Range, the Samburu, the grand Rift Valley Lakes (including mesmerizing Turkana), and, among the many rare sights to be seen and terrains to be roamed: the high slopes of Mount Kenya.