Fodor's Expert Review Sanctuary Olonana

Masai Mara National Reserve, Narok, Kenya

Named after an honored Maasai chief, this attractive eco-friendly camp in game-rich country rests just outside the northwestern border of the reserve, overlooking the Mara River and the Ooloololo Escarpment; guests are welcomed by a Maasai man swathed in red robes playing a wooden flute. The camp underwent a massive renovation in 2019, with canvas tents giving way to spacious glass-sided suites with raised wooden balconies from which you can see the sun rising over the river, or flitting in through the yellow barked acacia trees in the morning. A comfortable king-sized bed, huge bathtub overlooking the outdoors, rain showers, and various lounging areas complete the setting; you'll be tempted to spend your entire holiday just lounging in this suite which feels more like a resort in the city than a safari lodge in the African bush. The decor in the main area is very contemporary and urban too, with pendant lights, Maasai portraits and patterned prints hung up on gray walls, handwoven rugs, a wooden shelf displaying various ceramics, and a fireplace for those cold evenings. Even the main viewing deck here was extended, and you can tuck into your lunch here while overlooking a hippo pool with day-long entertainment from these overgrown clowns. The food is superb, and you have the option to dine with your fellow guests or on your own verandah. There is a cozy library and games room where families and friends can hang out before dinner, a bar next to the fire pit, and excellent opportunities to observe the everyday lives of the Maasai in the adjacent village. As there is an electric fence, you can freely move around.


  • the honeymoon suite is beautiful and has its own private infinity pool
  • you can watch hippos in the Mara River from your tent
  • relaxing spa with a riverside deck


  • main pool is a little small and doesn't have any breathtaking views
  • no Wi-Fi in the main areas (so guests can socialize)
  • the farthest suites are quite a long walk from the main facilities


Green, Views, Family


Phones: 1242-546–609-reservations, U.K.


14 suites
Rate Includes: All-Inclusive

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