Ol Malo lodge in Kenya

This month I’m showcasing an old favorite safari lodge. Ol Malo is owned and run by Andrew and Chyulu Francombe, good friends of mine who both grew up in Kenya and truly know how to bring their patch of wilderness to life. With unique and exhilarating helicopter tours, horse riding safaris amongst the giraffe and zebras, as well as invigorating hikes and breathtaking views across to Mt Kenya’s 17,000-foot peaks in the distance, Ol Malo is an enduring highlight for any safari. Set amidst the privately managed wildlife ranches of Kenya’s Laikipia Conservancy, Ol Malo has provided many enjoyable and memorable moments on safaris in recent years. 

With two Raven 44 Helicopters based right at the lodge the scenic flights in these fantastic machines is made especially accessible during our stays here. You can see highlights from a recent flight in another blog post – Helicopter safari to Lake Turkana. And here is a selection of images from myself and Ol Malo that I think gives you a pretty good feel for what our time there is like! Enjoy a little bit of a virtual safari from wherever you are in the world…

Helicopter safari to Lake Turkana

One of the highlights of my most recent safari was our day exploring the vast, spectacular landscapes of northern Kenya by helicopter. Setting off early, we flew over the rolling contours of the Mathews mountain range before dropping to palm tree level and gliding down the dry sand river “luggas” that bring this landscape to life. 

An impromptu stop above an ancient riverbed for morning tea provided a chance to walk through this country and admire up close the magnificent desert rose flowers and fossil-rich riverbeds.

The diversity of this great wilderness was magnified as we flew over remote hot springs, the croc-filled rivers of the Suguta Valley, and the dazzle of hot pink flamingos on Lake Logipi. Finally landing on the shores of Lake Turkana, on a volcanic sand beach, we leapt into the welcome waters of the mystic Jade Sea; a 200-mile inland sea so remote it was only first documented for the outside world in 1888. Stretching from the Ethiopian border and filling a mighty wedge of Kenya’s northern Rift Valley, the lake and its storied shores resonate with stark beauty and history. We felt privileged to see so much of this land that for centuries was an inaccessible, unknown place on the map.