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Hippo Point House
is located in the Lake Naivasha
area of Southwest Kenya
During the Colonial Era, the picturesque Lake Naivasha was used as the main airport for the country, an essential stop on the flying boat mail service which connected London with Cape Town. Soon the aristocratic settlers were building fabulous mansions around the shoreline, becoming the infamous 'Happy Valley Set', renowned for their debauched lifestyle which has since been immortalised by Hollywood.
Situated on the beautiful Little Lake to the east of Naivasha, this incredible 1930's faux Elizabethan manor stands as one of the finest examples of colonial excess in Africa. It is a wonderfully out of place edifice, beautifully restored and with just seven lovely bedrooms. Only available for exclusive use, remarkably guests are asked to pay the same per person rate regardless of group size, which makes it a real steal for smaller groups.
Activities on the substantial surrounding estate include modest vehicle safari, night vehicle safari (with good chances of leopards), walking safari and motorboat safari, as well as tours of the farm. Lake Nakuru can be accessed on a really decent day trip, there being a dirt road shortcut through attractive farmlands direct to the quiet southern gate, meaning the that guests can enjoy the spectacular scenery and a lavish picnic lunch whilst avoiding the worst of the safari traffic and the busy main road. Other trips further afield include some great hiking, notably up to the mysterious hidden crater of Mount Longonot, as well as tours of local villages and the industrial flower farms.
The main potential downsides are that this area has recently become heavily urbanised in parts and the southern side of the lake is now dominated by huge commercial flower farms, geo-thermal power plants and a rash of lower quality lodges, although these elements are largely avoided when staying here.