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, also known as Kongoni Lodge
and not to be confused with Naivasha Kongoni Lodge
, 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 a 10 square kilometre estate on the southern shores of the Little Lake to the east of Lake Naivasha, this fabulous colonial bungalow, one of the earliest around the lake, contains 7 double rooms, lounge, dining room and extensive verandas. It is utterly authentic, with virtually all of its original furniture and fittings. The place can only be rented in its entirety to private groups of up to 14 people.
Activities include gentle vehicle safari and walking safari on the ranch. 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 the facilities are, in some ways, rather aged and the fact 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.