Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Finally at Lake Baringo

Leaving the borehole, we carried on to Lake Baringo.  The Soi Safari Lodge was my destination.  The lodge was recommended to me by the staff of the Bontana Hotel.  A sister hotel located in Nakuru, Kenya.

I was exhausted by the time we arrived at the lodge.  The day's expedition was quite arduous for me as we started our journey in Nakuru; travelling north to Marigat and carrying on the same day over dusty, bumpy roads west of Marigat for hours to see the borehole.   I was not even able to spend time with the pastor at his home due to the lateness of the hour and the need to get to Lake Baringo before dark. As it was, by the time we arrived at the lodge it was already very dark and we were lost for a short time.  Thankfully we were headed in the right direction and it wasn't long before the driver asked some locals for directions. It turned out we were very near the lodge. But by the time I stumbled out of the vehicle and into the reception area, I was in need of a good stretch, some food and drink, and a good rest. Checking out the lodge and surrounding area would have to wait until morning.

The next day was a busy one.  I was only going to be one night at the Soi Safari Lodge and there was a lot to do before continuing my journey in the area.  My camera was to be my trusty companion that day.

It wasn't long before I found myself enchanted by the lodge.

By light of day I could see the grey crowned cranes and the resident ostriches, as well as the African woman statue posted outside the lobby doors.  All this made for a very unique reception area.

Oh, and don't let me forget the crocodile skeleton! Another very unique addition to the reception area.

 I very much enjoyed the casual decor of the lodge with the African themes and patterns.  I appreciated  the cosy seating arrangement and spent a lot of time relaxing on the sofas after breakfast and a massage.

The lodge also has a well stocked gift and souvenir shop.

Throughout the lodge there is an abundance of beautiful wood.  I didn't think to ask what kind of wood was used in the building and on the ceiling but it was absolutely stunning work. I would imagine that the wood is from trees which are indigenous to Kenya.

The reception area had access to the outdoors in every direction and beautiful stone paths and steps. 

The ironwork was also more elaborately patterned than what I usually see in Kenya and several touching picture posters about saving the lake were displayed.

On the evening of my arrival, Sylvester, the amiable and charming tour guide, greeted me and tried to let me know what was available in terms of nature walks and boat tours. However, as I was tired I told him I would think about a boat trip the next day and that I was too tired that evening to even consider it.  I did end up on the boat tour and I'm so glad I did. More about that later.

The lodge has a charming dining room and dinner was served before I headed for the comfort of my pillow. In the morning, breakfast was ready well before I was and the food did not disappoint.

I enjoyed these murals of the African countryside displayed in the dining room.
Here is the stairwell to the bar.  From the top (2nd) floor there are beautiful views of the lake. It is also the way to the beauty salon where I had a wonderful massage from Petty.  Sadly she is no longer at the lodge and has returned to her home near Mombasa.

I ended up buying a sisal bag just like the one you see hanging on the wall.


I stayed in the older part of the lodge.  There are two suites to each of the buildings you see and they are set among gardens and pathways behind the building which houses the reception, dining room, beauty salon and gift shop.

I thought the lodge  setting was quite pretty though the rooms are getting a tad dated (just a tad) and they do not feature the primary advantage of the lodge.  The spectacular view of Lake Baringo.

Another view of the "cabin" area of the lodge.  A new annex has been built also and every room in the annex has a view of the spectacular lake. If I had stayed for a second night, I would have taken one of the rooms in the annex.
This was my room for the night. It was comfortable and had mosquito netting for both beds as all the rooms do.
Given the high temperatures, you will be happy to know that the rooms also have air conditioning.

The bathrooms were also nicer than many I've seen in Kenya. I had just taken a shower so the towels and the floor mat are wet.
Part of the parking lot. 

The lovely pool is comfortably situated and has ...
... loungers for relaxing poolside.  This day it was rather quiet though they were expecting a tour group later in the day.  I did actually end up going  in the pool because my driver who had to come from another town was running late.

Lovely gardens

Fantastic views....

...of Lake Baringo. (The new annex is located just to the left of the photo. Sorry I did not think to get a photo of it).

It is very quiet and serene at the lodge and I could sit and gaze from the open veranda at the bar for hours at this beautiful scene.

Peter, the Lodge Manager. I started chatting with him while gazing out at the lake, enjoying the scenery and waiting for my driver.  That is how I found out he was the manager.
I was intrigued by his unique beaded pin demonstrating support for AIDS awareness.

I hope you enjoyed my tour of the lodge. Please return soon and I will show you the wonderful adventure on the boat tour of Lake Baringo.


Diane said...

What a lovely hotel, the decor with the African touch is fantastic. Love the crested cranes, they are so pretty. Looking forward to the boat trip. Diane

My name is Riet said...

What a beautiful place. I love the cranes, Never seen them before like this.

Bossy Betty said...

I did INDEED enjoy my tour! Thanks! Great pictures!

Joyful said...

Hi Diane, thank you for the visit. I thought you might like this lodge ;-) I was fascinated by the cranes also and learned their name from my blogging friend Jo's blog.

Joyful said...

Bossy Betty, so nice to see you. Thanks for your kind remarks :-)

Joyful said...

Riet, I'm glad you enjoyed the cranes. I believe it was my first time seeing them so I was pleased to be so close up!

V.A. FORGOTTEN VET ?? said...

Wonder photo and blog site. Ray

Martha Z said...

They put a lot of effort into the public areas of this inn, it is charming. If the food is good and the room is clean, the beds comfortable, I wouldn't care that the rooms are a bit dated.

lotusleaf said...

I enjoyed looking at your photos and reading about the lodge. Thanks for visiting my blog.

The Professor's Wife said...

What a lovely place! I love the bamboo panelling on the walls and ceiling

Colleen said...

Penny, you have truly been some amazing places! What a beautiful and interesting place...I love the atmosphere that even your pictures emit so looks like a destination I wouldn't want to leave!:) I enjoyed this post very much. You always inspire me to travel more!:)

Fred Alton said...

WoW, Penny! If I ever visit the area I would hope to have such nice accomodation. That's a true tourist location and not your average safari lodge!

Joyful said...

Dear Ray, VA Forgotten Vet, thank you so much for your visit to my post and for your recent follow.

Joyful said...

Martha Z, I would agree that there has been a lot of thought into making the lodge a charming and comfortable place. The mattresses in the room are more comfortable than many I've slept on elsewhere so by all means please pay a visit! I'm sure you will enjoy yourself immensely.

Joyful said...

Lotusleaf (I love that name), thank you for your visit too. I'm glad you enjoyed the tour!

Joyful said...

Andrea, something tells me we have similar tastes ;-)

Joyful said...

Colleen, I sincerely hope you get a chance to visit some of these places, esp. when your little one is a bit older. You won't forget the trip. I guarantee!

Joyful said...

Fred, I'm glad you like the place. If you ever get back for a visit, do stop in there as it is quite a lovely place.

Brenda Green said...

Dear Joyful,
These pictures are absolutely beautiful! I was in African Heaven just seeing your pictures. Thank-you for the tour. Also, the hippos and birds on Lake Baringo are beautiful. Your new Friend. Brenda

Joyful said...

Brenda, thank you for your visit and the follow. I am very happy that you enjoyed your visit here. Please come again soon.

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