Hippo Point - Unique Estate When Exploring African Safari
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Hippo Point is an exclusive private wildlife conservancy sitting on an isthmus between Lake Naivasha and Lake Oloidien at an altitude of 6,200 feet or 2,000 meters. With a near perfect microclimate, over 350 species of birds and an average of 1,200 resident animals roaming the grounds. A sophisticated African environment to enjoy nature and have fun; catch up with yourself, enjoy family and friends. Wake up early and breath in the cool spring air of altitude and walk among the game and birdlife along the lake shore, do yoga at sunrise, swim, jog with the Zebra, bike, meditate, read or simply enjoy breakfast in bed – here, you can do what you like when you like – and if you’re more than six – you get the whole place to yourselves.
The 1932 Manor house is a classic British country house in Africa where s cented roses and lush lawns contrasts sharply with the yellowish dusty tree trunks of the surrounding acacias; the resident buffalo, giraffe, hippo, zebra and gazelle stand out against the soft, cozy comforts of Russian bed linen and warm wooden floors and bathtubs.
8 Doubles, 1 single, – with two sections at the end ideal for children.
Rated one of the top wildlife retreats in the world, the eight-story 120 foot Tower is one of the most luxurious Kenyan homes frequented by people in search of the unusual. Custom-built by Dodo Cunningham-Reid and still used as the family’s second home today it is open to a limited number of guests during the year.
Enjoy breathtaking views over Oloidien Bay and follow at eagle-eye level the movements of the hippos, giraffe and zebra grazing at the foot of the Tower - a magical symphony of peace and tranquility, broken only by the extraordinary birdsong and splashing of water as hippos venture out under the cover of darkness.
There are 4 Double rooms, 1 single ground floor room – a dining room, kitchen, spacious living room with incredible balcony, writing room, meditation room and a small top view room. Ideal for a family looking for a unique luxury experience in Africa.
Hippo Point is ideally suited for birders since it offers roughly four different biospheres within the Conservancy itself as well as a number of important birding areas within striking distance. The greater Naivasha area is home to at least 350 regular bird species as well as of a host of migrants and irregular visitors.
At 1880 meters above sea level, Lake Naivasha is the highest of the Rift Valley Lakes. It is the second largest freshwater lake in Kenya and one of only two freshwater lakes in the Rift Valley. The adjacent Lake Oloidien was formerly part of Lake Naivasha but it is now separated from its South-West shore by a stretch of an elevated land where both Dodo’s Tower and the Farm are located. Lake Oloiden which means “Salty” in the Maa language is normally alkaline (when not exceptionally connected again with Lake Naivasha like in early 2014) and therefore offers a totally different environment for wildlife.
The shores of Lake Naivasha (East of the Tower) are home to an incredible variety of birdlife, from the Great and Long-tailed Cormorants to the Malachite, Pygmy, Pied and Giant Kingfishers. Egrets, Herons and Storks roam the reeds from the submerged Boat’s House all the way to the airstrip. Numerous Fish Eagles and Western Marsh Harriers permanently scour the area . On dry land, Hildebrandt’s Francolins, Grey-headed Bush-shrikes and three different species of Woodpeckers (Grey, Bearded and Nubian) create an enchanting background. Klaas’s Cuckoo is also a regular in the garden of the Farm. The Naivasha Lake side is best visited by boat in the early morning hours.
The Western shore (on Lake Oloidien) is especially interesting for ducks (Cape, Hottentot and Red-billed Teals, Southern Pochards, White-backed Ducks) as well as for both the Greater and Lesser Flamingos. The trees and shrubs lining the shore are inhabited by Black and African Cuckoos, Green Wood-hoopoes and by a family of Verreaux Eagle-owls. Fischer’s, Yellow-collared and Hybrid Lovebirds nest around the Tower.
The hilly, elevated part behind the platform (all the way to the Hippo Point summit) is a typical dry savannah area with Wheatears, Striped Kingfishers, Flycatchers and Larks. A hike up the hill is a very rewarding experience.
The Southern land strip from the Tower to the Airfield is definitely Raptor Country. On a good day, one might be able to observe the Steppe, Lesser Spotted and Greater Spotted Eagles as well as Rüppel’s Griffon Vulture feeding on carcasses. A chance encounter with the rare Grey-crested Helmet-shrike might be an unforgettable experience
A morning trip to Hell’s Gate National Park will offer the opportunity to watch the Peregrine and Lanner Falcons and to observe the beautiful Verreaux Eagle, one of the most emblematic raptors of African birdlife.
A boating excursion from the South Lake Shore gives one the chance to observe the Black Heron with its peculiar fishing habits as well as Pelicans, Harriers and the beautiful Purple Swamphen.
Hardcore birders will plan a day-trip to the foot of the Aberdares at Kinangop to see Sharpe’s Longclaw, a Kenya endemic and one of the most endangered birds in Africa
The early morning hours are the best for boat-rides and for Hell’s Gate National Park whilst afternoons can be dedicated to the hills and to Lake Oloidien.
The Hippo Point rangers have been thoroughly trained and will be able to guide you on any excursion you want to take. Top Kenyan ornithologists are available on demand for special field trips.