House in the Wild – Masai Mara, Kenya
Evocatively named and family owned, the House in the Wild was originally a little secret bolt hole, discretely set on a bend in the Mara River in Naretoi, a one thousand acre private estate in the Enonkishu Conservancy. Once farmland, now restored to thriving bush, this remote part of the Masai Mara is full of a rich variety of wildlife, with its own resident pride of lions, a healthy leopard population and a herd of elephant who visit during the dry season.
With much love, care and attention to detail, the House in the Wild is now a collection of lodges and cottages – a luxurious and laid back getaway for those who crave adventure, freedom and a taste of life in the bush.
At A Glance
Why We Love It:As it offers guests a unique Kenyan safari experience as well as being a true model of regenerative tourism.
Style:Understated African bush luxury.
Location:On the banks of the Mara River in a private estate within the Enonkishu Conservancy.
Rooms:7 charming cottages.
Swimming:A pool in the gardens.
Children:An adventure for young & old.
Accessibility:There are no facilities for guests with limited mobility.
Open From:All year round.
We love the range of cottages at House in the Wild. Every one of the seven cottages is utterly unique and charming. They can be booked individually or the entire property can be taken over exclusively. There is a communal pool at the heart of the property, with a thatched lounge area overlooking it, together with a bar and dining tent. Some of them can have an extra couple of beds added for children.
In addition, there are three private Wild Villas on the conservancy sleeping between ten and fourteen, with fabulous living spaces, a pool and spectacular views – perfect for families friends.
The ethos here is strictly farm to fork, with much of the produce grown or reared on the farm, and everything sustainably sourced. The team of innovative chefs create delicious food, which is served in the bush, al fresco, in the dining room by the fire, or under the stars.
A stay at House in the Wild gives guests a unique opportunity to immerse themselves into the local culture and way of life in the bush. You are encouraged to visit local communities and can even join classes in the village school. You’ll see a wonderful variety of wildlife on the morning game drives, and all manner of nocturnal animals on a night drive. The lodge has a resident wildlife photographer who gives private tutorials on how best to shoot game through your camera lens.
Guests can try their hand at fishing in the Mara River – the lodge operates a catch and release scheme, or join a guided walk to learn more of the flora and fauna surrounding you. There are visits to the rhino sanctuary and the Mara Elephant Project – all of which are part of the incredible conservation effort in the region. It’s also possible to help the conservation team in their tree planting initiatives. If you’d like to see the plains from the air, the team here can organise a helicopter or a Cessna ride or an early morning balloon flight. At the lodge, there’s a home from home feel, with plenty of places to sit and relax in the gardens, croquet, a pool and tennis.
House in the Wild is ideal for families, and many of the cottages can have extra beds added. It goes without saying that this is one family experience not to be forgotten, and one of the best bush properties for families creating memories which will last a lifetime.
Apart from the wonder of seeing game in their natural surroundings, children can learn to track animals and bushcraft, or spend an afternoon beading with women at the Mara Training Centre.
The owners of the House in the Wild have a strong commitment to conservation, with a focus on both the unique ecosystem and the communities living in the Masai Mara. Once an intensive farm, Naretoi is the first re-wilding programme of its kind in the area, to return to its natural state, and see wildlife roam the grasslands once more. In working with the local communities, securing livelihoods and funding education projects, it increases the awareness of the importance of protecting wildlife for generations to come.
The lodge is mainly run on solar power; vegetables are homegrown; firewood is sustainably sourced and water is recycled through an eco wetland system.
Masai Mara, Kenya
On the banks of the Mara River in a private estate within the Enonkishu Conservancy – a scheduled flight to Ngerende, followed by a 15-minute drive, or by private plane direct to the lodge.