Naivasha - The Great Rift Valley
Secluded in an ancient forest, which once clothed great tracts of the Great Rift Valley, Malu Lodge is a working farm located on 1,800 acres of private forest reserve. Offering an Italian restaurant, a series of cottages and a tree house, Malu is utterly unique. Located between Naivasha and Nakuru Malu makes a stunning weekend escape, or acts as the perfect base for exploring the Rift Valley, Nakura National Park, Lake Naivasha and Crescent Island, Hell's Gate National Park and Kigio Game Reserve: a magical encounter with Africa - just 90 minutes from Nairobi. A small country hotel, yet offering luxury accommodation, superb service and acclaimed cuisine, Malu offers its guests the freedom to walk and ride through one of East Africa's original highland forests, where leopard, buffalo and zebra roam. The farm also provides horses and mountain bikes for further exploration.
Malu is situated on the Rift Valley escarpment to the east of Lake Naivasha. 11 km from the main Nairobi - Nakuru road and 14kms from Naivasha town. We are one-and-a-half hour's drive from Nairobi (1hr 10mins on good tarmac, 20 mins on murram), and one hour's drive from Nakuru. 4x4 vehicles are recommended, especially in the wet season. Malu has its own airstrip.
Kenya hotels and accommodation
Amongst the wide range of Kenya hotels, some make the ideal Kenya safari destination. Choose a safari lodge, safari hotel, bush camp, luxury lodge, safari camp, tented camp or bush lodge. National park accommodation usually takes the form of a traditional safari lodge or tented camp, but numerous other options exist on the park boundaries. Luxury lodges and luxury camp options are also offered in the private wildlife conservancies.
The Malu Area
Malu consists of 1786 acres, stretching from the top of the escarpment to the east, down to the Malewa river on the west, and comprises mainly indigenous juniper cedar forest. Fifty years ago the entire escarpment was covered with this forest-now the Malu section is almost the only piece remaining, making this area of vital importance to the bird and wildlife of the area, as well as the fragile Naivasha basin ecosystem. We employ twelve askaris to protect both the wildlife and the timber from poaching.
We are at approximately 6,800 feet (2,070 m) above sea level, about 700 feet above Lake Naivasha, rising to 7,600 feet (2,320 m) at the ridge. We border 3kms of the Malewa River, Lake Naivasha's main tributary which originates in the Aberdares. Our drinking water comes from a stream supplied by a number of natural springs on the escarpment, and is pumped up the hill by a hydro-ram, a self-powered pump whose boom you may hear as you walk towards the plunge pool.
Animal and Bird life
The density of the forest means that it is hard to see the game easily, but a search for Colobus & Sykes (Blue) monkeys is usually most rewarding. There are many leopard on the Malu reserve, as well as dikdik, bushbuck, bushpigs, warthogs, serval cats, buffalo, aardvark, porcupine, mongoose, spring & African hares, hyena & zebra.
Anything is possible at Malu. We have several types of accommodation and are more than happy to do whatever we can to make your stay that extra bit more enjoyable, whether it is arranging a Bush Breakfast somewhere special, or a Sundowner at one of our view points, or simply preparing one of our delicious meals in the comfort of your cottage or Tree House. The really special thing about Malu is that it is totally private - 1800 acres of pure exclusive sanctuary with very few guests, you will really be alone in this beautiful part of Africa.
Family Villas & Four Romantic Cottages our two large family villas, each with sitting room and two en-suite double bedrooms are situated at the main lodge area in the centre of the Malu reserve, with views over Lake Naivasha and the Rift Valley. Meals are all taken at the restaurant.
The self-catering or catered timber Tree House has a large living / dining / kitchen area and two en-suite double bedrooms (plus children's room annex). It is situated at the Malewa river, 5 minutes drive from the main lodge, offering unique privacy and stunning views over the Malewa and surrounding riverine forest.
Our two Mahindu Cottages each have a large en-suite double room and are situated within the stunning grounds of Mahindu Farmhouse, beside the Mahindu stream 5 min drive from the main lodge. The tree house and Mahindu Cottages can be taken on self-catering basis.
Dining and Bars
Malu has its own restaurant set on green lawns in the centre of the farm.
In the evening, relax by the blazing fire while our Italian-trained chef uses the finest, freshest ingredients to prepare a beautiful meal. Highlights include; hand-made pasta, fresh mozzarella, rosemary focaccia straight from the oven. There is a set 4-course menu, Italian in style. We use home-grown vegetables & herbs, free range eggs & milk from the Malu cows. Vegetarians are happily catered for as long as we have a little advance warning.
What to do and see
Children love Malu for its opportunities for contact with the physical world - swinging on vines, bounding over streams, searching the forest for colobus monkeys, as well as feeding the ducks & chickens and helping to milk the Malu cows!
Malu's 1800 acres provide unique opportunities for walking, equestrian & mountain bike activities. Walks range from gentle strolls to challenging hikes, and there are superb riding trails for both novices and the more experienced. A unique plunge pool built into the Mahindu stream amidst overhanging figs and vines is fed by natural hot water springs.
Activities at Malu Kenya Resident Rates
• Horse Riding : 800 KShs per person (morning or late afternoon)
• Mountain Biking : 500 KShs per person (per am/pm)
• Guided Walks / Bird Watching - Free of charge
• Donkey cart rides - Free of charge
• Donkey rides (up to 8 yrs) - Free of charge
• Night Game Drives - POA
• Sundowners - POA
• Bush Breakfasts - POA
• Guided runs for the athletic! - POA
Children often enjoy participating in the milking of our dairy cows, the animals are popular and you can help to feed the horses or pet the Donkeys. We also have chickens & ducks to feed, eggs to be collected and rabbits to play with.
There are some beautiful walks in the cedar forest, up to the ridge and down to the streams and rivers of Malu. Guided walks, along with all of the other activities, can be arranged by any of the staff.
The Malu Forest Reserve offers wonderful bird watching opportunities please see our bird watching page.
Forest & Ridge Walks
There are a number of loops in the forest to correspond to your levels of energy and the time you would like to spend, ranging from a leisurely stroll without too much gradient, to more serious hikes up to the top of the escarpment.
The Plunge Pool
One of our walks leads to a small plunge pool, where warm water pours in from the surrounding rocks, making it a beautiful temperature (c.78'F, 25'C) for a quick dip. The pool is about 2 kms from the lodge - you may drive there (4x4), or we can arrange for a guide to walk with you (he will leave you in privacy at the pool!).
Horse & Donkey Riding
This is a wonderful area for riding, and we are fortunate in being able to ride at most times of the day due to the shade provided by the forest, although early morning and late afternoon are best when it is cooler for the horses.
We have six horses: Ndume, Lulu, Tess, Glorious, Bella and Safi; and 3 donkeys: John, Sylvie and their baby Ben. We have some very well-behaved horses that are good with beginners and children, and John the donkey, is able to take children up to about the age of 8 for short rides.
1800 Acres of Wilderness
• Cedar Forest
• Diverse wildlife
• Walking opportunities
• Horse Riding Trails
• Mountain Biking
• Hot Spring fed Plunge Pool!
• Farm Animals
Malu Lodge - Naivasha • Rift Valley Safari Lodge • Kenya Hotels, Safari Lodges & Tented Camps
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