Kenya Loldia House

Loldia House: March 2020

Loldia House and the ranch at large, are still lovely and green and there are still thousands of African common white butterflies around the house. An especially good place to see them is up by the swimming pool as they are particularly fond of the lavender flowers.

Butterfly Loldia House Great Rift Valley Kenya

Belenois creona (The African Common White Butterfly) – photo credit Alisa Karstad

 Loldia House Great Rift Valley Kenya

Evening view up at the pool – photo credit Elsen Karstad

On the night of the 21st March, two of our guests were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a leopard up by the little water hole during their night game drive. It has been some time since we last sighted a leopard and it is always a pleasure to see one on the ranch. We watched a spotted hyena playing havoc amongst a herd of zebra up on the airstrip during another night drive. The stallion didn’t hesitate in confronting the hyena and seeing her off!

Midway through March we welcomed Josh Isaacs from Under the Influence (our major wine supplier) to Loldia House, for three nights to conduct a wine and cocktail training for some of our barmen.

Loldia House Great Rift Valley Kenya

Josh Isaacs from Under the Influence with our barmen – photo credit Alisa Karstad

The staff loved the training as they really got to understand the history of wine, how it is made, the varietals that we stock in our camps and how best to suggest different wines for various meals.

Loldia House Great Rift Valley Kenya

Constant recommending a wine to Teddy – photo credit Alisa Karstad

We then learnt about the different types of spirits that go into cocktails and had great fun making a colourful assortment of drinks; much to the delight of our guests! Myself and Heather “took one for the team” and also got to try the range of cocktails made!

Loldia House Great Rift Valley Kenya

Loldia House Great Rift Valley Kenya

Constant getting into the ‘spirit’ of things – photo credit Alisa Karstad

We also had Irish artist Christine Bowen staying at Loldia during this time and she too, was more than happy to help sample the delicious creations! Loldia Manager Heather Wallington was especially fond of the espresso Martini and I loved the mojito, which was the perfect balance of sweet and sour.

Loldia House Great Rift Valley Kenya

Christine sampling our Mojito – photo credit Alisa Karstad

All of the waiters actively immersed themselves in the courses and asked plenty of questions. They were all awarded with certificates of achievement after being tested on what we had been taught over the three days. Josh was due to head to our Mara camps following the Loldia training, however due to the recent unforeseen travel restrictions imposed by various governments to halt the spread of the Coronavirus, he sadly had to cut the trip short in order to head back to Zambia. However we really look forward to welcoming him back once everything has settled down again as our Mara teams were eagerly awaiting their courses too.

Loldia House Great Rift Valley Kenya

Certificates and achievements awarded to all on the course!

I joined a couple of our guests for an early morning boat ride on the Sunday morning. It is a serene activity and highly recommended for anyone wishing to view the birdlife and hippos from a different perspective. On this particular morning, the mist was rising off the surface of the lake and we found a few hippo near the lake shore, popping their heads above the surface for regular breaths.

Hippo Lake Naivasha Loldia House Great Rift Valley Kenya

Photo credit Alisa Karstad

As always, there was an abundance of African Fish Eagles in the tops of the trees along the lake margin, while Great White Pelicans and Pink-backed Pelicans bobbed along on the water hoping for some fish scraps tossed overboard by the local fishermen. There were also lots of Grey Herons standing silently in wait of a meal amongst the water hyacinth and papyrus.

A Great White Pelican and a Pink Backed Pelican on Lake Naivasha

A Great White Pelican and a Pink Backed Pelican on Lake Naivasha – photo credit Alisa Karstad

Pink Backed Pelican on Lake Naivasha Kenya Great Rift Valley

Great White Pelican on Lake Naivasha – photo credit Elsen Karstad

A Grey Heron on the lookout for a meal

A Grey Heron on the lookout for a meal – photo credit Alisa Karstad

At the end of February there was a very beautiful wedding on Loldia and the ceremony took place down by the lake under a fig tree. We served canapés and bubbly up around the pool and then dinner and dancing was enjoyed in front of the house. We had the pleasure of hosting the bride’s family from England – it was a great success. Another wonderful occasion was helping one guest celebrate her birthday while staying with us. We presented her with a birthday cake at breakfast; she was more than delighted as she said it was the first cake she had had in 16 years!
Other recent guests have commented on the peace and quiet of Loldia, admired the gardens, gone on bird walks, read lots of books and enjoyed the swimming pool. We also had two guests who were real musicians and so other everyone had the pleasure of listening to the beautiful piano being played.
Some of our March visitors who took a trip to Lake Nakuru National Park did not not only see all the usual game including rhino and giraffe but also a Caracal – we have not heard of one being seen for a long time so that was some exciting news! Meanwhile, the wildlife around Loldia Ranch seems to all be moving down towards the lake; two giraffe were sighted right behind the manager’s house and also Waterbuck, hyena and all our resident Impala.
Impala Loldia House Great Rift Valley Kenya

Impala resting on the green lawns at night – photo credit Elsen Karstad

By Alisa Karstad, Guest Experience Manager, Governors’ Camp Collection.

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