Sanctuary destination with a difference; tour at the Crescent Island and wildlife viewing
In yet another of our Naivasha chronicles looking at boutique-style destinations, following Kiangazi House and Loldia House featured the last two weeks, we train our guns on Sanctuary Farm.
The farm was bought in 1978 by Francis Erskine, who was once the captain of the Kenya Polo team.
He was passionate about horses and he put in the polo ground, the stables and the polo club house to entertain horse lovers.
His son, Guy Erskine, together with his late daughter-in-law, Julie, came to assist him run the place in 1998 but the 2008 post-election violence changed everything.
The couple left the polo ground to go wild and transformed the club house into a restaurant and the stables into ten luxurious contemporarily designed rooms.
In addition, they have campsites where you can camp alone or with friends and family, each with four bathrooms with a hot shower, basin and lavatory.
Wood for a campfire can be delivered at a fee.
During my three-day stay, I enjoyed horse riding, a boat ride to view some of the bird life such as flamingoes and ducks, as well as hippos.
Also, a tour at the Crescent Island as well viewing of wildlife in the magnificent sanctuary was unforgettable.
I discovered a new way of doing this in sanctuaries. You see, previously, I only took nature walks, but this time, I tried it on a horseback.
The best thing about this, as I found out, it’s easier to get closer to the animals.
They may be habituated to humans and you can safely view them on a nature walk, but they’ll always run off as you, your tour mates and guide approach, but on a horseback, they see the fellow four-legged animal you’re riding, hence you can easily get close.
Interestingly, they sometimes also have buffaloes here, which I’ve only viewed when in a vehicle at game drives, so, I liked how different this was.
Anyone can ride, even a beginner like me, as the horses are friendly and you go with a trainer, who is your guide. I was skeptical I could do it, but once on the horse, it was an amazing two hours.
Other than unique activities such as a dairy where one can try a hand at milking cows, and yoga sessions too, right for rejuvenation that is oh so apt when on vacation, they, expectedly, have most of the other trappings of sanctuary destinations.