“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery – air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, this is what it is to be happy.                     Sylvia Plath”

The above quote really sums up how we felt on our visit to the beautiful Desert Rose.

A lot of you have noticed that we have taken a break from writing blogs for a while (I think it has been a good 4 months since the last one).  Many of you have asked us why (we were happy to know that our blogs were being missed).  The reason for this was that we were setting up our new website, which is up and running and can be viewed here.

That however does not mean we have not been exploring.  On the contrary, we have had many trips to Northern Kenya – one of our favourite places and an area where we feel at home.  

The iconic Mt Ololokwe – always a sight for sore eyes and where I feel I am entering the beautiful North
Somali ostriches – the female gang!!

Our most recent trip saw us visit one of the most luxurious lodges in the region, Desert Rose Lodge.  Desert Rose Lodge is located 5500 feet above sea level on the Mt Nyiru Ranges. It has amazing views of the Elbarta Plains below and the rugged peak of Mt Kerkeli (another sacred mountain for the Samburu of the Ewaso Rongai Community) makes for a dramatic backdrop for the lodge.

We decided to go to the lodge by road, and from Nairobi, took three days to get there, breaking up our journey along the way.  

Mountains of the North – Elum Hill
Mt Nyiru

The drive to the lodge was stunning as always. We had been warned that the final climb to Desert Rose would be tough, but did not realise exactly what that meant till we got there.  Saying that the final stretch up the mountain was steep is an understatement. Kamal however had a great time using the 4WD to get up, with some inclines at even more than 45 degrees, and on slippery surfaces.  When we finally got to the lodge, I think both Kamal and I were slightly relieved.

The breathtaking views and the beautiful lodge were however worth it.  

Desert Rose- views from the lodge
Desert Rose – Reflections in the swimming pool with beautiful backdrop of Mt Kerkeli

The first thing that struck me on getting to the lounge and then pool area was how the natural elements in the area had been so seamlessly incorporated into the design.  The wooden furniture and structures were exquisite, and I was amazed at how the natural curves of the wood had obviously been incorporated into the design. This I found out later was just the starter – when we visited the rooms/cottages, I was even more amazed.

Desert Rose – The outdoor lounge which had a Mediterranean feel to it

The design of Desert Rose is so well thought out that each cottage in the lodge is unique in its’ design and built to be secluded so that you have absolute privacy.  There are only 5 cottages (two double cottages – the wooden room and the stone room, two twin cottages and a family cottage) in total and the lodge can accommodate up to 12 people.  All the cottages are ensuite, with the outdoor bath and shower being the “piece de resistance”. In the same way as the lounge and pool area, the cottages are built to blend into the environment.

Desert Rose – The Stone Room
Desert Rose -a beautiful handmade bath

The lodge is “Green”, with gravity fed water, solar water heating and power and constructed with organic materials.  With all the wood used, I was also amazed to hear that not a single tree had been cut for the construction of the lodge.  In addition, I learnt that everything from the fireplace, to the bath and some of the most unique toilet roll holders and flushes that I have seen were all handmade.  Being there made me feel like was in an art masterpiece where nature had provided the inspiration.

The lovely staff were always at hand to make sure you were comfortable and it was lovely to see them dressed in their beautiful Samburu beadwork.

Desert Rose – Purvi with the female staff members

The two days at the lodge were spent unwinding.  With no phone network, it was lovely to just chill, read, take walks, enjoy the scrumptious meals and gaze at the countless stars at night in this magical place. You can also visit Lake Turkana from the lodge (a full day would be needed), but we decided to skip that this visit. We did however find time to visit the local school where we distributed exercise books and pens to the students, which made the trip perfect for us.

The Stars at Desert Rose above the lodge

Desert Rose had the perfect balance of culture and nature for us.  It is definitely the most unique lodge we have visited in Kenya, due to its’ location and architecture and really should be on everyone’s bucket list.

The time at Desert Rose really refreshed us for the next phase of our trip. We headed down into the valleys of the North – we will write about this adventure soon.

The Northern Kenyan valleys

If you want to visit, contact us at info@kampurtraveldiaries.com for more information on the various packages that are available to visit Desert Rose. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

When you travel with us, part of the proceeds go to furthering education for children in Northern Kenya.