Her dreams were realized in 1972 when she moved to Kenya with her husband, Paolo, and her son, Emanuele.But her fairytale existence was shattered by tragedy in 1980. Paolo was killed in an automobile accident as he was returning to Laikipia. He had carried with him a crib, specially built in the shape of a boat for the child they were expecting. Despite the pleas of her relatives, Gallmann chose to remain on the rugged land she had shared with Paolo. But unthinkable tragedy would next strike Emanuele, just after his 17th birthday. Gallmann had always been concerned about her young son's passion for snake handling, and those fears proved warranted when he was killed by the poisonous bite of a puff adder.
At that moment Gallmann, who formally became a citizen of Kenya in 1997, could rightfully have abandoned Africa. But her resolve only intensified. Her soul had been scoured, her understanding of the essence of life elevated. And so began Kuki Gallmann's dedication to preserving the mysterious continent that had so captivated Paolo and Emanuele.
Ol an Nyiro is renowned for the variety of its landscapes, from open savannah to steep gorges, endless vistas of hills covered in wild sage and thorn trees; for its herds of elephant, buffalo, antelope and its many lions. The ranch is sanctuary to the largest known population of undisturbed indigenous black rhino outside National Parks.
The unique setting, the silence and the evocative sounds of Africa, make of the Mukutan Retreat an exclusive hideaway for discriminate travellers, who wish to find a total communion with nature.
The Mukutan Retreat Hotel Accommodation
Waterfalls, palms trees and thermal hot Springs makes this sophisticated luxurious accommodation a unique setting. The cottages are exquisitely designed with ample comfort. The Architectural Digest did an entire article on the accommodation. Commune with nature whilst you stay in the spacious and private cottages of Mukutan Retreat. The lodge is small and can only accommodate up to 8 guests - each visitor is considered a valued guest and friend. All three cottages offer romantic and luxurious fireplaces, each with an open plan veranda. The bedrooms and en-suite bathrooms are adorned with African antiques and furnishings. Open on one side, each room enjoys comfortable beds with luxurious European linen under mosquito netting.
3 large cottages, with a spacious central building provide accommodation for up to six people. All rooms have a double fireplace, verandah, bathroom and double beds.From the untamed wildlife to the rugged terrain to the guest cottages constructed solely from native materials, the Mukutan is quintessential Africa - undisturbed and unpredictable. The retreat is situated more than a mile above sea level on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, the cradle of mankind. It is located in the heart of Ol Ari Nyiro, the 100,000-acre wildlife reserve of world-renowned conservationist Kuki Gallmann.
Lodging is provided by three traditional dwellings, perched at the edge of the gorge and patterned after native African rondavels. Each hut offers luxurious accommodations with double beds, a fireplace and a private veranda overlooking the cliffs. Each is dressed with Swahili and Lamu Island furniture and built of local stone, papyrus and native woods.
The paradox of the Mukutan Retreat is that it remains exquisitely civilized, yet it is the very ant ithesis of civilization.
There is no electricity at the Mukutan Retreat; the obtrusive hum of an electric generator is forbidden. Power is collected by solar panels, although most illumination is by candlelight.
In fact, upon reaching the Retreat, the last several hundred meters are covered on foot to eliminate the sound of vehicles and preserve the ancient silence of the Mukutan Gorge.
The bellhops are camels, carrying luggage to the cottage doors. Mukutan proprietor, Kuki Gallmann, has painstakingly modeled the Retreat to be the penultimate African destination. Every object is a hand-selected part of a perfect puzzle that delivers the lore of Africa in its authentic sense.
The Mukutan Retreat Hotel Restaurant
The central lounge and dining area have the pleasant atmosphere of a private home where every item has been individually selected: from the antique cutlery, hand blown glass, old chests, ethnic artifacts and African books to the copper and brass lamps which lend the place a magical atmosphere at night.
At Mukutan Retreat the food is exquisite and the company superb. Al fresco picnics are enjoyed as both breakfast and lunches. Enjoy a swim after a long day of activities in the waterfall pool. The mineral rich thermal hot spring is an escape in itself and pure extravagance for under the African sky. Turkana baskets are filled with wild sage, which is a natural bug repellent and keep insect away.
Renowned cuisine at the Mukutan is a mixture of exotic tastes and classic Italian gourmet dishes. All ingredients are grown organically on the ranch. Food preferences can also be catered to on an individual basis upon request.
Natural springs surrounding the retreat make for abundant drinking and bathing water. All drinking water is filtered. Bottled water is available. Mukutan Retreat hotel food is known for quality and flair. It is Italian in style with some exotic touches. All our products are organically grown on the ranch. Please let us know your food and drink preference or restrictions, so that we may cater for this on an individual basis.
The Retreat lies at approximately 6,200 ft above sea level. The days are warm and the nights are cool. The coolest period of the year is from May to September and the warmest period is between November and March.
During the day dress code is informal. On walks we are entering an animal Kingdom where we do not want to attract attention or interfere. Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes are a must as are khaki or camouflage classic safari clothes. During the evening smart casual is advised, ladies may like to wear a long caftan and a warm shawl. Also bring sunscreen, lip balm, bathing suit and long trousers for riding
Of all the pastoral tribes of Kenya, the tribe of Pokot is possibly the least known. Living out of the hidden tracks with no tourism yet in their area, the Pokot have managed to keep their traditions alive in a changing world. it has taken Kuki Gallmann twenty-five years living next to them to develop a unique rapport of mutual trust and respect with this proud and secretive people. From time to time, thanks to this relation, it will be possible for visitors to have a glimpse of their ceremonies and dances.
Find other Luxury Hotels
Ol Malo Hotel, the place of the Greater Kudu, is Colin and Rocky Francombe's home. The 5,000 acre ranch and game sanctuary lies along the Uaso Nyiro River on the edge of Kenya's Northern Frontier District
The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille Hotel - Perched on the flanks of a wooded rock kopje, in the heart of our private conservation area, is The Sanctuary at Ol Lentille - a collection of four private
Sarara Camp - is situated to the north of Ol Donyo Sabache (Ol Lolokwe), just below Warges peak, in the fabled Mathews Mountains of Northern Kenya
Kitich Camp is one of Kenya's oldest tented camps, tucked into the highland forests of the Matthews Mountains, northern Kenya.
Elephant Watch Safaris Camp offers our guests the chance to be taken right into the midst of the elephant world where you will spend time with elephant families.
Loisaba Hotel - On the edge of the Laikipia plateau with views of Mount Kenya, Loisaba is an eco-lodge with unrivalled wildlife
Il Ngwesi Group Ranch is located at northwest edge of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and is owned by Il Ngwesi community of the Mukogodo division of Laikipia district.