A calm oasis in the hustle and bustle of Nairobi, Ngong House is a small, quirky lodge situated within four hectares of private land, in the Karen/Langata area of Nairobi city. It aims to provide a welcoming overnight stop either at the beginning or end of a Kenyan safari.
We have not been able to contact Ngong House for a while, and we believe it may currently be closed. Please ask us for further information.
Ngong House was originally a hunter’s lodge, before the Belgian owner, Paul Verleysen, took it over and transformed it into the unusual place it is today. Paul lives here with his wife, Penny Winter, and children, and the friendly welcome they offer, combined with the lush ‘wild’ feel of the gardens, really does make you feel removed from the hectic city around you. That said, when traffic is good it is within 40 minutes of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and just 20 minutes from Wilson Airport (for internal flight within Kenya), so it makes a great overnight base.
The lodge itself has one main living area, with a roaring open fire (welcome on Nairobi’s cooler evenings), plenty of comfy cushion-scattered sofas, ornate rugs strewn over shiny wooden floors, and a fascinating collection of ornaments, pictures and coffee-table books. For those who have longer than a night to spend here, the swimming pool is a welcome bonus, and the two billiard tables are a good distraction for some after dinner entertainment. Penny has a small shop on site where she sells her own collection of jewellery and clothing.
Dining at Ngong House is often in a large thatched rondavel, lit by an open fire and plenty of candles, but you may find your table set up in a quiet, secluded area for a little more privacy. It’s usual for guests to meet for a pre-dinner drink and nibbles around the campfire, although dinner times are very flexible – especially useful for those flying with British Airways into Nairobi, who may not arrive at the lodge until late.
The accommodation at Ngong House is the most interesting feature of the lodge. Six of the rooms are luxury treehouses, spread out around the large gardens, affording a good amount of privacy. Each is unique, yet all are designed and built by Paul in the same very simple and rustic style.– they are certainly some of the quirkiest rooms we’ve seen in Nairobi!
Raised about five metres off the ground, each treehouse has two storeys (usually bathroom and sitting area downstairs, and bedroom upstairs) and involves relatively steep stairs, which those a little less stable on their feet may find quite tricky. Inside is reminiscent of a log cabin, with chunky wooden bedframes swathed in mosquito nets, polished wooden floors covered in dark red rugs and en-suite bathrooms with twin sinks; some treehouses even have a bath designed to look like a dhow boat.
There is also a private cottage, which faces the swimming pool and is much more permanent and solid in feel. The deep red of the walls and bedspread complement the creams of the furniture and the dark brown of the wooden floors, resulting in a rustic and earthy charm.
Ngong House also has a log cabin in the gardens which can sleep up to six people – and hence is a great choice for families. It’s similar in style and feel to the treehouses but is significantly larger. There’s an open fireplace, a small bar area (complete with aeroplane propellers on the wall above!) and plenty of comfortable seating.
The final room at Ngong House is a single suite. It’s located in the main house, so is a little less private, but is better suited for those who are a little less mobile (although there are still steps within the room).