An energising escape to Enasoit

Cottage tent

A giraffe browsing by a cottage tent at Enasoit Camp.

Photo credit: Jan Fox | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Enasoit Camp is set within a 4,500-acre conservancy, about 30 kilometres from Nanyuki.
  • The camp sits on an open plain, within an amphitheatre of hills on the western edge of the Lolldaiga Range.

I’ve grown to learn that holidays are much more than just breaks from work. Their purpose is a very fluid thing that reflects our changing circumstances, priorities and emotions.

Within the last year, especially, I’ve found myself drawn to outdoor excursions and journeys that challenge me physically. Across the world, ‘wellness tourism’ is growing fast, and more travellers today seek to strike a balance on holiday between relaxation, adventure and self-improvement.

This train of thought on health-conscious travel trends was triggered by my visit last week to Enasoit Camp in Laikipia, which was hosting its first Fitness & Wellness Retreat. ‘Balance’ was a key theme of our briefing on the day we arrived, which set the tone for the weekend.

The 15 adult guests would combine daily workouts led by my wife, Gabriella (excuse the plug), of the Dojo Wellness Club, with soothing treatments offered by Serenity Spa, and a range of safari activities run by the accommodating Enasoit team.

I quickly appreciated that Enasoit was well-suited to such a retreat. The camp is set within a 4,500-acre conservancy, about 30 kilometres from Nanyuki. It’s a relatively small parcel of land, but it forms a vital corridor for wildlife between neighbouring conservancies and ranches. Its landscape is also quite dramatic; the camp sits on an open plain, within an amphitheatre of hills on the western edge of the Lolldaiga Range.

It’s an exclusive-use and intimate property with eight tented cottages, including one large family unit with two interconnecting rooms. At its heart is a stylish mess tent with an uninterrupted view of a very close and very busy waterhole. Across the plain on the side of a small hill, there is also the separate Pool House. Here, two thatched cottages and a homely lounge and dining area sit beside a curvy swimming pool, within a lush tropical garden.

Barbeque bush dinner

Early on the first morning of the retreat, I wandered over to the mess tent to grab some  coffee. A young giraffe stood on the bank of the waterhole, spread its front legs clumsily, and lowered its head towards the earth for a lick of pink salt. On a lawn nearby, through a tangle of acacias, 15 humans were stretching too, and limbering up for their first invigorating workout in the wild.

Over the next two days, the group sweated it out in cardio, strength and Pilates classes, enjoyed relaxing spa treatments in their rooms, jogged beside wildlife, and explored the conservancy in the back of open-top game-viewing vehicles.

The camp managers, Karen and Pete Glover, and the rest of the Enasoit staff juggled all the activities well, and made sure everyone was happy. This included keeping the children in our group entertained with a fun, safari-themed ‘Junior Warrior Programme’.

Like the activities, the meals we were served throughout were enjoyable and balanced. They were always varied, with the right mix of sweet things and healthy options. The head cook, Makena Gladys, and her team, really did an exceptional job – I can’t think of many meals that I’ve had on safari that top hers.

As an extra treat, we were all driven from the camp one evening to a secluded spot in the conservancy for a barbeque bush dinner. As we rounded the corner, a tall rock face loomed above us, illuminated by a roaring bonfire at its base. Rows of lanterns flickered further along the rock, and a troop of baboons occasionally chattered and screeched in the shadows. It was a special night, and a highlight of a very memorable holiday. 

For information about future fitness and wellness retreats, visit www.enasoitcollection.com, keep an eye on the Enasoit, Dojo Wellness Club and Serenity Spa Instagram pages, or email [email protected] to register your interest.

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