Ol Donyo Lodge (Amboseli National Park / Chyulu Hills Region) Kenya
Imagine...... 275,000 acres of wild Africa teeming with wild animals all to yourself, and no Tourists in mini buses.
Imagine...... Travelling across the famous golden plains of Kenya in an open 4x4 safari vehicle guided by the best professional guides, or feeling the rhythm of Africa beneath your feet as you walk with expert trackers, or riding beautiful horses with Mt. Kilimanjaro as a backdrop
Imagine...... Experiencing this wild paradise, then coming home to one of the most luxurious small lodges in East Africa where a hot bath or shower, a private swimming pool – all with inspiring views of Africa - great food, charming hosts and world class service await you. Does this sound like fantasy? Well, it isn’t. It is real and it is called…Ol Donyo Lodge. Ol Donyo Lodge lies in the foothills of the rolling Chyulu Hills between Tsavo and Amboseli, with exclusive access to a quarter of a million acres of one of the few remaining corners of wild Africa. This untouched wilderness where Maasai herdsman live in total harmony with nature will take your breath away.
Originally built as Richard Bonham’s private home, the lodge consists of a beautifully positioned mess/dining room and unique stone/thatch cottages with spectacular views across the plains and out on to Mount Kilimanjaro. The lodge is situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Ol Donyo Lodge is hosted by Tamsin Corcoran and Chris Brennan.
After 21 years, Ol Donyo was starting to look jaded and the decision was made to rebuild rather than to patch. Towards the end of 2007, the old rooms were torn down and a fresh, new Ol Donyo Lodge reopened in July 2008 to enthusiastic reviews.
Today, Ol Donyo has a total of 22 beds in seven stand alone lodges. Some are two bed lodges, while others are four bed lodges with their own private lounges and swimming pool.
These four bed lodges are perfect for families or small groups of friends who prefer that extra privacy.
All bedrooms now have spacious en-suite bathrooms with superb views, a shower and bath, twin vanities, a flush loo with an additional outdoor shower for those who prefer the outdoors. All room (except the Hide) have their own rooftop sundowner / "star-beds" spot where guests enjoy dramatic views over the plains and onto Mount Kilimanjaro.
More adventurous guests have the option to sleep out safely on these rooftops to enjoy a night sleeping under the stars. The lighting is solar powered as is the hot water of the showers, with an emergency back-up system for overcast days.
Game Viewing / Activities:
As the rooms are so comfortable and the food so delicious (not to mention our extensive wine list) one might be tempted to just laze around the lodge and the swimming pool, our menu of activities is so exciting that you won't want to miss a minute.
Over 7000 wild animals make their home in and around the environs of Ol Donyo Lodge and our guests can search for them in vehicles, on foot, or by horseback. Not only are the "BIG FIVE" here - rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo - but also cheetah, the rare fringe-eared oryx, the shy gerenuk, and the lordly giraffe among many others share this magical landscape.
It is out on a drive or walk or ride that the exclusivity of Ol Donyo Lodge becomes apparent: you and the few other privileged guests are alone with the animals - no other Tourists, no fleets of noisy mini buses are there to disturb the magic of your experiences. Night drives are a feature for those who would like to better opportunity to view the shyer nocturnal wildlife.
The Chyulu Hills and the surrounding plains are perfect for half-day or full horseback riding. Many of our guests who are have taken some of the other excellent horseback safaris elsewhere in Africa have declared: "This is the best horse riding country in Africa." We take pride in the training and care of our horses and we have mounts suitable for both experienced and occasional riders.
Although al fresco lunches on the verandas or candlelit dinners in our dining room are quite wonderful, we also enjoy hosting "Bush Breakfasts" and dinners, not to mention surprise sundowner cocktails or classic English tea in the magnificent and romantic setting of the vast African landscape.
East Africa is classic safari country and it would be a shame for our guests to visit Kenya without experiencing a night out under canvas with traditional camp amenities, drinks under the open sky by the fire followed by our superb campfire cuisine. We choose our campsites based on the season, so your camp may be out on the plains or up in the Chyulu hills, and you can choose to get to your fly camp on horseback, by vehicle or the way the explorer's did - on foot. Seduction Rock is a famous overnight spot (and we are led to believe that it always works!)
Ol Donyo Lodge and the Maasai Culture:
The Maasai people are as natural a part of the Mbirikani landscape as the wild animals. A visit to a Maasai traditional village is often one of the highlights of our guest's stay with us and it gives our guests a wonderful insight into Maasai culture and their way of life.
Day trips to Amboseli:
We offer a full day's excursion to Amboseli National Park. Guests depart Ol Donyo Lodge after breakfast and take a leisurely drive across the plains to the Park. We usually plan to arrive in Amboseli sometime in the mid-morning and aim to leave in the mid-afternoon. This coincides when the lodges are breakfasting and its the traditional safari siesta time when the park and the vehicle density is at its lowest. This also is the time of day when the elephants and wildlife densities around the waterways and marshes are generally at their highest. If you want this activity guaranteed, please ensure that you book the excursions when you are making your reservation to stay at Ol Donyo Lodge.
We offer an in-room massage service
This is a new activity that we are experimenting with on the plains around Ol Donyo Lodge. Guests bike across the savannahs with an armed guide and enjoy the freedom and exhilaration of these plains and their wildlife.
We operate where possible on an all-inclusive tariff where everything at the lodge is included. The exceptions to this are the Amboseli excursion and the Amboseli Park entry fees; horse rides and massages. The Maasai villagers will charge individuals for having their photos taken, but the cost of getting there is included in the tariff.
From $715 per person per night sharing. Please contact us
for a quote and suggested itinerary.