Ol Donyo Lodge lies in the foothills of the Chyulu Range. The Chyulu Hills are the youngest range of volcanic hills in Africa, the last volcanic activity having only happened about 600 years ago. They are situated halfway between Tsavo and Amboseli National Parks on a concession of 300,000 acres of communally owned Maasai land, known as Mbirikani Group Ranch, which is also part of the Amboseli eco-system.
The open plains, rolling hills and the snow topped Kilimanjaro invoke images of Africa as it was in the earlier part of the last century. Wildlife and Maasai herdsmen live, as nature determined they should, in this unspoiled corner of Kenya.
Ol Donyo Lodge consists of ten expansive guest suites in six stand-alone villas. No two is the same design – each suite and villa is designed and positioned slightly differently but all have a dramatic view of the plains and Mt. Kilimanjaro in the distance. The décor is luxurious and opulent, while still retaining the atmosphere and sense of place that is an essential ingredient of an outstanding bush lodge. Art from around Africa coupled with the photography of Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher create a commanding space under the high thatch roofs surrounded by cool stonewalls. The design is contemporary and yet traditional.
Each suite has a rooftop “star-bed” accessed from the verandah via a winding stone staircase. The “star-beds” are a fabulous sleep-out option, with utter privacy and all the amenities of the suite just below.
Each suite has a lounge, verandah, indoor and outdoor showers, double washbasins, flush loo and bath. All but two of the suites have their own private pool(s).
The four-bedded private villas are ideal for families or small groups of friends. They are designed to be versatile and function either as family villas or for two couples while still maintaining an element of privacy. Some of the villas function as a private bush home, complete with private vehicle, guide, and chef for full exclusivity.
Guests can plan their day choosing from a wide range of guided activities such as game drives in open 4×4 Land Rovers, walking safaris, horse riding, hiking in the mountain range or cultural exposure to traditional Maasai customs.
A typical day at Ol Donyo Lodge
You are accompanied by our local guides on all activities and they impart plenty of knowledge about the area’s flora and fauna, history and culture and much more.
• You are woken with a cup of tea or coffee, and as the early morning sun glistens on the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro you head out either on horseback, on foot or in one of our specially converted open top Land Rovers to view the wildlife.
• This is generally the best time of day for game viewing; oryx, gazelle, gerenuk, zebra, eland, giraffe and wildebeest roam the grassy plains, always on the lookout for cheetah and lion. Either enjoy a bush breakfast with a leisurely walk, ride or drive back to the lodge, or breakfast at the lodge, having perhaps visited a local Maasai manyatta (village). Lunch around the swimming pool or a picnic up in the hills.
• After tea, either driving, walking or horseriding out on the plains, this is the perfect time for observing predators in action, and as the sun slips over the horizon we find a suitable spot to reminisce on the day with a sundowner.
• Back at the lodge after a hot shower and a candlelit three-course dinner, relax with a sky full of stars, the ever-present sounds of the African night, maybe a lion roaring, a hyena laughing or an elephant rumbling, as the animals keep track of each other, further enhancing this magical wilderness environment.