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
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
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
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
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!)
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 $540 per person per night sharing. Please contact us
for a quote and suggested itinerary.