ol Donyo Lodge

Chyulu Hills
ol Donyo Lodge is located on the Maasai-owned Mbirikani Group Ranch, comprising of 275,000 acres of wilderness between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks and bordering Chyulu Hills National Park. This stunningly beautiful area is incredibly diverse, and often has spectacular views of Mount Kilimanjaro. No other lodge in Africa offers such a wide range of experiences, in such a private setting. As one of Kenya’s only two Relais & Chateaux properties (other being sister property Mara Plains Camp), the lodge is perched on a hillside with views of East Africa’s classic savannahs below. Six pool suites plus 1 two-bedroom family unit offers a harmonious blend of contemporary and rustic accommodation, merging the landscape into each suite. Designed for a wide appeal, the lodge is a perfect getaway for families, honeymooners or multi-generational groups. What makes it a standout is its notable variety of activities – from cultural visits, good quality wildlife viewing, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking – ol Donyo Lodge is a place to feel Africa, and get out from behind the wheel. Add to this the lodge’s creature comforts of fine...
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dining, massage, infinity pool, star beds and multiple lounges, and it is a place to relax and unwind for days. Wildlife is here. This semi-arid region offers a diverse safari and wildlife viewing experience to that found in the Masai Mara area. ol Donyo Lodge is perfectly paired with sister properties in the Masai Mara, Mara Plains and Mara Expedition Camps. Together this combination gives you the most well-rounded and complementary Kenyan safari itinerary.

No two of the lodge’s suites is exactly the same, but what is consistent is the view to Mount Kilimanjaro and the lodge’s famous waterhole as well as star beds atop each of the suites for sleeping under the night sky. All the lodge’s suites have private plunge pools, and two are connected for a ‘villa’ concept, perfect for families or couples traveling together. Constructed of local thatch and gunnite, the suites blend with the environment despite their commanding design. Flashes of bright color interspersed with earthy tones, wildlife photography and local crafts punctuate the open-air layout.

The lodge’s main lounge, complete with grand stone fireplace, a small library, inviting open bar and expansive verandah are the place to rendezvous with new friends, and the local staff. The attached dining area as well as the nearby pool lounge/dining is where sumptuous meals are served, and good times abound. The main infinity pool, curio shop and office provide other diversions should exploring the area not be enough.

Most of the lodge staff is from the local Masai community and keen to share their fascinating culture with you – it is a treasured chance to learn. Furthermore, the Mbirikani Group Ranch and ol Donyo Lodge are one of the first examples of a community tourism partnership, whereby land is leased from the Masai by the lodge, providing the Masai with benefits from tourism and an incentive for conservation. The lodge, and its conservation partner Big Life Foundation, continues to push the boundaries in innovative community conservation schemes. Every guest of ol Donyo Lodge contributes to these vital initiatives.

Days at ol Donyo Lodge are full of options. To have such a vast area to explore, from high-altitude mist forest through lava fields, then woodland to savannah, and ending at the famous kopjes, it’s a paradise of discovery. Each day, it’s possible to pick your mode of transport be it on foot, by vehicle, on horseback or even bike. There is no routine here at all, and experiences are tailor-made for each guest. And if lazing around the pool, indulging in a massage or shopping sounds like a good plan, then please do. Or, let’s meet the local Masai and visit the school for a closer look at what makes the country of Kenya so colorful and dynamic.

AT A GLANCE

  • 6 very large pool suites, each with rooftop starbed, private verandah and lounge
  • 1 two bedroom pool suite of identical suites (each with private en-suite), with common pool and lounge
  • All have views of a waterhole, savannah and Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Overhead fans and fireplaces
  • En-suite bathroom with flush loo, indoor and outdoor shower, deep stone bath tub and double basins
  • Hot and cold running water
  • Mosquito netting over beds (both inside and roof-top)
  • Main guest area includes double lounge and bar and verandah
  • Library and office with shared computer
  • Separate main dining suite
  • Main swimming pool with separate lounge and dining
  • Log-pile hide at waterhole
  • Situated on private 275,000 acre Mbirikani Group Ranch between Amboseli and Tsavo National Park
  • Twice daily game drives
  • Horseback riding in a range of terrain, and abilities from novice to advanced, over a range of terrain and often among giraffe
  • Bush walks and hikes (through the lava tube caves or to the top of ol Donyo Wuas)
  • Scenic Kilimanjaro flights at an additional cost
  • Internet available
  • All Inclusive: 3 meals daily, soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beer, safari activities, laundry
  • Solar farm and generator provides 24 hour 220v electricity
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