Ol Donyo Lodge
Chyulu Hills National Park
Ol Donyo Lodge
Wedged between Kenya’s Tsavo East and Amboseli National Parks in the heart of the Chyulu Hills, this is a place of timeless wild beauty presided over by Africa’s greatest icon – Mount Kilimanjaro.
When Great Plains Conservation’s co-founders Dereck and Beverly Joubert met with Richard and Tara Bonham to discuss a partnership proposal for ol Donyo Lodge, talk revolved around the conservation of this incredible landscape; an area rich in wildlife, where some of Africa’s last big tusker elephant bulls roam freely and lion are being pulled back from the brink of annihilation.
Lodge HighlightsWhen to go
All Year Round Price
From $715 pp All Inclusive Highlights
Pristine Wilderness Experience Ideal Stay
Minimum 5 Nights
Ol Donyo Lodge Booking Seasons
Stay at Ol Donyo Lodge
Set on the Mbirikani Group Ranch – 275,000 acres of private wild Africa bordering Chyulu Hills National Park and owned by 4,000 Maasai – ol Donyo Lodge blends contemporary design with the rich culture of the Maasai. An annual lease fee and a per person conservancy fee go directly to this community on the understanding that they will ensure the conservation of the area and its wild inhabitants.
The lodge itself sits in thick woodland in the foothills of the Chyulus with views over the plains to Mount Kilimanjaro. Designed to merge outdoor and indoor living, the unique suites and villas (no two are the same) rise from the landscape on either side of a palatial lounge and dining area. All six suites plus 1 two-bedroom family unit have their own plunge pool and enjoy roof terraces where intimate “star beds” can be set up, allowing guests the thrill of sleeping in style under a canopy of endless stars.
Accommodation at Ol Donyo Lodge
The ten very spacious suites at Ol Donyo Lodge are situated in six separate ‘villas’. Each suite has its own lounge and veranda, indoor and outdoor showers, a bath, a flush loo and twin washbasins. From the veranda, a stone staircase leads up to a rooftop sundowner terrace-cum-sleeping platform, complete with a mosquito-net-covered four poster ‘star bed’ (though note that you need to give some notice if you intend to sleep up there).
The furnishings at Ol Donyo Lodge are a triumph of stylish-rustic, with generously over-sized mosquito nets, swing doors of heavy glass, stand-alone baths and washbasins, rainfall showers, dark wood chairs and tables, wicker armchairs and cushions, tall bedside lights, and mirrors hanging on cables from the ceiling. The curved walls are decorated with large prints of the ethnic photo portraits of Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher. And the grounds around each villa are the natural black, volcanic gravel of the region, which contrasts so strikingly with the wood and thatch and pale cream-, grey-, or orange-coloured walls of the villas’ architecture, and looks particularly striking during the growing season, with planted and naturally growing native shrubs, succulents and other plants bursting forth.
Experience OL Donyo Lodge
Everything about Ol Donyo Lodge is a delight to the eye, and the private plunge pools, each with its own infinite view across the plains, are a wonderfully hedonistic indulgence. Ensuring the privacy of these and the roof tops is a feat of design that Ol Donyo has pulled off very impressively.
Ol Donyo offers an exclusive, luxurious and romantic honeymoon safari in Kenya. Six rooms have their own plunge pool, and a roof deck where you can spend a night sleeping under the stars. It’s a very stylish lodge, and clearly designed with your privacy and comfort in mind.
Ol Donyo Lodge is probably the best place for riding holidays in Kenya, and is a working stud. Its 20 horses offer superb riding for almost all aboility levels. Discover this fascinating landscape on horseback, with the impressive Kilimanjaro as your backdrop.
Things to do at Ol Donyo Lodge
- Mountain-biking, accompanied by a pedalling armed guard allowing you to get close to plains grazers such as zebra, wildebeest and giraffe
- Bush walks – either down the hill towards the plains, or up into the green hills, and again always accompanied by at least one armed guard
- Open-air hide – the ‘log-jam’ – below the lodge where you can often watch elephants and other big game from close quarters as they drink at one of Ol Donyo’s waterholes
- Game drives, both during the day and after dark, are also popular
- Game viewing on horseback, with a stable of 20 horses, suitable for various abilities
- Massages with a trained masseuse in your room (at extra cost)
- Flycamping on horseback if you are a more experienced rider
Select Tour Ideas
A selection of tour itineraries to showcase what you can do. We encourage you to pick destinations of interest and we custom-make your safari to give you a more personalized experience.
7 Days Big Game Experience
Sasaab Lodge, Samburu | Lewa Wilderness Lodge, Laikipia | Rekero Camp, Maasai Mara
7 Days Intrepid Tanzania
Nomad Chada Katavi Camp, Chada Katavi National Park | Greystoke Mahale, Mahale National Park
7 Days Ultimate Family Experience
Giraffe Manor, Nairobi | Campi ya Kanzi, Chyulu Hills | Olare Mara Kempinski, Maasai Mara
8 Days Migration Experience
Rekero Camp, Masai Mara Game Reserve | Lamai Camp, Serengeti National Park
8 Days Ultimate Bush and Beach
Mara Bush Tops, Masai Mara Game Reserve | Matemwe Beach House, Zanzibar
East Africa Top Luxury Destinations
Kenya epitomizes the safari destination with its big game, big skies, close-up bush encounters with the Big Five and ringside tickets to one of the wonders of the natural world, the annual wildebeest migration.
A bountiful land teeming with African wildlife, flourishing ecosystems and remarkable mountain ranges, Tanzania will forever be imprinted on your heart.