GREAT PLAINS OL DONYO LODGE – CHYULU HILLS

Ol Donyo Lodge is located on the Maasai-owned Mbirikani Group Ranch – 111,000 hectares 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.

The lodge is a perfect getaway for families, honeymooners or multi-generational groups. What makes it a standout is its considerable variety of activities – from wildlife viewing, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking.

Add to this the lodge’s creature comforts of fine dining, spa treatments, infinity pool, star beds and multiple lounges, and it is a place to relax and unwind for days. This semi-arid region offers a diverse safari and the wildlife viewing experience is superb!

LOCATION

Ol Donyo Lodge is set on the Mbirikani Group Ranch between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks and bordering Chyulu Hills National Park.

Access is via scheduled or Charter flight into Chyulu with a 20-minute drive to the lodge.

LODGE

The lodge has just eight thatched roof pool suites plus one two-bedroom family suite which offer a blend of contemporary and rustic accommodation, merging the landscape into each suite.   All the suites are slightly different but all enjoy a view to Mount Kilimanjaro and the lodge waterhole as well as star beds on top of each of the suites for sleeping under the night sky. All the suites have private plunge pools, and two are connected, creating a ‘villa’ concept, perfect for families or couples travelling together.

The lodge’s main lounge has a grand stone fireplace, a small library, open bar and expansive veranda. The dining area and nearby pool lounge offer sweeping views across the landscape and the lodge has a stunning infinity pool and curio shop.

ACTIVITIES AND WILDLIFE

Game Drives (Day and Night) – strong populations of wildlife find their habitat in and around Ol Donyo Lodge.  The big five are here – rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and buffalo – they are often elusive; however, cheetah, fringe-eared oryx, gerenuk, and giraffe make for frequent viewing. You will be able to track wildlife by open game drive vehicles, as well as by foot, or horseback.  Night drives give you the opportunity to discover a range of unusual and nocturnal animals – the drives commence after dinner service at approximately 9:30pm.

Horse Riding – with 275,000 acres of open plains and the dramatic, ancient volcanic soil Chyulu Hills to explore at ol Donyo Lodge this vast region provides a truly unique riding experience. Riding is available all year round at no additional cost.

RIDE OPTIONS

INTERMEDIATE AND ABOVE

For Intermediate riders and above we offer 2-to-4-hour rides exploring the concession. Enjoy exhilarating medium to fast paced canters and encounters with our famous big Tuskers.  For this riding option, you need to be riding fit, confident and competent, ride with an independent seat and be able to control an easy horse at all paces over uneven terrain.

PLAINS RIDE

Novice riders can enjoy a gentle 60/90-minute ride exploring the open plains.

All riders will need to have a short assessment in our arena prior to setting out to ensure all guests riding out can control their horse and are comfortable at a short trot. If riders do not have the required experience, they will be offered a lesson in the arena instead. Plains riders will be given some instruction, a minimum requirement is a short trot.

Guided Walks/Hiking – appreciate the stunning landscape on foot, peacefully without the noise of engines. The Chyulu Hills were designed for walking and hiking and your tracker will accompany you and your guide and will carry a firearm. Your guide and the lodge managers will be able to suggest different walks depending on fitness and your interests, such as birding, spelunking, or exploring the plains.

Biking – a good opportunity to exercise but also another way of viewing the landscape and wildlife in the area. We recommend cycling during the cooler hours of the day, either in the early morning or late afternoon. Cycling usually takes place on the plains heading toward the kopje or el Mau.

Log-pile Hide – just below the lodge’s main area is the famous ‘log-pile’ hide. A short walk with a cool drink in hand, and you’ve arrived at a secret shaded spot from which to view the many mammals that come in for a drink. This is a tremendous experience, especially during the midday siesta.

Amboseli National Park Day Trip – an opportunity for full day excursions to the park departing the lodge after breakfast for a leisurely drive across the plains and through small villages arriving mid-morning and departing in the mid-afternoon (with a picnic lunch and a full selection of drinks). Subject to additional cost.

Young Explorers Programme – ol Donyo Lodge is a great family safari destination. The Young Explorers programme is designed to enhance both a child and a family’s overall safari, weaving themes of conservation and culture into each activity, and offers a full range of activities from bush survival skills including making sling shots, bows and arrows and creating fire using tradition Maasai techniques, to watercolour painting and so much more.

GIVING BACK

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

OL DONYO LODGE IS OPEN ALL YEAR ROUND

 THE CAMP WELCOMES FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN AGED 5 YEARS AND OLDER AND HAS A FAMILY SUITE

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