If you like a little luxury on safari, Ol Donyo is one of the best options in the area of Amboseli and the Chyulu Hills! This is a fab-looking property with commendable conservation values at its heart. Plenty of points from the YZ team!
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The precise location of the lodge is the Mbirikani Group Ranch. Great Plains lease the Ranch from the local Maasai in an agreement designed to conserve the wildlife in the area. Ol Donyo combines brilliantly with sister property Mara Plains – just contact us for more details! The site of Ol Donyo Lodge is the south-western side of the Chyulu Hills, approached via a winding road up into the woody hillside.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
The main lodge building is a very grand affair, a large stone-and-thatch structure in an elevated position with amazing views across sprawling plains as far as Mount Kilimanjaro! The lounge contains lots of comfortable sofas and armchairs around coffee tables, in addition to a library area with further seating and a couple of bookcases. The palette involves mainly earthy tones, complemented by wildlife artwork on the walls. In the dining room, there are shiny separate tables and upright chairs – for outdoor dining, there is a delightful sun terrace. The swimming pool is located just a few steps down from this deck and it boasts its own seating area with patio furniture and sunloungers. This is a great spot to relax and enjoy the view! Finally, there is an internet room, with free and unlimited WiFi.
The guest accommodation at Ol Donyo Lodge consists of three options – room with pool, room without pool, family villa. Each room is the size of half a villa, so there is the possibility for a large group to occupy a whole villa. The pool villas have names – El Mau, Nyati and Sirra – and are arranged to the north-west of the main lodge, along the hillside. Each unit contains a bedroom with double bed or twin beds, a lounge with fireplace and comfy furniture, a veranda with steps leading up to a rooftop sleeping area featuring four-poster ‘star bed’, and a plunge pool!
Each room without pool – Mpya and Asali – is situated to the south-east of the main lodge and is identical to a pool room except, of course, for the absence of plunge pool. And the family villa, close to the lodge, is the size of two rooms, with a larger plunge pool. Furnishings throughout the accommodation are rustic in style, with the same palette as the communal areas. All en-suite facilities comprise flush toilet, twin washbasins, and indoor and outdoor showers. This really is luxury living – and all with spectacular vistas too!
All staff are fully committed to ensuring guests have a superb say – nothing is too much trouble! Food and drink comes full board and guests can choose to eat separately or in the convivial setting of the main dining room. Typically, there is an early breakfast with hot and cold dishes, a light buffet-style lunch of three courses, a lovely afternoon tea, and a three-course dinner.
If you are able to leave the luxurious lodge, you will find an exciting assortment of activities available in the surrounding plains and hills. Game drives take place during early morning as well as late afternoon to early evening – this is a great way to see the local wildlife! All Big Five animals roam the region, plus cheetah, Grant’s zebra, Maasai giraffe, eland, reedbuck, bushbuck, bushpig, wildebeest, and many more. The birdlife is impressive too – enthusiastic wildlife photographers might like to consider paying extra to book their very own vehicle and guide, in a package that includes loan of camera equipment to ensure you get fantastic photos! Guided walks are perfect for getting to know all the small things on safari, while if you want to get in among the plains grazers mountain biking is the way to do it!
Ol Donyo Lodge is renowned for its horse safaris too – whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider, there is a suitable route for you. Advanced riders can even include fly camping in their horse safari! And with other pursuits including tracking, viewing from hides, and conservation and community out-reach programmes, there really is a lot to do here!