Experiences Wildlife & Nature

You Need To See This Treasure Tucked Away in the Chyulu Hills

This beautiful peace of heaven in Chyulu Hills is none other than Oldonyo Lodge. Ol Donyo Lodge (formerly known as Ol Donyo Wuas), is located on the south-western flank of the volcanic Chyulu Hills, on the 1,000km2 Mbirikani Group Ranch, facing Kilimanjaro across the savannah. A safari lodge originally built in 1987 by bush pilot and conservationist Richard Bonham, it was transformed in 2008 into a designer safari base for horseriding, bush walking and game drives.

image: National Geographic Lodges
image: Wildland Adventures

The spectacularly chic Ol Donyo Lodge is one of Kenya’s most outstanding bush lodges. We love the magnificent views, the real flair in the graceful, earthy design and the beauty and fascination of the environment. The lodge’s conservation work and their engagement with the local Maasai seem great – though we hope that they solve their water supply problem, as it is a fly in the otherwise excellent ointment.

image: Relais & Châteaux
image: Uniglobe Lets Go Travel

By working with the local Maasai people, it has been able to blend conservation and livelihood benefits. On the slopes of the Chyulu Hills, this lodge blends contemporary and traditional design. To stay here is a chance to explore Africa in an uncommon way – by horseback or four-wheel drive or in a hide twenty paces from some of the largest elephants in the world. Ol Donyo enjoys a stunning location, with the savannah at its feet stretching as far as the eye can see.

image: Cheli and Peacock

The common areas and the rooms are really luxurious (every room has its own private pool), and the staff is really friendly and welcoming so you can also enjoy a relaxed atmosphere. They make an effort to accommodate each group in a private car if possible, which is perfect if you want to stop where there are not so common animals and birds, and have your own schedule. You will also enjoy bush breakfasts, riding horses and sundowners, and they have more activities if you wish to mix with the game drives. The managers take care of every detail to make your stay unforgettable. It is the only lodge in the area, so you will have the sense of being in a private land (which belongs to the community so they benefit from the lodge), without other cars and tourist around.