Rating: Deluxe Price from: £385 - £730 pp full board
Ol Donyo Lodge is a family owned lodge located on a communally owned Maasai Group Ranch, called the Mbirikani Group Ranch on the slopes of the magnificent Chyulu Hills. This 275,000 acre reserve has the quintessential African landscape of savannah grasslands and acacia forests complete with a Big 5 game experience and the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro as the ever-present backdrop. The majority of lodge staff hail from the local community and this same community is actively engaged in preserving their wildlife heritage through education, awareness and an innovative Predator Compensation Fund.
This is considered to be one of the best horse riding destinations in Kenya with horses of different breeds to suit all standards of riders. There is a seperate operation called Ride Kenya which operates mobile horse safaris for experienced riders of up to one week long, based at Ol Donyo Lodge.
The lodge was totally rebuilt in 2008 and only local materials were used. No two suites are the same, most have private plunge pools and the others have extended lounge areas. All have a roof top seating area which can be converted to a 'star bed' if guests would like to sleep on the roof under the stars. Ol Donyo Lodge sleeps maximum 20 guests
There are 10 villa style rooms, one being a family villa with two bedrooms and shared lounge and bathroom. 6 villas have their own pools. There is a central dining room, which has an open fireplace. Each villa has an en-suite bathroom and veranda with views of the hills and Mount Kilimajaro. Relax and enjoy the views of Kilimanjaro from the horizon swimming pool. Meals are served in the dining area (or privately in rooms or in the bush) where guests can meet and chat.
Activities offered include day and night game drives in open Land Rovers, guided walks, horse-riding for all standards of riders, mountain biking and visits to the local Masai communities and projects. The Game Scout team also includes two Bloodhounds. One can spend an afternoon with the hounds and trackers and experience how the team tracks poachers using scent techniques.
Wildlife is plentiful here and includes lion, cheetah, leopard, rhino, general plains game, and seasonal game coming in from Amboseli especially elephant. A two minute walk from the lodge is a wood pile hide where you can view animals close up in safety.
Open: Open all year.
Ticking all the boxes of a well-run eco-friendly lodge, plus backing the local Maasai community through a trust fund, this lodge holds up to tough scrutiny.
Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499