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Destinations | Africa | Kenya | Chyulu-Tsavo | Ol Donyo Lodge

Ol Donyo Lodge Properties |

Ol Donyo Lodge
7 Beautiful Stand Alone Lodges

After 21 years, Ol Donyo Lodge was starting to look jaded and the decision was made to rebuild rather than to patch. Towards the end of 2007, the old rooms were torn down and a fresh, new Ol Donyo reopened in July 2008 to enthusiastic reviews. Today, Ol Donyo has a total of 22 beds in seven stand alone cottages. The seven individual cottages are built with local materials. Each has its own verandah and unspoiled views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is only 55 kms away. All cottages have en suite bathrooms, solar powered lighting, shower water heated by solar with wood burners as back up. Some are two bed lodges, while others are four bed lodges with their own private lounges and swimming pool. These four bed lodges are perfect for families or small groups of friends who prefer that extra privacy. All bedrooms now have spacious ensuite bathrooms with superb views, a shower and bath, twin vanities, a flush loo with an additional outdoor shower for those who prefer the outdoors. All room (except the Hide) have their own rooftop sundowner star-bed spot where guests enjoy dramatic views over the plains and onto Mount Kilimanjaro. More adventurous guests have the option to sleep out safely on these rooftops to enjoy a night sleeping under the stars. There is a centrally positioned sitting and dining room with an open fireplace. In front of the mess is a swimming pool and a waterhole below where animals come to drink.

Chyulu Hills, Kenya

The lodge is located In Chyulu Hills nestled between Tsavo and Ambolseli National park, overlooking Mt. Kilimanjaro. Ol Donyo Lodge has its own bush airstrip which is a 45 minute charter flight southeast of Nairobi.
June - October; December - March

The best months for travelling to Kenya are June through the end of October and then December through the end of March. July, August and September, are the busiest times along with the Christmas holidays as this is when school holidays fall. If you prefer to travel when the game is still superb but it is not so busy then I recommend the following months, June, September, October, November, February, March, April and May!
Day and Night Game Drives, Horse Riding, Walking in Spectacular Open Plains, Cultural Visits to Masai Villages, Picnic Bush Breakfasts and Bush Dinners & Game Viewing from Blinds Built Over Water Holes.

A Typical Day on Safari:
You are accompanied by our local guides on all activities and they impart plenty of knowledge about the area's flora and fauna, history and culture and much more. You are woken with a cup of tea or coffee, and as the early morning sun glistens on the peaks of Mount Kilimanjaro you head out either on horseback, on foot or in one of our specially converted open top Land Rovers to view the wildlife. This is generally the best time of day for game viewing; oryx, gazelle, gerenuk, zebra, eland, giraffe and wildebeest roam the grassy plains, always on the lookout for cheetah and lion. Either enjoy a bush breakfast with a leisurely walk, ride or drive back to the lodge, or breakfast at the lodge, having perhaps visited a local Maasai manyatta (village). Lunch around the swimming pool or a picnic up in the hills. After tea, either driving, walking or horseriding out on the plains, this is the perfect time for observing predators in action, and as the sun slips over the horizon we find a suitable spot to reminisce on the day with a sundowner. Back at the lodge after a hot shower and a candlelit three-course dinner, relax with a sky full of stars, the ever-present sounds of the African night, maybe a lion roaring, a hyena laughing or an elephant rumbling, as the animals keep track of each other, further enhancing this magical wilderness environment.
Local Info

Various projects have been exclusively directed to sustain and enrich the fragile environment; its traditional people and natural wildlife. There has to be a way for the people and their land to benefit from sufficient returns from the wildlife in order for them to continue co-existing, or the wildlife would have to give way.

Mbirikani Group Ranch Mobile Health Clinic:
Established by the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS This is funded by a private United States foundation and is based in Mbirikani village but also visits the more remote areas when people are unable to travel. There are hopes for the future construction of a large fixed based clinic to continue looking after the health of the indigenous people.

Amboseli/Tsavo Game Scout Association:
The Game Scouts are involved, primarily, with the prevention of poaching but despite all efforts, the bush meat trade is still on the increase. The scouts are also called upon to help protect small-scale farmers from crop raiding wildlife. The human/wildlife conflict has become a primary issue in Kenya today.

Chyulu Rhino Project:
The Maasailand Preservation Trust, and KWS rangers, together with other organizations, is responsible for enhancing security and monitoring the endangered Chyulu rhino for their protection, probably the last remaining population of wild black rhino in Kenya today.

Reforestation Project:
There is a tree nursery in Mbiriakani Village concerntrating on the replanting of indigenous trees in the area.

This is the priority of the Trust and has already constructed six classrooms all with teaching aids. We plan to start an environmental education program dealing with land degradation and problems associated with pastoralism marginal areas.
Owners & Hosts

Richard and Anna Vivian are your hosts and a friendly crew of Kenyans are there to organise the daily activities, to ensure everything runs smoothly, and to provide high standards of cuisine and personal service.
Guest Reviews

"I confess, I had envisaged heading into the bush as soon as I arrived but I jettisoned this plan, having been seduced by my cottage. Accommodation at Ol Donyo Wuas is in double thatched cottages; mine, Kushoto, turned out to be a palatial wooden home on stilts, the bedroom alone the size of my little London flat."
- Laura Bailey, The Sunday Telegraph
Ol Donyo Lodge is situated on the slopes of the rolling Chyulu Hills between Tsavo and Amboseli, with access to a quarter of a million acres of one of the few remaining corners of wild Africa.
Ol Donyo Lodge lies in the foothills of the Chyulu Range, halfway between Tsavo and Amboseli in a concession area of 300,000 acres, communal Masai owned land, which is also part of the Amboseli ecosystem. In the hills of rolling wooded grassland, capped by mist forests, 34 species of large mammals have been spotted and recorded. Perhaps the greatest charm, lies in the vast and mainly uninhabited panorama dominated by the snow capped Mt. Kilimanjaro. The open plains, rolling Chyulu Hills and snow-capped peaks of Kilimanjaro invoke images of Africa as it was in the earlier part of the last century; abundant game and Maasai herdsmen living as nature determined they should in this unspoilt corner of Kenya. The lodge consists of eight cottages and a beautiful, centrally positioned mess/dining room. Your hosts and a friendly crew of Kenyans are there to organise the daily activities, to ensure everything runs smoothly, and to provide high standards of cuisine and personal service.

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