Situated in between Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks on the slopes of the Chyulu Hills, Ol Donyo Lodge looks out over the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro and has exclusive access to a quarter of a million acres of unspoiled African savannah. The lodge was founded by Richard Bonham who often flew his Cessna over the area until one day in the 1980s when he landed on the open plains and met the local Maasai people. From that meeting and many more after it, a pioneering community conservation project and Ol Donyo, was born.

Known as one of the most luxurious lodges in East Africa, Ol Donyo is also an eco-lodge, with hot water and electricity generated using solar power. Ol Donyo is a 20-bed lodge where no two suites or villas are the same. What they do share however is comfortable and utterly luxurious décor and an impeccable attention to detail. There are two two bed cottages, while the others are two bedroom, with their own private sitting room and swimming pool.

All rooms have spacious en suite bathrooms with amazing views of Mount Kilimanjaro, a shower and bath as well as an additional outdoor shower for those who like to shower surrounded by nature. Each cottage also has its own rooftop sundowner spot, where guests can enjoy dramatic views over the grasslands. It is also safe to enjoy a night sleeping here, for those looking for a night under the stars.

Ol Donyo has the exclusive use of over 300 000 acres of breathtakingly beautiful wilderness, which works out to 21 000 acres per guest! The land is owned by the Maasai people who are happy to provide guests with opportunities for cultural interaction.

New mobile bell-tents are in place for those guests spending 4 nights or longer at ol Donyo Lodge to explore further.  Not just for experienced horse riders, but also for mixed ability and interest groups. You have the option of riding on horse, mountain bike or vehicle to the sleep outs, or take a guided walk. At no extra cost, but pre-booking is essential.

Guests can take morning and evening game drives, as well as night drives and guided bush walks. The area has a varied array of animal, plant and bird life and guests can keep their eyes peeled for giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, buck, gazelle, cheetah, lion, leopard, hyena, jackal and the rare bat-eared fox, to name a few.

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Pool Suites (6)

No two of the lodge’s ten bedrooms is exactly the same, but what is consistent is the view to Mt. Kilimanjaro and the lodge’s famous waterhole as well as star beds atop each of the suites for sleeping under the stars. The décor is luxurious and opulent, while still retaining the atmosphere and sense of place that is an essential ingredient of an outstanding bush lodge. Art from around Africa coupled with the photography of Carol Beckwith, Angela Fisher and of course Beverly Joubert, create a commanding space under the high thatch roofs. The design is contemporary and yet traditional.All suites have a lounge, verandah, indoor and outdoor showers, double washbasins, flush toilet and bath, and “star-bed”. The rooftop “star-bed” is accessed from the verandah via a winding stone staircase. This is a fabulous sleep-out option, with utter privacy and all the amenities of the suite just below.

Sambu 2-Bedroom Villa (1)

One of the villas, Sambu, functions more as a bush home intended for families or groups of friends. This villa is purpose built and designed for a couple who want space and seclusion or for parents who require their children under the same roof, but with adequate space and privacy. It has two bedrooms under one roof and one swimming pool. Each bedroom has its own spacious en-suite bathroom, complete with an indoor and outdoor shower, “star bed” and sundowner viewing deck.