The Experience

ol Donyo Lodge

Located in the heart of the 275,000 acre Mbirikani Group Ranch, located on the slopes of the Chyulu Hills National Park between the Amboseli and Tsavo West National Parks in southeast Kenya. Its location is unrivalled with full views of Mount Kilimanjaro and in the path of seasonal elephant migrations. It is a lodge rich in history, passion and conservation.  

ol Donyo Lodge’s founder Richard Bonham had often flown over this spectacular landscape but one day in the 1980s, he was moved to land his Cessna on the open plains and meet the local Maasai. That was only the first of many meetings, before the birth of a pioneering community conservation tourism project. The concept was simple: Richard brings guests to this remote group ranch to participate in safaris, and the Maasai share the benefits. But nothing in Africa is that simple, really. And so began a life-long relationship with the Maasai, the wildlife and the game ranch.

ol Donyo Lodge is a 20-bed lodge, rebuilt and redesigned in 2008, and perched on a hillside, with no two suites or villas the same. What is consistent is the attention to detail, the comfortable yet utterly luxurious décor and the tradition of greatness. Regarded as one of the most attractive lodges in East Africa, ol Donyo Lodge is a place to call home for as long as possible.  

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.  All but two of the suites have their own private pools. These two stand-alone standard suites are Asali and Mpya.  The pool suites are four-bedded private villas and are ideal for families or small groups of friends. They are designed to be versatile and function either as family villas or for two couples while still maintaining an element of privacy. An outer central foyer connects the two suites. These are Nyati, Sirra, and El Mau.  Lastly, 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.  A private chef is also available for in-villa catering, and total exclusivity and should be booked in advance, possibly incurring an additionalcost.  Laundry is done on a daily basis and is complimentary.  In-room massages are available during the guest’s stay and are at additional cost depending on services requested.

The breadth and depth of ol Donyo Lodge’s living and dining area is absolutely awe-inspiring. Upon entering, one is immediately struck by spaciousness and yet the intimacy. The entire main area is set high on the hillside, and opens completely to the plains below, with Mount Kilimanjaro ever present in the distance.  The space flows, there are no straight lines and unique architectural details give character to every area. The magnificent iron-ore chandeliers coupled with grand fireplace provide a warm glow, accented by the rich earth tones. Arched doorways, indoor gardens, bronze sculptures, Zanzibari wood doors, Victorian furniture and romantic prose grace the space. It is captivating.  Just below the main area, but also on the hillside is a breathtaking infinity pool, complete with a private lounge and dining area. With views of the lodge’s famous waterhole and luxurious voile curtains and cushions, it’s the perfect place to while away the afternoon.

Al fresco lunches on the verandah and or candlelit dinners in the main dining room are wonderful, but we also enjoy hosting breakfasts in the plains and dinners under the African sky; or surprise sundowners and classic English tea in the romantic setting of the bush. Finally, it’s a night cap around the cozy outdoor fireplace to round out another perfect day in Africa.

There is a range of activities available – from cultural visits, good quality wildlife viewing and tracking, horseback riding and mountain biking – ol Donyo Lodge is a holistic experience.

Terms & Conditions

Comprehensive Medical and Travel Insurance must be taken by all guests travelling to ol Donyo Lodge and is a condition of travel.  All rates are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances due to currency fluctuations, fuel levies, surcharges, etc.


For safety and because space is restricted on aircraft, baggage in charter aircraft is restricted to a maximum of 12kg per person in a soft bag. This includes camera equipment and carry-on baggage. Should guests arrive with excess baggage without prior warning their baggage could be delayed as baggage may have to be flown into camp at a later stage at considerable extra cost to the guest. However, should the guest know in advance that the baggage will exceed the limit, an extra seat can be booked for the bags on the aircraft, at an additional cost.


Please consult your doctor for specific advice. ol Donyo Lodge is located at high enough altitude to be out of the malarial zone, but guests on Ride Kenya could be traversing areas where it is possible that malaria could be encountered. If you are a contagious-disease carrier, you must let us know when booking your safari.

Included in your tariff:

The nightly rates quoted are fully inclusive of accommodation, all meals, scheduled game activities, guided bush walks, bush breakfasts, guided mountain biking, horse riding, Maasai cultural visits (excluding money paid directly to Maasai), laundry, return Chyulu airstrip transfers to ol Donyo Lodge, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages (excluding cellar wines, champagnes and imported premium spirits).

Not Included in your tariff:

The cost of getting to Ol Donyo lodge; Compulsory insurance to cover for cancellation and curtailment, medical, baggage, money and emergency evacuation back home; imported beverages; gratuities to guides and to staff; any excursion not related to the safari (e.g. a day trip to Amboseli and its related Park fees); costs of photographing Maasai villagers (around US$20 per person); cost of massages.

Child rates are application for one child between 5-15 years (inclusive) sharing with two adults in a family or pool suite.

Daily scheduled Safarilink flights between Wilson Airport in Nairobi and ol Donyo Lodge:

  • Morning flights depart Wilson Airport in Nairobi at 07h30, arriving ol Donyo Lodge at 08h20.  Safarilink departs ol Donyo Lodge at 08h30 and arrives back at Wilson Airport in Nairobi at 09h40 (in time to connect onto the Masai Mara).
  • Afternoon flights depart Wilson Airport in Nairobi at 14h00, arriving ol Donyo Lodge at 15h05.  Safarilink departs ol Donyo Lodge at 15h10 and arrives back at Wilson Airport in Nairobi at 17h10.
  • The aircraft used is a Cessna Caravan with 12 seats and the flying times are approximate as the service could operate via other airstrips en route depending on passenger loads.  Rates based on a minimum 2 guests per air transfer.
  • 2012 prices on request at the time of booking.

Private Vehicle:

$350 nett per vehicle per day including the complementary use of a Canon 50D digital camera; including a Canon 17 to 85mm and 100 to 400mm lens.
Compulsary Maasailand Preservation Trust Levy:

  • $90 per adult per night and $45 per child per night (5-15 years) (Nett)
  • For 2013: $100 per adult per night; $50 per child per night
Mount Kilimanjaro and some 275,000 acres of African savanna lie before you at ol Donyo Lodge, Member of Relais & Châteaux, the standard-setter among East African bush lodges. Nestled on the slopes of the Chyulu Hills and skirted by Amboseli and Tsavo National Parks, ol Donyo stands along the path of elephant migrations and boasts consistent wildlife viewing. Equally stunning is the completely reenvisioned 20-bed lodge, which offers some of the only villas in Kenya. In addition to 4×4 game drives and bush walks, you can join a horseback or mountain-bike safari, visit local Masai communities, and track wildlife with the lodge’s scouts and scent hounds.
For an incredibly romantic African experience, let the lodge staff set up a rooftop “star-bed” so you can sleep out under a blanket of stars.Distance from Airport: not applicable Guests Receive:

  • Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
  • Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
    • (served in varying locations in camp)
  • A complimentary 50-minute massage
    • for up to two people, per room, once during stay
  • Early check-in/late check-out
    • subject to availability
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